The leading Japanese industrial manufacturing firm has big plans for India. In an exclusive chat with Mint, Managing Director of TMEIC Industrial Systems India Private Limited (TMEIC India), Hemant Joshi, shared the roadmap.
Japanese giants Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation joined hands in 2003 to form Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC). The company provides unique systems solutions including variable frequency drives, motors, photovoltaic inverters and advanced automation systems for a wide range of industrial applications. TMEIC India was set up in 2010 and has managed to make its presence felt in the sector.
In this relatively short span, the tech corporation has managed to take over the Indian market with Japanese manufacturing customised to suit the needs of Indian consumers.
We caught up TMEIC India’s Managing Director, Hemant Joshi, and discussed the organisation’s future plans for India.
Q1: Tell us a little bit about the company’s business in India.
We started operations in 2010. Initially, we were trying to sell the products manufactured at Japan’s factories. It was challenging in its own way in terms of cost and the time required. The parent company decided to invest in India in terms of setting up factories, which was a significant solid commitment TMEIC made to the Indian business. This was based on the assessment that India is a large and challenging market that requires a lot of local support, and manufacturing was a big part of that support. The market is large and competitive, but it is opening up for higher quality technological products.
TMEIC really comes in with a lot of experience and the base that it has already established in Japan and other worldwide markets. We definitely see this as a big growth market with its own challenges, but the belief is that if we succeed in India then we have a template for succeeding in other parts of the world.
Q2: Where do you have manufacturing facilities in India? Which is the largest facility in Japan?
In Japan, the facilities are set up according to different product lines. So, all of them are probably of the same size. We have four facilities in Japan, specifically two in Tokyo, one in Kobe and one in Nagasaki. In India, our facility is in Tumakuru, right beside Bangalore. We have two state-of-the-art facilities in the same complex. One manufacture rotating machines, which include induction motors, and the second facility manufactures power electronic equipment. The latter essentially has three product lines: renewable grid-connected solar inverters; large UPS systems which are used in data and telecom centres; and medium voltage variable frequency drives for controlling the motor speeds.
The core technology comes from our parent company in Japan. We customize that technology for the Indian market, as there are some unique requirements. We adapt that technology, design the products keeping Indian consumers in mind and manufacture them here.
Q3. How do you compare yourself with the competition and where does the Japanese edge lie?
The Japanese edge lies in two key areas, namely, good quality throughout and technology that makes the product reliable. TMEIC India brings the approach to quality to the Indian manufacturing operations. The Indian product is exactly same in quality as the product produced by our Japanese factories. Quality is one of our key differentiators, and we work really hard to ensure that we maintain the quality on all levels.
Owing to the reliability of the product, a lot of customers who have worked with TMEIC in the past have stayed with us. The high retention value is dependent on the reliability of the product, operation plan and high quality that it brings in.
Q4: What is the organisation’s business strategy in India?
Once the manufacturing facilities were set up, we were trying to leverage it to bring in high quality and reliability in products and technology into the Indian market. Our focus is on all the key growth sectors. Power industry is cyclical in nature; it goes up and down and our job is to work through those cycles while also applying local strengths. We also want to customise the products according to Indian requirements and offer them as solutions to consumers. It has worked well for us.
Q6: How are you leveraging Indian talent?
It all comes down to understanding the needs of the Indian market. One needs to customise Japanese products for the Indian market and that is where the Indian talent pool comes in. We have the ability to understand the Japanese technology, adjust it to make it suitable for the Indian market and make products with revised configurations. Whether it’s in design, manufacturing or vendor management, this is the gap that the Indian talent pool bridges.
The other core element is how the parent company utilises the Indian experience for global product development. Our teams in India are involved with the R&D teams of the parent company in supporting global product development. Indian engineering talent is being used to accelerate some of global developmental activities.
Q7: What is the company’s contribution to R&D in India?
One aspect involves adapting Japanese technology and modifying it to suit the Indian market. The Indian R&D team members have been trained in Japan and they help in modifying products without compromising on the core values of the Japanese technology. The second contribution is being part of the global teams for developing cutting-edge products for the global market. This team is small, but very critical for the development of TMEIC global business.
Q8: What is your opinion on the ‘Make in India’ initiative?
It benefitted us in a couple of ways. It helped us in the initial phase of our business to get the factories up and running quickly. Secondly, the government has been giving preference in terms of investing in quality manufacturers in critical sectors of India and we have benefitted from it. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has also helped India get access to good technology products locally.
Q9: How do you think your company is contributing to the social or regional welfare of the country?
We would like to see ourselves as an essential player in the Indian market based on the capacity we have set up here to produce state-of-the-art products. We intend to start introducing renewable alternatives as the market grows in India. We also have an entire ecosystem and work with a lot of sub-vendors, who act as our suppliers. As we grow our manufacturing capabilities, we ensure that our sub-vendors also grow with us. It helps them to enhance their own capabilities. Thus, ancillary industries grow along with us.
In the age of digitisation, technology holds the key for the social, industrial and economic development of a country. TMEIC India’s efforts are not only driving us in the right direction, but also leading us to a future that’s sustainable, renewable and secure.
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