LAPP India’s leadership journey in industrial cables
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the LAPP’s presence in India. From its maiden manufacturing unit in Jigani, Bengaluru in 1998 to LAPP Group’s biggest operation outside of Germany, LAPP in India has indeed traversed a long way. Shweta Nanda of Engineering Review spoke to Marc Jarrault, Managing Director, LAPP India Pvt. Ltd., to know more about the journey so far, significant milestones and the company’sformula for success
Despite stiff competition, LAPP in India has clocked steady growth and positive turnover year-on-year over its 20-year history in India. Keeping up with the technological advancements and evolving customer requirements, the company has grown from strength to strength. Starting out by largely catering to original equipment manufacturers (OEM), the company has significantly expanded its offerings. In the last two decades, LAPP in India has established itself as a top player in the Indian cable and wire market, with remarkable achievements to its credit.
“Foraying into the Indian market has proved to be a rewardingdecision for us at LAPP. The journey has been really exciting and we have seen several positive milestones,” shares Marc Jarrault, Managing Director, LAPPIndia.
Today, LAPP India holds a significant market share in the Indian industrial cable manufacturing segment. It has emerged as a dominant player providing Control, Power and Data products to high-growth industries right from metals and mining to power plants (nuclear &thermal), infrastructure – buildings & metros and automation. The company has been witnessing a steady growth spurt in the past years. “We have been growing at more than 15% in the last four years with an estimated growth of 20% for the current year. We have specialized products manufactured to meet the specific needs of industries including automation, F&B, building infrastructure, railways and metros and many more which have been witnessing considerable growth over the last few years. We have been part of all the major metro projects, key solar energy projects and several plant engineering projects,” informs Jarrault.
The company boasts a strong product portfolio and offers standard products to custom-built solutions to meet customer requirements. Shedding more light on the company’s key products Jarrault says, “In an industry where brands do not hold much value, we are the first cable and connectivity solution provider to have developed strong product brands worldwide. Our brands are ÖLFLEX® universal cable used in control applications, UNITRONIC® data transmission, ETHERLINE® Ethernet technology-based networks, HITRONIC® fibre optic cables, EPIC® connectors, SKINTOP®cable glands, SILVYN® protective cable conduit systems and cable carrier system, and FLEXIMARK®permanent marking system for a clear overview inside a control cabinet. Additionally, we also offer ÖLFLEX®CONNECT customized cable assembly solutionto provide complete end-to-end solution to our customers.”
Innovation at the Core
A firm eye on innovation coupled with a strong focus on quality is at the core ofLAPP India’s success story. The company continually undertakes innovations and performs various standard tests on the cables manufactured. It has brought some leading cutting-edge technology to India in the field of cable and connection technology.
“LAPP has always backed research and development when it comes to innovating products to meet the new age requirements. As part of our R&D initiative we have a full-fledged Innovation and Engineering Centre and state-of the art laboratory in India where we develop new compounds, deploy new raw materials and look at generating more efficient and advanced ways of transmitting energy and power & data. Both our manufacturing facilities in Bengaluru and Bhopal have advanced testing facilities that put every raw material batch received through a rigorous testing process to ensure zero field failure and lower process rejections,” asserts Jarrault.
Apart from manufacturing innovative products, the company also encourages its customers to innovate. As a part of this initiative, itrecognizes industries that use LAPP cables and associated products and solutions for developing innovative products, which have a strong impact on sales, productivity improvement, energy savings and sustainable development with LAPP’s Innovation Award.
Additionally, LAPP believes in fostering innovation with young minds and hence has established Centre of Excellences (CoEs) at engineering institutions across India to support the spirit of knowledge creation, insights, implementation, and imparting thought leadership.
“Our first CoE was established in PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, where PSG academicians, LAPP experts, and students focus on understanding cables and researching on new trends. Our next CoE in RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, consists of a laboratory facility with end-to-end cable research and testing equipment. This center provides scope for students to understand and test cabling technology solutions. Moreover, LAPP has also sponsored their Hybrid car under the Ashwa Racing Foundation by providing them cables for designing the car to compete at national and global events.This year, RV College won 2nd position at Formula Hybrid car race at the U.S.,” updates Jarrault.
