Process Instrumentation Gearing Up for India – Process Control Firms Adapt to Local Markets
Addressing the emerging need from the Asia Pacific region, the German manufacturer of process instruments, Vega Grieshaber KG has started its Indian subsidiary – Vega India Level and Pressure Measurement Pvt. Ltd., in 2012. Sudarsan Srinivasan, General Manager- India Operations, Vega, talks to PROCESS India on the emerging trends in the field of process instrumentation in the country...
PROCESS: What is the latest trend in the field of process instrumentation in India?
SUDARSAN SRINIVASAN: Process instrumentation, which includes process control and computing, is an essential feature of any modern process management system. The growing requirement of control and computing has created a large space for research in instrumentation.
The competition due to globalisation has resulted in better process control, optimum utilisation of resources and higher level of automation in all industry sectors. With the demand for automation increasing day by day, there is a huge emphasis on measurement, testing and control using software to improve commercial, industrial and service productivity through automation. This has become more of a necessity today.
Further, the growing pace to modernisation, new large projects etc., – need precise and accurate process control instrumentation, and moreover the current trend is openness to latest technology to get better returns with optimum investment.
“India's Process Industry Is Striving to Live Up to Global Standards”
PROCESS: As the new plants are mostly being designed with high level of automation, how is the instrumentation demand from the Indian buyers changing?
SRINIVASAN: Most of the Indian process industries are striving to live up to the global standards, and the users have understood the benefits of setting up high-end process control instrumentation in their plants that give them clear long-term benefits.
There is a major paradigm shift among the buyers, if we compare it with the early ‘90s. Now, they have no restrictions on sourcing instruments from different countries. They manage to get the best technology from across the globe. Obviously, this has increased competition in the market place, and it has a direct positive effect on prices for the buyers.
Today, customers are more open to changes than earlier days. Instead of conventional technologies, they now take more calculated decisions on new technologies.
PROCESS: How is Vega‘s business growing in India, especially after opening its own subsidiary?
SRINIVASAN: Over the past two decades, Vega has been doing business in India through distributors or dealers. This strategy had its pros and cons. However, looking positively, this has helped Vega with a market presence for the new operations to develop on. The customers are happy to know of our direct presence in India, and the response from the market has been extremely positive.
Process Control: Potentials in Pharma, Food and Chemicals
PROCESS: Which verticals of process industry hold very large potential for Vega?
SRINIVASAN: Over the past (say) five to six years, Vega has made a strong presence in the solids market in India (steel, mining and cement). This industry segment will continue to be strong market for us.
However, we are seeing a lot of potential in the pharma, food, chemical or petrochemical and oil & gas markets – which will also be our focus industries. Vega India has already made significant initial footprints in these industry verticals in the past four months.
PROCESS: Do you notice any difference in mindsets among the Indian buyers compared to buyers in developed countries?
SRINIVASAN: The Indian buyers or users are different from the customers in the developed countries. Their knowledge is definitely worldclass, and they are abreast with the latest developments in their respective industry verticals. They strive to update their processes to fall in line with global standards. Further, India being a very price sensitive nation, and with various options available with the buyers, they ensure that they achieve definite value for investments.
PROCESS: Are you offering complete customised instrumentation solution to Indian users?
SRINIVASAN: Vega India strives to be more solutioncentric than being a mere product supply company. Being a level and pressure specialist for over five decades now, customers come to us asking solutions for the most difficult applications.
With an intention to integrating our instruments with related control systems, we plan to work with some system houses to give the customers an optimum field instrumentation engineering solution. We have already succeeded in working with some key OEMs on these lines.
“Look at Long–Term Returns”
PROCESS: What is your comment on Vega‘s competitiveness in the Indian market?
SRINIVASAN: Vega India looks at competitiveness from different angles. Product competencies: Here, we believe we are right on top, and we strive to achieve the most out of the multiple technical benefits of our products.
Service competencies: Vega India is striving hard to maintain the global standards of the Vega Grieshaber KG Group, when it comes to pre and post order service to customers. This will always remain our focus, and here we are completely different from the other players in this segment.
Price competitiveness: With so many unique industry-firsts with our instruments, we are definitely price competitive. Our product and service competencies help in proving a long-term benefit to customers with our products than others.
PROCESS: What are the new products that Vega is planning to launch in India in 2012?
SRINIVASAN: Our new Guided Wave Radar Level Transmitter is almost ready for its global launch, and if everything goes well, we should be able to launch the same in India in the last quarter of 2012.
In addition to that, we are already strongly promoting our new Flexible Radiometric Detector, which is definitely a great technological innovation.
Gearing Up for India – How Process Control Companies Adapt to local Markets
PROCESS: How are you gearing up to offer the best level of after-sales services?
SRINIVASAN: Vega globally is committed to the aftersales service that they provide to their customers, and we have definitely established a global bench mark here in comparison with our competitors. In India, we also want to achieve the same, and we have started with a team of two experienced service managers located in Pune and Delhi to cover the entire country.
Further, we are also providing services to our customers through some of our distributors – who also have service engineers dedicated for Vega Products. Going forward, we will increase our service teams directly, and also indirectly through our distributors or channel partners.
The entire Vega India team is very conscious or accountable, and ensures that all the pre-sales commitments that we make to our customers with regard to product delivery, service availability etc., are met to the complete satisfaction of our customers.
Competition Has Resulted in Better Process Control
PROCESS: What is your message to the Indian purchase decision makers?
SRINIVASAN: The Indian purchasers are by far very knowledgeable, and strive hard to get maximum return on investment that they make. However, it would help if they look deeply into the long-term returns, while buying a product or solution. This will definitely justify the prices of many suppliers.