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We are aiming to achieve Rs 1,500 crore revenue milestone in India by FY24: Shivaji Waghmare, CEO, Fuji Electric India

By Nisha Shukla,

Added 10 August 2023

Fuji Electric India is witnessing exponential growth in the country. The company recently surpassed Rs 1,000 crores for the FY 2022-23 and aims to generate Rs 1,500 crore in annual revenue in India by 2024. In an exclusive interview, Shivaji Waghmare, CEO of Fuji Electric India, discusses with Nisha Shukla the future roadmap for the company, which also involves enhancing manufacturing, R&D, and workforce capabilities in India whilst fostering a strong “In India - For India” approach.

How is Fuji Electric carrying forward the 100-year-old legacy of its group company in India? What makes India an important market for you in terms of manufacturing and market expansion?

Fuji Electric India is a subsidiary of a 100-year-old group (Fuji Electric Co. Ltd.). We are constantly striving to live up to the standards established by the latter. We are working in alignment with the global strategy of Fuji Electric. Our team is working towards realising the vision of becoming the premier, preferred, and leading energy and automation solutions provider.

Our parent company, Fuji Electric, is keen on developing local capabilities and expanding the workforce - ‘in the country - for the country.' Our mid-term goal is to enhance our manufacturing capacities, R&D centres, and workforce capabilities in India. These measures have enabled Fuji Electric to offer solutions made in India based on Japanese technology to the global market.

Are you planning to increase the market share of any of your business segments, i.e., energy/ automation?

As a global leader in power electronics and industrial automation, we have been actively expanding our presence in various markets worldwide, including India. With this objective, we have invested significantly in our manufacturing facilities, research and development, and strategic partnerships to cater to the growing customer demand and enhance our market share.

In the last 3 to 4 years, we have launched multiple new products built to cater to the challenges of our Indian customers, especially in the data centre segment. As this segment is witnessing exponential growth, we are partnering with many end-users and providing them with reliable and efficient solutions.

Fuji Electric India is investing in the latest manufacturing technologies in close collaboration with Fuji Electric Japan and, simultaneously, is increasing its capacity ahead of market requirements to meet the growing demand of customers. All aspects of our operations are constantly modified, and this would position us as the best in the industry. We intend to increase our market share in both the energy and automation sectors and with all these factors working to our advantage, we expect to grow by over 20 per cent in the next five years.

We have heard that Fuji Electric will touch a revenue milestone of Rs 1,500 crore in India by FY24. Which business segment would be contributing to this growth?

Indian manufacturers have abundant opportunities to keep powering ahead. Besides, the substantial inflow of new work in 2023, so far, has led to expansion in capacities through job creation, and the lifting of input buying has made India one of the brightest spots. Furthermore, India's manufacturing PMI is also on the higher side, boosting output and new order growth.

We anticipate that the power electronic segment will contribute significantly to the growth and propel us towards reaching the revenue milestone of Rs 1,500 crore in India by FY24.

The market demand and the trust our customers show in Fuji products are the factors that will contribute to our growth story. We, on our part, are getting the infrastructure and the skilled workforce in place to etch the story.

Recently Fuji Electric announced investing Rs 300 to 400 crore to set up a large integrated plant. Tell us about this investment and how it will further propel growth.

As a global leader in power electronics and industrial automation, we have made significant investments in India to propel growth and expand our presence in the country. Recently, we inaugurated our new state-of-the-art facility in Chennai, and these investments aim at leveraging the immense potential of the Indian market and contribute to India's economic development.

We are investing continuously in research and development (R&D) centres in India to foster innovation and develop cutting-edge technologies tailored to meet the needs of the Indian markets. These R&D centres work on developing localised products and solutions, enhancing product performance, and addressing specific challenges faced by Indian industries. By investing in R&D, Fuji Electric aims to stay at the forefront of technology advancements and offer solutions that cater to India's evolving requirements.

Tell us in detail about your recently inaugurated state-of-the-art factory in Tamil Nadu.

The state-of-the-art and environment-friendly factory in Chennai, with a built-up area of 60,000 sq.ft., is borne out of extensive interaction and participation of our executives.

