Marriage between what to do and what society needs

 “Our focus will be at the metering side at first, wherein we will try to focus on our strong products such as AC Latching relays and  sensing solutions for optimal energy management and reduction of power losses,” says Vinod Raphael, Country Business Head, Omron Electronic & Mechanical Components Division, India
Omron is focussing on India, creating new solutions and products for the energy market by integrating its different business units. The sensing company has also decided to contribute in minimising the power losses with its sensing technology and solutions. In an exclusive interview with Subhajit Roy, Vinod Raphael shares how Omron is bridging between what it wants to do and what the society needs.
How do you look at the opportunities for Omron’s business regards to the smart grid initiative?Our corporate philosophy is to work for the benefit of the society and people. All our products, concepts and solutions are based on how it can benefit to the society. That is the reason why Omron has chosen the energy markets. We understand that at the macro level, there is big gap between the demand and supply of power. When you go in the micro level, it is not exactly the issue with the demand and supply alone; a lot of losses happen on the transmission and distribution side too.
We have both sensing and control technology, so we try to conceptualise the concept in which both our strong points (i.e. sensing and control) can help to make new products. This, we feel, can eventually help the government and the distribution companies to reduce the power losses. We are working on a very small portion of smart grids, as we know smart grid is a big infrastructure altogether. Our focus will be at the metering side at first. As far as the market is concerned, I think everyone knows that the smart grid and smart meters market is set to grow hugely. It’s the beginning at the moment, but I think the government is very ambitious with its plans. It’s said that by 2027, all the households in India will have smart meters. The market is huge, and our solutions will benefit the power issues of the society. That is the reason there is marriage between what Omron wants to do and what the society needs.
Will your particular focus be on making smart meters?We do not make smart meters, but we make products which fit into smart meters such as AC power latching relays, sensors and switches. Omron is a company which has diversified interests with a lot of different kinds of solutions and products. At the end of the day, we are a company driven by market need. We identify this as the starting point of what to do first, but in the long run Omron as a corporate will look to the total energy market in India. We work towards combining business units and divisions to come out with products and solutions to support the market.
In the Indian energy sectors, the core challenges are the aging infrastructure, cost and reliability. In which core areas, are you going to focus on the larger aspect?Omron has been known as a technology innovator in Japan where we started. We want to work as the market- in approach rather than product- out of approach. First we gather what is the requirement of the society and what is the requirement of the customer and then we create anything that suits the market based on our fundamental technologies. It’s a bit early to say what kind of things we will do, because the market itself is in premature stage. As things move on, we will utilise this particular opportunity of getting into the market with some sensing solutions and then look for expansion. We will gather more information on the core issues and will go ahead step-by-step. With the help of our advanced R&D centre in Keihanna (Japan), we have been able to create solutions and products based on the society needs.
Are you more focussed on the Indian market, sensing the opportunities in the market, or trying to create a kind of synergy for smart grids and smart cities?Omron has a 10-year long-term plan from 2011 to 2020 called as the value generation plan. The major focus of this plan is to generate value. There is a basic difference between how to generate value and how to create products. Emerging countries are top priority, and when we talk about emerging countries, India is at top of the list for Omron. Moreover, India’s good relationship with Japan generates optimism for us and, hopefully, will prove very helpful. 
Is there any major investment plans for the Indian market?In terms of investment, it may not be feasible to divulge much as of now, however, as just mentioned India is indeed a very important destination in the value generation plan of Omron. We aim to expand the business and generate value and serve the Indian society needs effectively.
When can we expect your new products for the smart metering?We are in the process and will be able to come out with the solutions very soon. We are not just talking about the products; our idea is to make product and solutions. Just to reiterate, we are focussing on India for creating new solutions and products for the energy market by integrating our different business units.
How will the market shape up?As far as the smart grid is concerned, from the business point of view, we are very optimistic. But in realistic point of view, there are a lot of challenges as India as a country lacks fundamental infrastructure. We have problems of education, poverty, sanitisation and basic amenities with other challenges. Amidst all these challenges, pushing the idea of smart grids and smart cities will benefit in the long run to the societies. How to balance these two things? In terms of spending, policies and so forth are huge challenges. There will be soft implementations in the next few years with the pilot projects which we have implemented. But in the full scale, we will take some time, so the market will expand very rapidly by 2018-19 for smart grids.

