Bourns to replicate its China growth model in India

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John Kelly, general manager, industrial segment, Bourns

EB: How important is the Indian market for Bourns?

India is considered one of the emerging markets globally, and Bourns is placing additional focus on this country. Recently, we have engaged with local companies and other supporting members of the industry to understand the latest developments in India and to identify strategies for growth.

EB: From which market segments in India do you foresee maximum demand for your circuit protection devices?

As Bourns has extensive circuit protection knowledge and one of the broadest product portfolios in the industry, we can support virtually any market need. In India, we see potential high growth in industrial sectors such as power management, alternative energy and smart metering. In the telecom sector, infrastructure investment in base stations is driving increased demand.

EB: How has Bourns’ journey in India been so far?

Our growth in India has been slow but steady. We have achieved an average yearly growth rate of about 20 per cent but we are not satisfied with this. We hope to, at least, double our sales revenue in a few years. One of the reasons for our visit is to understand how we can achieve this growth. We plan to go ahead by being selective and focusing on high growth areas like LED, energy meters and solar inverters.

EB: How do you see Bourns’ position in India as compared to where it is in China?

We have a strong team in China and our growth there has been excellent. Our goal is to achieve the same success through strong customer relationships in India. I have every confidence in Bourns’ ability to meet this area’s requirements.

EB: How do you plan to do this?

We plan to replicate a comparable model in India that we have used successfully in China. Similar to our strength in China would be to develop a deep local presence in India. We have been meeting our customers and we have got in touch with MNCs in the electronics domain in India. We have developed a clear understanding of their requirements, and have identified how we can help them differentiate their products. Through a larger local presence in India, Bourns can provide the superior design and technical support we are known for worldwide.

EB: Are you focusing on India only as a market, or do you plan to harness its engineering talent?

For now, we are considering India only as a market for sales and technical support. We are aware of the opportunities here in the form of engineering talent. Bourns is always looking for strategic ways to grow the company, so we will carefully consider design or R&D centres in the future.

EB: What are your immediate plans for India now?

We will be investing in our local technical presence in India. With a deeper understanding of our customers’ requirements and by providing high value design support, Bourns will be in a position to further expand in target market segments.

EB: Are you seeking only customers or are you also on the look out for business partners/trade channel partners in India?

Since the Indian market is unique and varied, the trading business plays an important role in the distribution channel. We are in the process of selecting good local partners that have demonstrated success in specific market segments. Bourns has four major distributors in India. They have been representing Bourns for a decade, and we will continue to work with them to grow the market. We are also actively visiting customers to understand their future requirements.

EB: What value will Bourns provide to local partners representing the brand?

Bourns plans to provide local technical and sales support to our partners. Next year, we plan to build a technical and customer support team in India to respond to customers’ needs. Bourns’ brand name and strong approved vendor list position in the global industry would be an attraction to local partners.

EB: What USP does brand Bourn offer to its customers?

Bourns develops innovative technologies and products that meet market needs. Our USP lies in the fact that we focus on what the market needs, and we are always looking for ways to add value to products.

EB: Many Japanese firms seem to prefer Chennai, among Indian cities, for their country HQ. Any thoughts on this?

Our objective is to be as close to our customers as possible, and most of our customers are in Bengaluru. This is where design for new products happens at the OEM/IDH design offices. The headquarters of our four distributors are also located in Bengaluru. We may gradually expand to other cities.

EB: How do you compete and reach out to design engineers in Japan or across the globe to inform them about your latest products? How do you influence or empower them to try out your products?

We place our field application engineers in each region to work closely with customers on their design requirements. This technical expertise provides the front line support to the design engineers and serves as an antenna for new product development. In addition, we provide a test service to our customers at our lab, and offer evaluation boards and design kits. Our website is also becoming a design resource for our customers, as we provide tools such as PortNotes and videos that illustrate how to protect sensitive electronic equipment. Of importance, too, our product managers also frequently visit design engineers to discuss how to align our product roadmap with their needs.

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