Some of the critical equipment has been imported from Japan to match the manufacturing processes between Fuji Electric India and Fuji Electric. The factory is expected to produce 120k drives per year. There are plans to make 200K PCBs (printed circuit boards) annually out of the new facility. This new factory will cater to growing demands of lift and cranes, steel plant, water and wastewater, oil and gas and sugar industries with a special focus on F&B. Depending on the market demands and needs, further expansions will be done.

Which is the most profitable segment from your overall business? How is the market shaping for automation and energy business. Are there any plans to diversify into newer segments?

Both our business segments, i.e. energy and automation, have been profitable. We are witnessing significant demand from tier 2 and 3 cities. The markets for both organised and unorganised are opening, and government initiatives such as Digital India and Make in India are playing a crucial role in increasing the demand.

The market requirements are increasing manifold, and so are the customers' demands. We are planning to strengthen our capabilities in the drives and automation segment

While, diversification is not on the cards now, we want to stay focused on the energy and automation business unit and the data centre segment.

How does Fuji Electric India incorporate sustainability practices into its operations and products?

As a nation, we are targeting net-zero emissions by 2070. India's carbon emissions are relatively low (in per capita terms), despite being the third-largest global emitter. Automation is taking the world by storm, whereas digital transformation is the only path to efficiency and sustainability.

Fuji Electric India strives to provide energyefficient products and solutions for a sustainable and resilient planet. As India marches towards becoming a $5 trillion economy, we cannot trivialise the role of technology in creating a sustainable future. Perhaps, industrial automation will help India emerge as a leader in climate change management.

The main philosophy of Fuji Electric is reducing CO2 emissions, and the same applies to Fuji Electric India, as well. All our products aim at maximising energy efficiency leading to a responsible and sustainable society. As a step towards a sustainable future, Fuji Electric India is combining its expertise in engineering services, optimal control technologies and IoT technologies. We have always focused on high-efficiency power electronics products such as silicon carbide and IGBTs for renewable, clean, and saved energy such as fuel cells, solar inverters and high efficiency UPS and high-performance AC drives.

Businesses need to join hands with like-minded allies for efficient energy management so that we can march towards a greener future.

One of the challenges for automation and energy solution providers in India is the lack of awareness and adoption of these technologies. Specifically, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unaware of the benefits and potential of automation and energy solutions. Does Fuji Electric India offer any training or technical assistance programs for its customers?

Yes, Fuji Electric India understands the importance of providing training and technical assistance to its customers. As an industry expert, we, as a company, believe in passing the knowledge to our customers and partners regularly. Such training programs ensure that our customers and partners are well-equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills for reaping maximum benefits from our products and solutions. Some of the training and technical assistance programs offered by Fuji Electric India are as follows:

Product Training: Fuji Electric India conducts product training sessions to familiarise customers with its product features, functionalities, and operations. These training programs aim to enhance customer understanding and optimise the use of Fuji Electric products.

Technical Workshops: We host technical workshops where customers can gain in-depth knowledge about the technical aspects of Fuji Electric products and solutions. These workshops provide hands-on training and practical insights into troubleshooting, maintenance, and system optimisation. Application Support: To assist customers in selecting the most suitable products and solutions for their specific requirements. The technical experts at Fuji Electric India offer guidance and assistance in designing and implementing systems that align with customer needs.

Online Resources: Our website covers all the necessary resources, such as documentation, user manuals, and technical guides. These resources serve as self-help tools for customers to find answers to common queries and access technical information whenever required.

Customer Support: We also have a centralised customer support number: +917810009955 and a full-fledged multi-language support team, which provides technical assistance, troubleshooting, and quick resolution in product-related issues. Our customers can reach the support team via phone, WhatsApp, or online chat for prompt assistance.

Cost is a significant barrier for automation and energy solution providers. The initial investment required for implementing automation systems and energy solutions can be high, making it unaffordable for many enterprises. How do you optimise your costs and ensure it is within the reach of the businesses?

We have more than 500+ customers having over 1MW installations and have 5M installations to our credit so far. The numbers are increasing rapidly, and it is because we consider every aspect, right from power quality to power usage effectiveness (PUE) to the total cost of ownership. We also review; both direct and indirect costs (Capex and Opex) to determine which solutions work best for customers. Our rich legacy of 100 years has equipped us with the insight to determine the best possible configuration the customer needs. Our local manufacturing units help us to deliver quality products with minimised lead time.

