HPL sets ambitious export market growth

“Today our penetration level in export markets is very low and we plan to grow three times in next three years in terms of export,” says Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL
HPL is one of the leading manufacturers of electrical protection equipment, switchgears, electronic energy meters and energy management systems. After strengthening its position in the low voltage products segment, the company wants to reinforce its position in the medium voltage products category and export markets. Gautam Seth chalks out HPL’s growth strategy in an exclusive interview with Subhajit Roy.
Established in 1956, HPL is diversified in almost every area of power transmission and distribution. So, what’s next?For years, we have been focusing as a single solution provider for entire low voltage electrical and lighting segments. We are also the largest meter manufacturer in the country. Our basic solutions are all around these and cater every segment like individual consumer, household, commercial, industrial, and outdoor installation. We have been in this business since 1956. Today, HPL has nine factories and around 5,400 people are working with us.
In ELECRAMA 2014, we have launched new products across electrical protection equipment, switchgears, electronic energy meters and energy management systems. We have launched a latest technology MCB ‘Bsafe’ along with a range of distribution boards. We have also introduced new metering solutions and a lot of specialty cables in ELECRAMA. In addition, we have launched a host of new switchgears and switches. Now, our endeavour is to expand these ranges. We have a large R&D team which is continuously working on new products and on upgrading the existing ranges to meet changing needs of our consumers.
What is your commitment in EPC business?HPL has been strong in the utility segment primarily because of the metering. So it moves on as a very natural way as we started taking EPC projects after doing a few larger electrification projects including railway electrification. Presently, we are implementing a 132 kV substation project under EPC near Dehradun.
Do you have any plan to venture in to medium voltage segment?We have studied the medium voltage (MV) market. It is a highly competitive market but may be a natural progression for us. We are yet to take any final decision to get into it.
How is the low voltage market growing?Low voltage market is growing. There are lots of opportunities in India due to overall infrastructure growth and we see the next 10 years in a very upbeat manner. There is the competition and it is going to be stronger.  High efficiency in manufacturing and very good marketing strategy should give competitive edge.
How was the last year?Though 2013 was very competitive,  HPL has maintained around 20 per cent year-on-year growth over the couple of last year, and we should achieve a turnover of ` 1,400 crore in current financial year.
What are you doing to strengthen your position in the market?We have been looking at newer ways to grow. We have been focusing a lot in export also and getting good responses due to our quality and standards. So our strategy is to find newer customers, newer avenue and then grow with the existing set of customers.
We are present in Middle-East, Africa and South-East Asia. So far, we have been pretty successful in export and it has been really picking up.
Do you wish to expand your export market?Middle-East has been very successful market for us and Africa is a big market. We are looking to explore in these two regions. Today our penetration level in export markets is very low and we plan to grow three times in next three years in terms of export.
What is the target you have for 2014?We are looking at achieving around ` 1,400 crore this year. We should be looking at ` 1,800 crore in next two years. Exports will be definitely contributing to the growth.

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