Rajesh Kumar, director, marketing, electricals sector, Eaton, brings to the table nearly three decades of experience in manufacturing and marketing. In his current role, he gives strategic direction to business and product management as well as leads the marketing function of Eaton’s electrical sector in India. “Eaton innovation is helping customers solve their most critical electrical power management challenges across industries and around the world,” he remarks. Prior to this, he worked in leadership roles with companies such as GE, C&S Efacec, CAE Inc. and Kirloskar Electric.
On the state of the sector, Kumar notes, “Traditionally, the distribution segment has grown at a steady pace. As economic growth picks up and electricity demand increases, I expect the segment to gain further momentum.” However, the precarious state of discoms is a cause for concern. “Of late, we have seen increased competition from the unorganised sector in the low-voltage equipment segment. While this does build a healthy industry ecosystem, the focus on product quality and safety should not be compromised. On the technology front, there is an upward curve around awareness of connected and digital technologies; however, implementation may take longer.”
Kumar believes that the emergence of IoT, renewables growth and use of smart technologies are the key ongoing trends, but these come with their own challenges. “With 125 billion connected devices projected to occupy the grid by 2030 and a 600 per cent increase in IoT cyberattacks from 2016 to 2017, just providing power isn’t enough. It must be supplied reliably and securely. In view of this, our products are built to meet stringent third-party safety standards.”
For Kumar, his career transition from sales and marketing to product quality in 2006, while working with GE, was particularly memorable. “There was a shift from demanding quality to delivering quality. It was the most wonderful time, where I could add value to a product from a customer perspective,” he says. Kumar follows a blend of task-oriented and people-oriented management. He gives independence to his teammates but is always available for guidance. He gives a lot of value to a work-life balance. “In today’s world, where there is so much happening around you, it is important to maintain a work-life balance to reduce stress and prevent burnouts at the work place and at home.” He likes travelling and watching movies. “I can watch Sholay multiple times even now,” he quips.