Are there any regulatory frameworks and policies posing a challenge to the adoption of automation and energy solutions?

If yes, what are they, and what changes should be introduced in these policies to ensure the quick adoption of these services? Regulatory compliance is a must for any brand. Traceability enables producers to ensure regulatory compliance and reduce expenses associated with compliance. Specific sectors we work with, such as the cement industry, have stringent regulatory and environmental constraints, and we adhere to them. It would be good if all processes turned paperless, digital, and transparent.

Each industry may have unique requirements and challenges regarding automation and energy solutions. Adapting solutions to different sectors and industries requires customisation. How do you ensure a customised solution for every customer?

With more than 100 channel partners, 18+ sales locations and 400+ business segments, customisation is something that customers love about us. Our solutions are not just innovative but are also cost-effective.

With our vast range of products and decades of expertise in installing and commissioning various projects, we help customers benefit greatly both - in the short and medium term. With Fuji Electric at the point of design and conception, companies can save on costs and commissioning time.

How important is the data centre market for Fuji Electric?

As one of India's leading power solution providers, we are helping data centres to be energy efficient, reliable, and always available. We have the most advanced 3-phase online UPS, Active Harmonic Filters, Power Distribution Units, Static Transfer Switches for unmatched power backup for data centre and HVAC drives that ensure applications for indoor environments run efficiently.

Our complete range of power backup, power conditioning and automation solutions includes Line Interactive and Single-phase UPS, three phase UPS, servo control voltage stabiliser, Active Harmonic Filters, power distribution units, and static transfer switches. We have an array of automation products which includes VFD, DCS, Servo Systems, PLC, HMI, ED&C and Instrumentation solutions.

Our wide range of products serve customers from segments such as Smart data centres, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, BFSI, Heavy Industry, Energy Storage, Energy and Utilities, Water and Wastewater, Ports and Cranes.

We are also aligned to launch a few advanced products dedicated to the data centre with the highest efficiency and reliability that support green infrastructure.

Tell us about the Research and Development wing of Fuji Electric India. How much investment goes into it?

Fuji Electric is strengthening its R&D capability in India to develop products in India, for India. The R&D centre in Pune has over 30 engineers who develop UPS, Solar inverter, Active Harmonic Filters, and other power electronic technologies. The automation division R&D centre in Chennai is involved in developing embedded firmware for AC drives for Indian environment and applications. The R&D centre uses state-of-theart HILS (Hardware-in-the-loop simulators) to test complex embedded systems with real life conditions to reduce development time and to validate performance under all real site and power conditions. Experts from Japan are stationed in India for joint product development and to train Indian engineers.

Customers trust our Japanese technology and quality. We have a good number of installations in every sector, but have registered growth in data centres, metro rails, manufacturing, and cement industries.

The company is clearly on an expansion mode. It is investing heavily in R&D facilities in India and adding more than 3,00,000 square feet of extra manufacturing space to increase the production of UPS, AC drives, and instrumentation products in India.

Tell us about the future/expansion plans for Fuji Electric in India.

There has been an increase in demand for Fuji solutions. This is evident from the pan India service network represented by more than 400 trained service engineers with a presence in 80+ locations. Besides, there are 18+ sales centres, as well.

An investment of Rs 150 crores infused into setting up the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in (Chennai) India will fulfil our vision to manufacture automation products, help us meet customers' demands and propel us to become a Rs 1,500 crore company by 2024. As for the Indian customers, they will get made-in-India products, powered by the best of Japanese technologies.

We intend to invest up to Rs 400 crore in India over the next four years. This will enable us to serve Indian and global customers as well.

We have already surpassed Rs 1,000 crores for the financial year 2022-23 and aim to generate Rs 1,500 crore in annual revenue in India by 2025. This is a fantastic time to be in the Indian market.

Besides, the budgetary allocation of Rs 35,000 crore towards renewable energy projects and the customs duty waiver on the import of components for the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries will work to our advantage.

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