India still lagging in innovation

“The government shall encourage industry for innovation and development of products by giving incentives,” observes Vivek Kohli, President- Strategic New Business and Projects, Hindusthan Urban Infrastructure Ltd
From being a small industry 20 years back the wire and cable industry has leapfrogged to become a very large industry. Growth is a clear indication that Indian cable companies are innovating and embracing state-of-the-art technologies. In an exclusive interview with EPR, Vivek Kohli, President- Strategic New Business and Projects, Hindusthan Urban Infrastructure Limited talks about innovation and technology surrounding conductors industry. He also discusses where the industry is lacking in terms of innovation and technology.
What makes your company unique?We are one of the leading manufacturers of ACSR, AACSR, AAAC, AAC, and HTLS conductors in the country. We are in the service of the nation since 1959 and have supplied more than 500,000 kms of conductor. We have been catering to the needs of all the electricity boards, power utilities and exporting conductors to more than 23 countries. We have been supplying over head transmission line conductors from 1959 onwards and exported first conductor in 1961. In the last 16 years itself, the company has manufactured and delivered conductors in excess of 240,000 km which is an equivalent of 6 times the circumference of the earth.
When it comes to your product, what would you regard as major technological milestone?We have a presence in all types of conductors like ACSR, AAAC, AAC, and AACSR for 400 KV/500 KV/765 KV/ 800 KV HVDC transmission lines to various utilities including Power Grid Corporation of India. We are poised to supply conductors in ultra high voltage lines for 1,200 KV in future.
We have developed high performance conductors called HTLS Conductors (High temperature low sag )  like TACSR, ZTACIR (STACIR), ACSS, ACSS (TW) and GAP TYPE (GTACSR, GZTACSR). We have tied up with two leading European companies having several years of experience in HTLS conductors for technology and project support.
What kind of innovative safety features your products have?Our continuous and systemic efforts have led to very high level of quality and safety standards in all our products and are recognised with award of ISO-9001:2008, ISO: 14001:2004 and ISO: 18001:2007 certificates by BVQI. Our products are well approved in Europe and have necessary approvals in place for Nordic countries and in National grid of UK. All our products are safe and are regularly tested in international laboratories. We provide world-class manufacturing as well as innovative packaging solutions which passes through all safety standards for Europe and US standards. When our products are used in various projects at national or international level, the customers find it extremely performing product without any safety as well as quality issues.
Where does the Indian industry lack when it comes to innovation and technology?India lags behind in the level of innovation and technology from many countries. The need is that the industry must upgrade continuously in terms of innovation and technology. The government shall encourage industry for innovation and development of products by giving incentives. The regulatory bodies must invite industry and assess industry development programme and the impact it has made and then make necessary changes to promote high performing products. This shall also help industry to bring in new technologies at a faster rate.
Currently, the country lacks in guidelines on use of new technology. We typically focus on lowest price for competitive bidding. This government can incentivise those who develop, innovate and suggest new products and bring in new ideas to promote newer technologies .It is recommended that policies be redefined in the areas of creating green solutions in transmission sector. At the time of conceptualisation of transmission project itself, various bodies can bring in new ideas to promote new technologies and promote ideas that can take care of future needs and bring down per unit transmission costs.
Are there any new products and technology developments in the pipeline?We have a very strategic development plan for new products and currently at the advance stage in bringing in new products other than HTLS conductors. We are working very closely in some R & D projects for development of materials as well as breakthrough technology that can bring in revolution in transmission industry.

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