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Mr. Madhukar Swayambhu, Vice President (Sales) , ZyXEL India

12 Aug 2015

India’s power sector needs end to end fiber solutions.

ZyXEL is one of the world’s leading internet solutions providers connecting to about 70 million end users across the globe. ZyXEL has been at the forefront of the information age since initial days of internet. From routers, switches, security appliances, and central office equipment, to wireless and IPTV, ZyXEL has offered exceptional reliability and quality across its entire product range since 1989. Madhukar Swayambhu, Vice President (Sales) at ZyXEL India speaks to InfralinePlus on how he sees company’s growth in the Indian market. Excerpts

Given the thrust on infrastructure development including power, where companies are going for technology and solutions which can cut cost of production. What role do you see the technology can play in this situation?

The basic challenge in the application of any energy development idea is that we are just importing technology crazily which is actually not required. A technology which works for US or France my not necessarily work for India. Indian solution has to be based on Indian circumstances. Right now the government is talking about solar, hydel, thermal and nuclear.

If you look at the Indian society, still we have huge population in rural India and there is kind of exodus happening from rural to urban. This migration becomes a problem. The entire rural base is crushed by making the agriculture as an industry today whereas earlier the agriculture was not considered as an industry in typical sense. Today if you move beyond agriculture, power is the industry.

Power is something required by every human being on earth today because we have increased our needs like that. Today the cultivation of electricity is the need to the Indian economy and Indian society. We can make every farmer capable of generating electricity, and that will be the best way for rural electrification. Power generation and power distribution are very important. The real solution in the Indian context would be not something that is generated centrally but distribute the generation of power itself. This is the technology of generation of power in every home.

here are technologies that could enable a farmer in the remotest areas of the country to generate electricity through various means. Today the Karnataka government has come up with the plan that any farmer who has prescribed area of barren land can put a solar pant and state will purchase the power at a higher rate from the farmer. But for setting up of a small solar plant, this poor farmer need 7.5 crore rupees. Hence, just buying technology with closed eyes is no solution. India is entirely a different geography, society and economy.

How do you see the market for ZyXEL, as the company is a late entrant in India where it has to compete with companies which are well penetrated and have better understanding of markets here? What kind of challenges does the market throw at you?

The moment you talk about computerization in the power sector, it is altogether a different world compared to the standard computing needs. Everybody is talking about routing and switching. The basic problem with a copper based network is that you have to lay the network at a prescribed distance from any electrical or magnetic field. Hence copper is no solution for power industry. Power industry needs end to end fiber solutions which does not get effected by any electrical field or magnetic field. The value proposition or solution for power sector is concerned, ZyXEL is most suited. We have ‘the’ technology. We can take fiber to desk, to office premises, to the plants and to anywhere.

In India power sector has been widely using ZyXEL solution but primarily in the residential networks and offices. Whether it’s NTPC, SAIL or any other power plant township or residential colonies it has some or the other ZyXEL deployment.

When it comes to power generation or power distribution, what is wrong with the Indian power sector is that they are still going the copper way which is more expensive, less reliable and not suited for the power industry as well. In power generation and power distribution, strong electrical fields are involved and best solution suited to power sector is end to end fiber. And ZyXEL is best suited for Power Industry.

Kindly share your growth plan in Indian market over the next five years. Are there pockets where you see accelerated growth for ZyXEL.

IT has just begun to evolve in this sector. The first such project is APDRP (accelerated power development reform programme) and now the government is planning for IPDS (integrated power development scheme) which the Prime Minister has recently launched. It’s an upgrade over APDRP. For that restructuring of power sector, the entire solution under one roof is only ZyXEL. The growth of ZyXEL would be exponential; it’s not limited to numbers.

How ZyXEL can partner in the government programme?

The power generation and distribution companies are currently planning the copper way under APDRP, which is very wrong way of planning for the power sector. Power Sector for a future proof investment need to have the entire planning on fiber which they are not doing. The technology for the sector is GePON. This is the most relevant technology for it will bring down the cost, bring down the OPEX as well their CAPEX. The cost of distribution to the power companies is also very important. The industry should be cautious about not wasting the resources.

Since majority of the products that ZyXEL offers to consumers here are imported, how do you ensure cost competitiveness in a price sensitive market like India? What is your USP?

Don’t call India as a price sensitive market. India is very well equipped in terms of the thought process or mindset of the people. India is good economy to do business in. India embraces the good technology with open hands provided that you are able to give the right solution. Our USP is that we are the most comprehensive solution provider in the country. Others have bits and pieces of the solutions, we can build a network which is independent of the media. And India is a country where the old network and new network can coexist.

How do you see ‘Make in India’ impacting competitiveness of companies which do not have manufacturing units in the country?

It’s not like that. Make in India is a welcome initiative for any and every organization in the world. It’s not pushing the cos behind or creating any unequal platform for those who are importing. Everybody is welcomed to setup manufacturing in India; there’s no harm.

Besides power, which are the other areas of growth for ZyXEL.

ZyXEL is growing everywhere. Apart from power, we are doing great business in steel and coal, ISP segment, cable operators, hospitality, education, banking and finance and so on. ZyXEL is growing in all sectors.