The policy focus needs to shift from the current import-reliable pattern to export-oriented growth,” says Shreegopal Kabra, president, IEEMA. “The electrical equipment industry is sitting on 40 per cent of underutilised capacity and can easily meet the demand without imports.” Kabra, who took over as IEEMA president only in September 2017, wants to undertake initiatives for capacity building for all members of the association, and voice industry concerns on government platforms.
Kabra is also president and managing director of RR Global, a $650 million diversified group focused on infrastructure and electrical solutions. The group has a presence across 80 countries. One of its unique offerings is a low-smoke, zero halogen cable with Unilay Core technology, which he says has given a new dimension to safety standards in India. Kabra is also chairman of the International Copper Association (wire and cable division); executive council member, SAARC Chamber of Commerce, and former chairman, Winding Wire Manufacturers Association.
Kabra’s outlook for the power sector is overall positive, owing to key government initiatives. “Today surplus power of about 4,000 MW is available on a real-time basis at affordable rates on the exchanges,” he says. There are, however, challenges too. “The biggest unresolved issue is the intensified competition in the equipment market, which has had a significant bearing on profit margins. There is a lack of a level playing field for the domestic industry vis-à-vis foreign suppliers.”
Kabra’s corporate involvement has not affected his aspiration to give back to society. In fact, social work seems to be in his DNA. Both his parents have been involved in community service for the past 36 years. Kabra has been actively involved in environmental conservation, health and education. He is president of the Friends of Tribal Society, Mumbai, an organisation devoted to educating tribal and rural children. His commitment to the environment is reflected in the fact that his company uses solar power and energy efficient techniques in its operations. “I hope the industry realises the importance of green solutions,” he says.
Kabra’s wife handles a part of the business operations of RR Global, both at the national and international level. Kabra calls himself a traveller. “I have visited 73 countries so far and hope to complete 80 soon,” he says. Kabra is currently working on his first book, on branding and marketing. “After I complete this, I plan to write several more,” he says.