Consul sets to reach zenith in power conditioning company

Consul sets to reach zenith in power conditioning company“We believe in a few years, we can achieve our vision of becoming the leading Indian power backup and power conditioning company,” says Sriram Ramakrishnan, CEO, Consul Consolidated Pvt. Ltd.Consul Consolidated is looking to scale the business multifold in turnover over the next few years. In a conversation, Sriram Ramakrishnan shares how Consul has set the foundation to achieve its objective of becoming India’s best.A leader, a motivatorOne characteristic that every leader should possess is the ability to constantly challenge the team as it helps to improve the performance and brings out the best in every individual. Of course, a leader must clearly set the vision and goals for the company, align the team to the goals and create an environment that encourages transparent communication, team work and focus on performance. The leader must challenge the team and at the same time act as a motivator when the business environment gets tough.Biggest achievementConsul Consolidated completed the 100 acquisition of Megatech, a Pune-based UPS inverter and solar power products manufacturer, in July 2013. Megatech product range complements the existing range of products offered by Consul. This acquisition positions Consul as one of the only Indian manufacturers to offer a full range of power conditioning and power backup products including stabilizers, UPS, inverters, solar power conditioning units (PCUs) and energy-saving products supported by a pan India service network of company trained services engineers in 75 locations. In last year, another major transition was transforming Consul from a promoter-run company to a professionally managed company after the investment by Peepul Capital Advisors in 2012. With the new investors and professional team in place, Consul is looking to scale the business multifold in turnover over the next few years. Last year, the total turnover of the company was Rs 150 crore and the foundation has been set to achieve its objective of becoming India’s premier power backup and power conditioning company. Over the last 1 year, Consul has added several new products to its kitty. From Megatech, it has access to a very unique product called ELOS (Emergency Lift Operating Systems), a solution for lifts that will help run the lifts and elevators even during power outages.
This product is a proven power backup solution, supporting over 5,000 lifts in Mumbai and Pune. Consul is now marketing this across India supported by its Pan India sales and service network. Another new product Consul launched is iPEMS – ATM (Integrated Power and Energy Management System for ATMs), an exclusive solution to manage and monitor the physical infrastructure in an ATM site, including security from a remote location. The company has also launched Consul Solar power packs that will provide power backup when sun is available and from the energy stored in batteries during night and cloudy days. The solar power packs range between 500Wp to 10KWp and come with built-in with MPPT chargers with superior algorithm and intelligent battery management system that ensures that people can extract the maximum power from solar panels even during cloudy days.Fighting against depreciating rupeeThe last 2 years have been challenging for its customers in the manufacturing sector due to uncertain market conditions for their end products coupled with infrastructure spending slowdown due to government policies and lack of incentives. This has meant that the company has seen a drop in demand for its power backup and power conditioning products from the manufacturing sector. This has forced Consul to focus on cost-reduction initiatives so that the company can pass on some of this benefit to its customers to retain and grow its market share. Also, Consul is focusing on other sectors like healthcare, ATM and banking where investments are continuing. Here its ability to provide pan India support to customers has been a unique value proposition for its customers, and this has helped grow its share in these segments. Another major challenge recently has been on account of the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. This has impacted the cost of raw materials and components which are dependent on imports. Consul is not able to pass this cost increase to its customers due to the challenging market conditions where demand is decreasing. Consul continues to focus on local sourcing and manufacturing to partially offset the impact of the depreciating rupee.Maintaining employee engagementThe most important decisions relates to how to maintain employee engagement during changing time in the organisation as Consul is looking to aggressively grow the business multifold from an era where growth was nominal. The company needs all employees — new and old to be fully engaged. Consul is putting a lot of efforts on training so that every employee is better equipped to contribute. Consul is a big believer in empowering employees so that each one can takes full ownership of their decisions. Consul will also support them even if some mistakes are made in this process.Success formulaEach business is unique and there is no one formula for success. Ultimately, one has to understand the strengths and weakness of the people, products and process in the organisation and also effectively understand the market opportunities and challenges to identify the areas where the business can grow profitably in a sustained manner over time.Putting industry back on growth trackIn a developing economy like India, the government initiative and incentives can play an important role to get the growth engine restarted. Despite the best of entrepreneurs in the country, the challenges to grow a business in India are plenty. The tight credit cycle, high-borrowing rates and depreciation of the rupee have made the industry environment very challenging. The power backup and power conditioning industry flourishes when other industries are in the growth and expansion mode as its products help increase the uptime and productivity of its customers which is more critical when business and market are growing. In this context, government initiatives coupled with general improvement in market sentiments will help get the power backup and conditioning industry back on its growth mode.Addressing uninterrupted power supplyIndia’s power generation situation is not likely to improve anytime soon due to delays in construction of new thermal and nuclear power plants. This means over the next 5 years, the gap between power generation and demand will continue to worsen and industries and consumers will be looking at alternate sources of secondary or backup power to keep their operations running during power disturbances and outages. This will provide opportunities for battery backed up power systems like inverters and solar power plants. Although the solar power industry in India is at a very nascent stage, the awareness is increasing. Today not only big industries or factories are opting for solar energy resources but even residential townships or even single domestic houses are considering a solar power backup system. Also, various state governments are coming up with subsidies to increase the use of renewable energy. Today some companies in India like Consul have developed power backup solutions — both conventional inverters and solar — which can scale from a few hundred watts to a few hundred kilowatts providing a scalable secondary power backup solution, and this will help address the growing need for uninterrupted power supply in India.Consul in futureConsul ‘s vision is to become the preferred power advisor for its customers by providing cost-effective, innovative, energy-efficient and reliable power backup and power-conditioning products, services and solutions. Consul is building up a comprehensive product line supported by an ever expanding pan India sales and service network. Consul is also investing heavily into R&D for developing products for Indian power conditions in India through its DSIR approved R&D facility. Consul believes in a few years, it can achieve its vision of becoming the leading Indian power backup and power conditioning company.

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