The new plant will enable us to enhance our production capacity and we are looking at significant exports from India.
Alok Kishore, CEO, WAGO Pvt Ltd
Incepted in 1951, WAGO is a global brand of German origin manufacturing electrical interconnections and automation products. How do you see the acceptance of German quality in India?
Talking from the quality perspective,the top three companies in this field are German and all these companies are well-accepted in India. As far as WAGO is concerned, we have brought in our own ingenious technology. Our competition is primarily screw-type connection technology whereas we provide spring type connection technology – both are very well accepted. We have our own niche for the market depending upon the applications.
How do you compete in the market in terms of pricing?
Pricing is definitely an issue in India as it being a very price conscious market. But we also believe that there are clients who prefer reliability and the quality of a product over price. WAGO products come with spring pressure technology which is maintenance free that means one can fit and forget. There are areas where this kind of a feature becomes absolute necessity especially where there is vibration, our ‘fit and forget’ interconnectors are ideal. In India, railways, elevators and escalators among others are major potential market for us. Another upcoming market for us is factory automation where vibration inside the machines is observed. In all these places, people do not really worry too much for the pricing because they can’t afford a machine downtime resulted by loose and inappropriate wiring connection.
Could you tell more about your newly launched WAGO 221?
At ELECRAMA, we have introduced WAGO 221 Series Compact Splicing Connectors – the landmark in wiring connection technology. WAGO 221 installation connectors are ideal for making safe, fast and easy connections as against connecting wires using insulation tapes. With all its advantages and suitability to multiple applications, 221 can be used in any type of establishment like home, factory, office, and outdoors.
Making connections with WAGO 221 is very simple; you don’t damage the wire, just strip the wire put it inside the slot and the connection is done with pushing the lever down. The product is ideal for space-restricted applications. Installation is made much easier, while providing additional freedom for future expansions. It has high current capability and withstands high temperatures.
How do you see the demand for 221?
WAGO 221 demand will come significantly from lighting industry where a lot of wiring and connections are involved. Typically,in India,people still use tape for wiring connections in every environment including the hazardous ones. So, our competition is not with any other technology player,but the insulation tape.
Every time a wire is twisted for connection using tape, the wire gets damaged. And after 3-4 times of connections, one also needs to cut the wire. In a long run,it’s not the cost of the product that matters but the cost of the wire and the time needed to unmake and make a connection thereby interrupting uptime. WAGO 221 negates the same.
How are you going to place this product in the market?
We have to work at two levels to create demand, first making people aware that there’s an alternate available to tape and second, how easy, fast and safe is to use this product as compared to traditional ways of making wiring connection. Making safe connection is the larger message because connections of wires using tape involve risk of electric shock and short circuit whereas our 221 completely rules out these possibilities. Further, we talk about making the entire installation much more economical and easy. We understand it’s not so easy to change the far rooted mindset overnight however, I am pretty sure that we should be able to do this with continuous and consistent awareness programs.
Moving forward,what will be your target for 2019?
We have grown by around 90 per cent in four years in the business. In 2018 too, we are targeting a significant growth. Also, we are in the process of setting up anew factory in India and have already bought land in the city of Vadodara. It will be a global scale plant with an investment of around Rs 300 crore. We expect to start building up the plant this year and hope to complete it in 18-24 months.
The new plant will enable us to enhance our production capacity and we are looking at significant exports from India. As of now, about 10 per cent of our production is exported to other countries and once the Vadodara plant comes up the export volume will be around 25-30 per cent.