EB: When did Hongfa start its direct operations in India? And what led to this decision?
Hongfa began its direct operations in India in July 2008 with the aim to delve deeper into the Indian market. Hongfa has perhaps the widest range of products that any relay manufacturer can offer Indian companies. And of course, there has been no major impact in India as a result of the economic slowdown. Therefore, we are in a unique position to offer custom made solutions in a cost effective manner to Indian customers. We have developed excellent sales and application support operations in all major cities across the country to achieve a bigger market share in India.
EB: What is the USP of Hongfa products?
Our greatest USP is that we offer highest quality products at cost effective prices, delivered on time, every time. Because of this, Hongfa has booked orders in India till December 2010, for a few fast moving series of relays and also for sugar cube relays till December 2011, from across the globe.
EB: The general perception is that Chinese goods are of low price and low quality. What is your opinion, as Hongfa is a Chinese product company?
This perception does not apply for the Chinese relay manufacturing industry because relay is a very sensitive part in any application and has to meet stringent quality norms. Though Hongfa is a Chinese company, it has always given top priority to quality and has got all international approvals on quality systems. We have maintained the No 1 position among Chinese relay manufacturers for the last 16 years and are ranked fourth among global relay manufacturers, based on annual reports and total turnover.
In fact, Hongfa products are exported to 67 countries across the globe, which is another proof of our high standards. Hongfa maintains one of the highest quality standards and is regarded as one of the best in the world by many international brands for whom we offer OEM and product support. We are held in high esteem as a formidable yet quality focused brand from China. We have five manufacturing facilities in China at Xiamen, Donglin, Jinhai, Jinghe and Zhongjiang.
EB: What is your share of the Indian relay market?
Hongfa’s share in the Indian relay market is presently around 12-15 per cent and has been on the rise consistently.
EB: What are your strategies to reach the No 1 position in the Indian relay market?
We use a four step formula. First, a highly data driven approach wherein we analyse each customer’s requirements and provide critical data consistently from all markets to our research and manufacturing teams to ensure that our products are in line with changing and demanding market scenarios. This enables us to compete well in the market and be ahead of others.
Second, we offer innovative solutions for value addition, which means that our extensive R&D and testing facilities enable us to innovate and re-engineer solutions to address complex customer issues and problems at all levels of manufacturing. The localised technical support and services enable our engineers to lend a helping hand to customers during mission critical scenarios.
Third, we offer our customers JIT deliveries with cost efficiency benefits, especially for the small and medium manufacturers segment. This provides greater value addition ensuring efficient inventory management at the process/assembly lines. And fourth, we do contract manufacturing for other brands. We sell sugar cube relays and a few specialised series of relays as piece parts to the relay manufacturers in western India. They assemble, stamp their own brand names and promote the brand to end customers in western India and overseas.
EB: Do you have special pricing for Indian customers?
Yes, Hongfa has special prices for Indian customers, which depends on overall volumes, quantity per shipment, payment terms, etc.
EB: What are your target verticals in the Indian market? Please name some of your customers in western India?
We serve power electronics, consumer electronics, telecom and automotive segments, for their smart meter applications, UPS systems, inverters, control panels and power management. Hongfa is also targeting industrial automation, medical electronics and defence applications. All major power, automotive and telecom companies are our customers.
EB: What are your best selling and unique products?
Hongfa is a leader in power, automotive and telecom applications. We are the largest manufacturers of sugar cube relays. Hongfa’s leading products are latching relays for metering applications, hermetically sealed relays for defence and aerospace applications, solid state relays (SSRs) and power modules, relay sockets, contactors, electronic switches such as TACT, and micro switches and metal domes. For a few series of Hongfa’s automotive relays, the lead time is around 54 weeks because of the great demand for that particular specialised series.
EB: What are the various certifications Hongfa has been awarded?
All Hongfa products have international certification like UL, VDE, CSA, CUR, TUV and CQC. The company has also been accredited for various quality systems like ISO9001, ISO/TS16949, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, GJB9001A and IECQ QC 080000. Hongfa has also been awarded the prestigious rating of high quality products exempt from national inspection and “National Export Oriented Enterprise of Automotive Components” by the minister of commerce of the People’s Republic of China. Our’s is the only company that has been awarded these honours in the Chinese relay industry. Hongfa’s testing centre is the biggest relay testing and analysing laboratory with most advanced technology in western China. The centre is approved by CNAS, America’s UL as well as WTDP laboratories. It has also been approved by Germany’s VDE as a TDAP Lab, as the only one in China and the sixth in the world.
EB: What are your future plans for the Indian market? What are your investment plans for India?
Hongfa is planning to expand networks across the country by opening branches and distributorships to strengthen and speed up response times. We will increase our manpower in due course. And if demand and volumes grow for the fast moving relay series in India, we will also open up manufacturing facilities/R&D activities in India to cater to our customers. We may set up our own manufacturing facility for sugar cube relays, signals, a few automotive relays and other products.
EB: What does the Hongfa product range comprise?
Hongfa’s product range includes signal relays, power relays, automotive relays and modules, SSRs and power modules, latching relays, hermetically sealed relays, and relay sockets. Hongfa also produces low voltage devices such as temperature controllers, electric switches and sensors, etc. Hongfa produces more than 130 series of relays with more than 30,000 standard specifications. It has an annual production capacity of 1 billion pieces of relays.