While the T&M industry is heavily dominated by MNCs, The Motwane Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd, located in Nashik (Maharashtra), is among a few domestic companies that have created a mark for themselves. A leading designer and manufacturer of high performance, high precision electronic T&M equipment in India, Motwane has a well established inhouse R&D centre, and has been developing products with the latest technologies while adhering to the best manufacturing practices. Its pan India presence and strong marketing and sales distribution network gives the company a wider reach. Speaking to Richa Chakravarty of Electronics Bazaar, Prashant Das, head-marketing & sales, The Motwane Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd, elaborates on the company’s R&D activities, marketing strategies and contribution to the industry.
EB: What is the current trend in the T&M sector, globally?
As the global economic climate places additional constraints on budgets, testing engineers are being challenged to identify ways to test devices more accurately and efficiently than before. Current trends in the T&M sector are moving towards software defined instrumentation, parallel processing technologies, and new methods for wireless and semiconductor testing. These are significantly improving the efficiency of T&M systems by helping engineers develop faster and more flexible automated test systems while reducing their overall testing time. Companies worldwide and from all industry segments are seeing significant benefits from applying these methods and technologies.
EB: What are the latest technological advances happening in the T&M space?
The biggest advances in test equipment include the digitisation of signals and computer analysis capabilities. High performance portable instruments is another area attracting interest. In today’s world, digital technology enables real-time displays and instantaneous results once a test is over. LAN eXtended for Instrumentation (LXI) is another recent development worth taking note of. This technology standard allows the user to plug-and-play test devices from different manufacturers. It takes advantage of new multiprocessors, DSP and FPGA processors, multi-displays, real time processing, terabytes of data storage and networking to provide customers with high performance testing products. Apart from this, construction and commissioning of new wireless, industrial, automotive and medical systems can be considered an extension of the manufacturing process, including testing.
EB: In comparison to other leading MNC players, where do you think domestic companies rank in the T&M space?
India is a favoured destination for investment, and the presence of top MNCs has created healthy competition among all the existing players. This has led to the introduction of new technology, and domestic players are now facing the challenge of reducing the product development time. By virtue of this, domestic players are not only able to produce world class products but reduce their cost of manufacturing to almost half that of their foreign counterparts. Domestic players are optimising resources and using the best manufacturing practices to enhance their quality to match global standards. This, in turn, allows them to look beyond the domestic market and pitch their products in the global market.
Indian companies like Motwane, Rishabh and Eltel are a few such players catering to many overseas markets, from Europe to America, where stringent product standards are followed.
EB: How would you define Motwane’s contribution to the T&M industry?
We are one of the engineering companies that developed the indigenous DMM way back in the 1960s. With a huge customer base built over more than 50 years, we have established ourselves as a technology company that believes in a knowledge based customer relationship. We develop our products with customer involvement. Some of our product offerings are purely application based to meet a customer’s requirement. Building an ecosystem around products and customers in this industry is our sole objective.
We have always built a huge talent pool that gets involved in application, product support and technical sales to cater to the industry. Product training, industrial collaboration, supporting educational institutions, etc, are some of our significant contributions to this industry. We have developed products for the safety of the electrical linesman, which are being used by many electrical utilities across India, saving many lives. We have joined hands with two premier power engineering institutions in India to work towards popularising the best practices to be adopted in the industry.
EB: What differentiates Motwane from its competitors?
Motwane is a 100-year old brand in India. Our company is known as a knowledge based engineering organisation that manufactures products for engineers that are rugged, accurate and durable. We offer products that have set the benchmark in this industry like the 8 X MARK III multimeter, which was introduced in the 1970s and people still use the product. Our safety ohmmeter, which caters to the defence industry, is in use even after 30 years. We also have products that cater to specific applications in atomic research organisations. We were the first to develop the atomic meter reading (AMR) system in India and install it at IPCL (now Reliance Petrochemicals) way back in the 1990s. This is still regarded as one of the best AMR systems in operation in India, till date.
There are many such unique products that set us apart from our competitors. As we say, Motwane is an engineering company for engineers. We understand the exact need of engineers and manufacture products to meet their precise needs. The philosophy of a low cost of ownership still underlines all our products, and we promise to give the best and latest technology at a very affordable price. To help serve our clients better, we have built a huge direct sales and application network across the country—the largest in the T&M industry in India today.
EB: What are the latest R&D initiatives taken by you?
Apart from our core area of expertise in general purpose measuring solutions, we have forayed into the high voltage arena with a series of T&M products developed in our research lab. We are building our capabilities in order to offer complete solutions in electrical insulation, low resistance and safety. These products are under test and would be available to the customer soon. Apart from this, we are gearing up to launch products for online condition monitoring and remote accessibility to enable preventive maintenance through web based solutions.
EB: What are your strategies to capture new markets in India and abroad?
Over the years, we have established industry specific expertise within the team to cater to specific segments. There are a few areas that we will focus on with specific product ranges, which are developed in our lab with input and feedback from the end user. We would like to build these segments through knowledge percolation and marketing based activities before entering this segment completely. The broader road map is already set for the action to take place.
For the overseas market, we are planning to consolidate our existing presence and enhance our reach across the globe. With products developed for the global market, we are inviting overseas business partners to join hands with us to market our products in different countries. At the same time, we are building our own sales network by recruiting professionals in more strategic locations. By the end of the next financial year, we are expecting to roll out our products in all continents through our direct and indirect sales network.
EB: As the industry is mostly dominated by MNC players, what initiatives or strategies should domestic players adopt to have a strong foothold in the T&M space?
The product and the customer are the key to any market. Understanding exact customer needs, developing products with the latest technologies and adhering to the best manufacturing practices are some of the vital areas one must look at while aiming for a strong foothold in the T&M space. With customers becoming more technology savvy, it is essential for all the domestic players to develop high quality products and adapt to the quick changes happening across the world. It is important for domestic players to create a market space for themselves by enhancing their product range and giving complete solutions to the end user. The focus should be on strong customer relationships, competitive prices and good after-sales support to influence customer buying decisions.