Rohde & Schwarz sees good opportunity in the Indian market for its T&M business. Andreas Pauly, executive vice president – Test and Measurement, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG, and Yatish Mohan, managing director of Rohde & Schwarz India, in an interaction with Baishakhi Dutta and Deepshikha Shukla of the EFY Group, share insights on their business strategy in India to facilitate technology growth in the country.
EB: On a global scale, how important is the Indian market for your business?
We have branches in more than 70 countries around the globe with around 11,500 employees. Our overall business last year was valued at Euro 2 billion. We have had a growth rate of around 10 per cent for the last three consecutive years.
India is one of our focus countries where we have invested significantly to grow our business. Recently, we opened a research and development facility here to offer more localised test and measurement solutions. We now have 70 people focused on R&D in India. We have hired specialised people to help our customers in India, and to show our commitment to the market.
We have been active in India for more than two decades now and, in these years, we have achieved significant market share, especially in the test and measurement market of the mobile industry. Currently, the aerospace and defence sector is turning out to be an important and emerging market in India, especially for the new solutions offered by R&S.
In India, apart from the supply, installation and commissioning of systems with local value addition, we also offer many support services like repair and maintenance, calibration, annual maintenance contracts, onsite service, technology trainings, system design, etc.
EB: What is the contribution of the Indian market to your overall revenue?
The Indian market contributes about 3 to 4 per cent of our overall T&M revenue, which is quite good. Earlier, this used to be about 2 per cent. But in the last five to six years, the Indian market has opened a bit more; hence revenue has also increased. T&M continues to be the biggest division for R&S in India, contributing roughly 60 per cent of the total business for the company in the country.
EB: Has R&S recently made any investment in India?
We believe in the long term stability of our business, so we invest roughly 20 per cent of our annual revenue in R&D. In sync with this principle, four years back, we started investing in establishing research and development centres in Bengaluru and Delhi with a small team. Initially, the operation began with a project given by one of our chipset customers for some localised solutions. Now, these centres, with a team size of around 70 engineers, are supporting requirements coming from our product divisions in Munich and other global customers.
Besides R&D, we have also invested heavily in setting up repairs and calibration facilities at Bengaluru and Delhi. Our central calibration laboratory in Bengaluru is well equipped with a host of universal calibration systems to calibrate all R&S equipment up to 50GHz. Shortly, this facility will be further augmented to calibrate equipment up to 67GHz.
EB: Where do you see business opportunities in the Indian market?
Emerging technologies in aerospace and defence, autonomous driving, 5G, etc, are helping us to grow our business worldwide, including in India. The aerospace and defence sector is heavily influenced by the Indian government’s Make in India initiative; so we are considering that sector as a great market for R&S.
India is the second largest smartphone market, and is projected to overtake China over the coming years. Expansion of mobile phone production lines has started in India, and key global players from Korea, US and China are now investing in the country. This is a big opportunity for us as R&S has a leading-edge world over in setting up production lines for mobiles. India is becoming a hub for LTE/IRAT development, testing and support for chipset majors like Qualcomm and Intel. We are a leading solutions provider to these companies for R&D. Local R&D provides customised solutions for chipset companies, which is a value add for sales, increasing RoI and visibility.
From March 2019, the Central government is expected to mandate RF (radio frequency), SAR (specific absorption rate) and EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) testing at Indian test labs for all telecom and IT related products. So, each telecommunication device has to be tested according to standard norms. The Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC) and the telecom industry are currently gearing up to set up a conformance testing lab for devices and network equipment. This will give a huge boost to our business in test houses across India, both for the validation of telecom standards and EMC testing.
Everything connected to electric cars will have many new test requirements. New companies are entering the satellite business and radars are getting more complicated, so the tests must be more intensive. These are the fields where there is great potential of growth for R&S.
Besides T&M, we are also a leading supplier of satellite monitoring systems and radios in India. For radio solutions in aerospace, defence and naval applications, we have partnered with an Indian defence PSU.
EB: How promising is the 5G related business opportunity in India?
The Indian market is still in the warming up phase for testing 5G related chips and equipment. We are, therefore, continuing with promotional workshops for 5G, IoT, connectivity, conformance and production test solutions. Currently, the IoT market is fragmented and unorganised, but will shape up towards the beginning of 2020, bringing in new opportunities for us.
EB: What is your strategy to maintain a strong place in the industry for the next five years?
We ensure a strong foothold by facilitating our customers to focus on their test tasks rather than worrying about test equipment. We build high performance into our equipment along with all the test features, to make our customer’s job as easy as possible.
Quite a few prime technology firms like Intel and Qualcomm have been investing heavily in India for the last three decades and are doing a lot of R&D tasks in India. As we are working closely with them, it is important for us to be in India to be at the customers’ site and sit with them each day to help them fulfil their tasks. Moreover, we not only provide solutions to the Indian technology industry but also to application engineers and researchers; even sales team members in India can customise the solution as per the customer requirements.
We expect the Indian market to open a lot in the next five years. Therefore, besides our offerings for the existing application areas, we are also planning to offer T&M solutions for the emerging business application requirements, such as cyber security to prevent data from being stolen. Any R&S equipment bought today will meet customer needs for the next four to five years.