What are some of the new and promising technology trends that are shaping the cables industry?
Time is changing rapidly and Gupta Power is struggling to keep up with it. Global investors are labelling India as the next big destination in the high voltage (HV) and extra high voltage (EHV) cables industry. It can only be facilitated by the plethora of technology trends that are fast emerging in the country. With an increased focus on renewables, the power cables industry is looking forward to supplying cables for solar and wind power applications in addition to the oil, gas, railways and other specialised segments. Besides, emerging trends such as smart grids and distributed generation have infinite potential to change the demand for cables. Although their long-term commercial viability is yet to be fully realised, they seem promising. E-beam power cables are another area where substantial developments are being made. They are the cables of choice in sectors like railways, shipping and solar as they are high temperature applications and their cross-linked polymeric insulation with lower insulation thickness properties have proven to be game changers.
What are the upcoming opportunities in the power sector that are expected to drive the growth of the cables industry in the next few years?
Opportunities are plenty. It depends on our ability to capitalise on it or let go of it. The transmission and distribution sector will continue to be in focus. The 2.6 lakh crore outlay announced by the government for financial year 2022 will provide a huge stimulus to these two sectors and open a wide range of opportunities. High voltage transmission lines, together with the government’s clear focus to supply uninterrupted power 24×7, are opening up fresh opportunities in the sector. Discoms, which are part of the UDAY scheme, are expected to step up their T&D infrastructure to meet demands. A slew of investments will help the discoms in ramping up their infrastructure to meet demand in the sector. The new opportunities are propelling the demand for domestic wires, cables and lighting in the country, and Gupta Power is ready to tackle the challenges head on.
What are the key issues and challenges impacting the cables industry? What is the way forward for addressing these?
There are a number of challenges that obstruct the growth of the cables industry in India today. The volatility of raw material prices is a major challenge that can eat into profit margins. Even a slight spike in the prices of raw materials such as steel, zinc, copper and aluminium has an adverse effect on the business and can prove to be a huge setback. In addition, the wire and cable industry is heavily dependent on imports from countries such as China, the UAE, Russia, Japan and exchange rate variations can affect the industry considerably. The sector is prone to such vulnerability due to these factors. On top of all, companies are eyeing to provide quality products at a relatively low price.
Besides, delays in giving a green signal to projects due to the multiple clearances and approvals that are required and the scarcity of manpower due to Covid guidelines are all primary hindrances to the growth of the industry. Gupta Power is committed to its customer service and hence has reduced its prices to more reasonable figures without compromising on quality. Developing high quality and innovative smart products that are safe and dependable is the only way to gain credibility in the current market.
What are your top priorities for Gupta Power for the next one to two years? What are the company’s growth plans?
With power comes responsibilities and more so in the power sector where things can change in a matter of time. As the captain of the ship, my role is to guide and navigate my team through tough times. From a small set-up in Bhubaneswar in 1961 to handling a team of more than 1800 employees across various cities in India, we sure have come a long way. In the coming years, our focus will be on the big fundamental of business, that is, delivering quality products at a low price.
The future roadmap entails making Gupta Power a Rs 5,000 crore turnover company by increasing its production capacity and focusing on the latest developments in smart cables, smart conductors, smart LED lightings, smart optic fibre cables and smart GIS substations up to 400 kV. Future alliances, partnerships and expansions are also a part of the plan and we will plan it to the best of our strategic interests. Hopefully, the results will be desirable for our long-term viability.
What is the company’s outlook for the power sector in India for the next few years?
Touching Lives and Empowering People. This is what we believe at Gupta Power.
Rapid urbanisation and growth in building infrastructure are the major factors driving the market. These two factors have impacted the energy and power demand in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Increased investments in smart grids and upgradation of power transmission and distribution systems are expected to drive the market further. We believe that these trends will continue to hold good for future years. With dream projects like the development of 100 smart cities and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat, I see a bunch of growth opportunities for the sector in the near future. The government’s plans to boost renewable energy, solar energy cooperation, public transport, and greater reforms in the power, digital and physical industries will help the sector grow very differently and efficiently. The wire and cable industry aggressively looks forward to achieving promising growth in the coming decade as India aims to become a $5 trillion economy.