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Marriage between what to do and what society needs

 “Our focus will be at the metering side at first, wherein we will try to focus on our strong products such as AC Latching relays and  sensing solutions for optimal energy management and reduction of power losses,” says Vinod Raphael, Country Business Head, Omron Electronic & Mechanical Components Division, India
Omron is focussing on India, creating new solutions and products for the energy market by integrating its different business units. The sensing company has also decided to contribute in minimising the power losses with its sensing technology and solutions. In an exclusive interview with Subhajit Roy, Vinod Raphael shares how Omron is bridging between what it wants to do and what the society needs.
How do you look at the opportunities for Omron’s business regards to the smart grid initiative?Our corporate philosophy is to work for the benefit of the society and people. All our products, concepts and solutions are based on how it can benefit to the society. That is the reason why Omron has chosen the energy markets. We understand that at the macro level, there is big gap between the demand and supply of power. When you go in the micro level, it is not exactly the issue with the demand and supply alone; a lot of losses happen on the transmission and distribution side too.
We have both sensing and control technology, so we try to conceptualise the concept in which both our strong points (i.e. sensing and control) can help to make new products. This, we feel, can eventually help the government and the distribution companies to reduce the power losses. We are working on a very small portion of smart grids, as we know smart grid is a big infrastructure altogether. Our focus will be at the metering side at first. As far as the market is concerned, I think everyone knows that the smart grid and smart meters market is set to grow hugely. It’s the beginning at the moment, but I think the government is very ambitious with its plans. It’s said that by 2027, all the households in India will have smart meters. The market is huge, and our solutions will benefit the power issues of the society. That is the reason there is marriage between what Omron wants to do and what the society needs.
Will your particular focus be on making smart meters?We do not make smart meters, but we make products which fit into smart meters such as AC power latching relays, sensors and switches. Omron is a company which has diversified interests with a lot of different kinds of solutions and products. At the end of the day, we are a company driven by market need. We identify this as the starting point of what to do first, but in the long run Omron as a corporate will look to the total energy market in India. We work towards combining business units and divisions to come out with products and solutions to support the market.
In the Indian energy sectors, the core challenges are the aging infrastructure, cost and reliability. In which core areas, are you going to focus on the larger aspect?Omron has been known as a technology innovator in Japan where we started. We want to work as the market- in approach rather than product- out of approach. First we gather what is the requirement of the society and what is the requirement of the customer and then we create anything that suits the market based on our fundamental technologies. It’s a bit early to say what kind of things we will do, because the market itself is in premature stage. As things move on, we will utilise this particular opportunity of getting into the market with some sensing solutions and then look for expansion. We will gather more information on the core issues and will go ahead step-by-step. With the help of our advanced R&D centre in Keihanna (Japan), we have been able to create solutions and products based on the society needs.
Are you more focussed on the Indian market, sensing the opportunities in the market, or trying to create a kind of synergy for smart grids and smart cities?Omron has a 10-year long-term plan from 2011 to 2020 called as the value generation plan. The major focus of this plan is to generate value. There is a basic difference between how to generate value and how to create products. Emerging countries are top priority, and when we talk about emerging countries, India is at top of the list for Omron. Moreover, India’s good relationship with Japan generates optimism for us and, hopefully, will prove very helpful. 
Is there any major investment plans for the Indian market?In terms of investment, it may not be feasible to divulge much as of now, however, as just mentioned India is indeed a very important destination in the value generation plan of Omron. We aim to expand the business and generate value and serve the Indian society needs effectively.
When can we expect your new products for the smart metering?We are in the process and will be able to come out with the solutions very soon. We are not just talking about the products; our idea is to make product and solutions. Just to reiterate, we are focussing on India for creating new solutions and products for the energy market by integrating our different business units.
How will the market shape up?As far as the smart grid is concerned, from the business point of view, we are very optimistic. But in realistic point of view, there are a lot of challenges as India as a country lacks fundamental infrastructure. We have problems of education, poverty, sanitisation and basic amenities with other challenges. Amidst all these challenges, pushing the idea of smart grids and smart cities will benefit in the long run to the societies. How to balance these two things? In terms of spending, policies and so forth are huge challenges. There will be soft implementations in the next few years with the pilot projects which we have implemented. But in the full scale, we will take some time, so the market will expand very rapidly by 2018-19 for smart grids.

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