Adapting to New Technology Trends
One key reason that helps LAPP stand uniquely among its Indian peers is the fact that it keeps pace with the ever-changing world of technologies. To meet the growing demand of the manufacturers, the companyis focusing on developing solutions for the era of Industry 4.0 and IoT. For Industry 4.0, the company’s focus lies in developing solutions that are designed with data cables that ensure minimal loss of data/signal and uses networking which assures high speed data communication.
“We are actively re-thinking and re-defining the cable and connection technology to meet the challenges of the smart factory of the future. As a step towards this initiative, we have developed highly flexible ETHERLINE® FD Cat. 6A that can transmit highest data rates with consistent reliability in drag chains that are under constant movement with a data rate of 10 Gbit/s. Our next remarkable product for the new age factories is ETHERLINE® EC. These cables are 30% thinner than usual yet robust solutions, suitable for use at sensor level which allows the best bending radii. To further strengthen our offering for smart factories, we launched ETHERLINE® ACCESS, the managed and unmanaged switches. The switches along with data cables and connectors from LAPP’s range of products offering for the industrial network solutions ensures reliable connectivity,” reveals Jarrault.
Commitment towards India market
The company has always sensed huge opportunities in the Indian market and has shown inclination towards manufacturing in India. In fact, LAPP was the first international cable manufacturer to set up operations in India. “For us it was always important to manufacture products within the country as it gives us the edge to produce products designed for Indian needs with international standards at affordable price,” asserts Jarrault.
To serve its customers better and address their timely needs, the company today hastwo manufacturing plants in Jigani, Bengaluru and Pilukedi, Bhopal, 23 sales offices, 5warehouses and 5service points spread across the nation. With this network, it is now successfully offering its huge range of 40,000 products, meeting all the international standards to its customers.
“Both our manufacturing plants have state-of-the-art machineries and follow strict safety norms that facilitate us to have a production capacity of more than 200,000 kms of multi-core cables and 216,000 kms of single core wires per annum to service our 7,000 customers pan India,” informs Jarrault.
As part of its commitment of caring for and protecting the environment both the company’s plants are RoHS certified. The company has an observant quality control system to ensure that at every stage, the manufacturing process is monitored and measured. The focus on quality can be gauged from the fact that the company’s manufacturing plants and sales offices are certified under ISO 9001:2008.
In order to take its customer service to another level, the company has undertaken another commendable initiative by establishing an online store – LAPP eshop – https://shopasia.LAPPgroup.com/in/. This initiative will allow small and medium businesses the ability to buy directly from the manufacturers on a click of a button. “The store has a user experience that allows our customer to do a hassle-free purchase of more than 20,000 LAPP products with an easy and secure payment option and free pan-India shipment. The store was initiated to strengthen our motto, ‘We are where you are’,” elaborates Jarrault.
Besides the customer service and product quality, the company has invested heavily in its supply-chain management to move its heavy-duty goods from the factory to its customer’s base which is spread across the country. “LAPP’s investment is considerable in creating a network of strategically located warehouses for fast moving articles from source to destination,” states Jarrault.
The Way Ahead
The company is eyeing further growth in India, which is slated to emerge as a manufacturing hub for machines and equipment as a part of Make in India campaign. LAPP in India has extensive growth plans and is aiming to reach Rs 1,000 crore in the next four years. It is also planning to increase its active customer base and strengthen its presence in key segments like infrastructure, automation, to name a few. Further, the company is also planning to increase its base from current 5 cities to 20 cities in the retail segment in the next four years.
“This would ensure that we are not only seen as a leading industrial cable manufacturer but also a prominent player in the retail market targeting electricians and end consumers. We are focused on delivering not only products but customized products and solutions to meet customer requirements,” says Jarrault.
The company plans to further continue to strengthen its customer service by setting up more warehouses and service points. “We are expanding our production capacity in Bengaluru and Bhopal plants to meet the growing requirements of our customers, which will help us in broadening our market offerings. We also plan to enlarge our product portfolio that allows our customers to conveniently buy complete connectivity solution from a single source,” adds Jarrault.
The company is also focused on developing solutions for infrastructure segment by offering products that support the Government’s 100 smart cities initiative and for all future metro projects. Clearly, with LAPP’s eyes firmly set on the demands of the Indian market and the company continually focusing on embracing futuristic technologies, it is geared up to take the next big leap in the coming years. As India experiencesrapid infrastructure and manufacturing development, LAPP with its comprehensive product portfolio and world-class customer service is all set to be a part of India’s growth story.