Wednesday, February 19, 2014: A company that stands for quality, precision and innovation in the field of wireless communication, Rohde and Schwarz is strategically placed across four segments—test and measurement, broadcasting, secure communications, as well as radio monitoring and radiolocation. It is an independent, family-owned group and it entered India in 1995. In a conversation with Srabani Sen of Electronics Bazaar,Nasser Jariwala, head, business development, Rohde and Schwarz, talks about the company’s aim to be amongst the top three test and measurement companies in India by 2015, and the strategies it will follow to achieve this goal.
EB: Over the years, Rohde and Schwarz has acquired a good share of the Indian market. What do you believe are the company’s strengths that helped it achieve this position in India?
Rohde and Schwarz (R&S) has stood for quality, precision and innovation in all fields of wireless communication. The company is strategically based on four pillars—test and measurement (T&M), broadcasting, secure communications, as well as radio monitoring and radiolocation. Thanks to this strategy, we can address diverse market segments including wireless communications, the electronics industry, aerospace and defence, homeland security and critical infrastructure.
As an independent, family-owned group, R&S generates its growth from its own resources. The company is not bound by ‘quarterly thinking’, and this has helped us to plan for the long term and make investment decisions accordingly. We have established our presence in Tier II markets through strong channel partners and resident engineers. Finally, we have a very stable and consistent management team that provides guidance and puts people first. By identifying and promoting young talent in-house, R&S ensures that it has one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry.
EB: What are your strategies for India in 2014?
R&S will continue to build on its inherent strengths of innovative products and a strong brand image. We will be shortly moving to larger premise in Bengaluru which will house our state-of-the art repair and calibration lab, our software development centre and our application and sales team—all under one roof. To be close to the customer, we will make our finely-meshed sales, service and application teams larger by adding more people, and pursue new avenues of growth by offering complete turnkey systems and solutions. Our focus on the new range of ‘value equipment’ will see a big marketing push with an increased presence in exhibitions, tech-fests and road shows.
EB: What technological advances can we expect in the T&M domain in India in 2014?
Wider analysis bandwidths on instruments for testing the latest wireless technologies like 802.11 ac, LTE advanced, analysis of frequency agile signals (radar, tactical radio); frequency hopping signals and linearisation of wide band amplifiers; faster processing/measurement speed to reduce test times; and modular architecture for easy maintenance, will be at the fore. Many instruments are now equipped with sequencer capabilities, which control other instruments to simplify the measurements that require many test instruments. Also, most of the new instruments offer a touch screen for a much easier man-machine interface than the previous generation of instruments.
EB: What are the products R&S will focus on in India in 2014?
We have an interesting and new range of products that will hit the market in 2014. The just-launched RTM 2K series of scopes and the recently introduced FSW 67, which is a high end spectrum and signal analyser with unique features (a frequency range of 67 GHz, plus an integrated pre-amplifier for up to 67 GHz and an analysis bandwidth of 320 MHz, as well as real time analysis capabilities), make up the product range that will be in focus.
To add to this list, we now have the NRP-Z58 coaxial power sensor from DC to 110 GHz with a speed of more than 300 measurements/per second in buffered mode for fast power measurements. It offers the largest dynamic frequency range of 55dB 9-35 dBm to +20 dBm of any thermal power sensor in the market. The new SMW dual path vector signal generator combines a baseband generator, RF generator and MIMO fading simulator, all in a single box with an I/Q bandwidth of 160 MHz. All these and much more add up to an impressive range of new equipment that will provide a unique experience to our users in the high technology domain.
EB: How has the Indian market reacted to your value instruments, particularly for oscilloscopes?
Value instruments are easy to configure, easy to order and easy to deliver. The market is really demanding, and we have to follow its requirements and provide more functionality at economical prices to address the changing needs of the customer.
We have got very positive feedback from our customers, and our sales and market share for scopes proves that. Our product line includes scopes ranging from 70 MHz to 4 GHz offering customers a choice with three different classes, namely, the HMO Series, the RTM Series and the premium RTO Series.
The HMO series of oscilloscopes can scale from 300 MHz to 400 MHz and 500 MHz. For example, if a customer currently needs 300 MHz, he can order that. However, if he needs 500 MHz later, he can easily upgrade the instrument in his lab.
Our scopes come with a wide range of probes and options to address varied industry applications. The newly launched RTM 2K Series with the power measurement option has been very well received by the electrical and electronics industry, especially by companies that test SMPS (switched mode power supplies). With our scopes on rate contract, we have been able to make an entry in the government business at many key defence labs and research organisations. We will be definitely adding more products to the scopes family in this business year and aim to be amongst the top three players by the end of 2015.
EB: Do you see a rise in the demand for T&M equipment in India in 2014?
We expect the demand to continue to grow at around 5-8 per cent in 2014, which is the same as last year. Maybe the investment policies that are on hold would be more clear and relaxed after the general elections in May 2014, and this could provide an impetus and spur infrastructure spending.
EB: What would be the factors fuelling this demand?
In my opinion, the economy looks to have bottomed out and has shown signs of improvement in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2013-14. There would definitely be an increase in government spending, and the recovery of the Indian rupee will encourage private investors. There is also an urgency to kickstart mega infra projects in telecom, broadcasting, electronics manufacturing as declared in the National Electronic Policy.
EB: Do you see a rise in demand for R&S products in 2014? Which sectors do you think this demand will come from?
Yes, we see significant demand coming from wireless communication, aerospace and defence, education and even broadcasting projects, which would drive the growth of R&S in the coming year.
EB: Is it possible that low-end value instruments can erode the market for high-end value instruments?
You are perfectly right; this can happen. Some low-end value instruments could substitute high-end instruments in the near future. However, at R&S, we currently have strong differentiators for our high-end equipment, which helps customers to decide as per their testing needs. We provide consultation and guidance to help them decide on the best instrument to solve their measuring problems.
Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine