In Conversation with Mr. Vijay Karia, Chairman & Managing Director, Ravin Group of Companies
Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India?
Ravin Group is an Indian Multinational with a strong foothold in the electrical industry for more than 65 years. Founded in 1965, our group is headquartered in Mumbai and has various manufacturing facilities not only across the country, but also outside the country. Right from our inception we have always been ahead of the curve by meeting the demands or inventing new products for the segment we are in. Coming from a rich legacy and years of experience our vision is to deliver quality and innovative products & services. We aim to be a catalyst in providing sustainable solar electricity solutions and reliable power for everyone, everywhere.
As a company we are rooted to our core values of integrity, accountability, customer satisfaction, and speed.
We are structured across five verticals, all focused on electricity.
Complete Solar Solutions – The offerings include rooftop mounted systems, tracking systems -single axis, dual axis, uni polar tilted trackers; fixed array trackers, water pumping solutions, home lighting systems, solar mobile generating systems, micro and mini grids, solar chargers, lamp and lanterns.
Electric Cables up to 220 kV– It offers complete range of cabling solutions for KV, MV, HV, EHV cables ranging from 1.1 kV to 220 kV.
Power Equipments – Manufacturer of TRANSEC moisture removal system for transformers under license from TRANSEC UK. The product improves the life and reliability of the transformer substantially.
EHV Projects and Services – Provides end-to- end solutions from designing to commissioning of sub- stations which includes system design, selection of cables ; accessories, cable laying, cable jointing and termination, testing, commissioning and finally ensuring full safety of the installation.
Retail Electrical Products –The range of products include power banks, solar chargers, solar lanterns, LED lights & lamps and USB cables.
Apart from serving our Indian clientele across the country, we have clients in more than 55 countries across the globe.
What have been some of the recent developments at your organization?
We as a company have always remained open towards change and innovation with constant advancement in the infrastructure and technology. We have been contributing to the goal of generating electricity from renewable sources in a big way through our solar vertical ‘Solar Energy Solutions’.
We entered the solar market only 5-6 years back but we have been successful in creating a niche for ourselves in this segment. Through this vertical we are not only helping to generate electricity through solar energy, but are also helping to increase the efficiency of panels which help in generation of the electricity by almost 30-35 %, through our specialized tracking systems.
We have been one of the few companies in India who manufacture fully automated and computerized solar tracking systems which increase generation by about 17-35%.
We also have expertise in the cables segment and have been serving the industry from past more than six decades. Over the years we have lead the cables industry, created trends and helped in creating a more organized sector.
We have introduced various new products which greatly enhance the safety of installations through a special grade of compound which has great fire resistance properties, and is equivalent to fire survival cables but with normal construction. Apart from this, we have developed so many other special application cables like VFD cables and colour changing wires to name a few.
From generation, transmission, distribution to consumption of electricity we provide all kinds of energy solutions or rather electricity solutions.
Tell us a bit about the recent technology advancements in your sector?
Our government is moving towards making the renewable energy more handy and easy to manage by helping and encouraging technological advancements in this sector. One of the most recent developments in this is the creation of Solar Calculator App by ISRO. This new innovation can provide solar energy potential of any given location by typing the name of the required location; the location can also be obtained through GPS. It offers monthly minimum and maximum temperature to calculate realistic solar potential and also suggests optimum tilt angle for solar PV installation. This is a great way of identifying the key areas where Solar energy can be promoted and then harnessed the most. This also opens new areas of development based on the availability of the solar energy.
Trackers are also picking up, not just in the utility scale projects but also in the rooftop segment. Ravin Group long back had identified that the need will arise to gain maximum output of sun’s energy. Hence making us amongst the first ones to pioneer in the solar tracker technology which increases the efficiency of solar trackers up to 30-35%.
In the cable segment application centric cables are getting gaining momentum. Customers these days are becoming more aware of the importance and quality of cables that lead to less electricity losses is picking up as we are talking.
What are your growth plans for the Indian market? What are the milestones you wish to achieve by the end of this fiscal year?
One of our main strategies is that we have always remained rooted to the business we know the best i.e. electricity. All our business verticals also revolve around our core business right from Power cables, Solar energy solutions, EHV Projects to Power Equipments and Retail products.
India is a very price conscious market and we concentrate on serving our customers with the best quality products and services at affordable prices.
Our hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given our country a brilliant opportunity of building technologically advanced infrastructure by launching Make In India initiative. All our business verticals also promote this ideology of manufacturing and assembling completely in India. The technology which is used at our plants and research centers is created in India; employees working at our manufacturing plants, across offices are also Indians. We intend to increase the manufacturing in India and create more demand for the products across the globe.
We not only concentrate on increasing the revenue of the business but believe that employees play a strong role in building any organization. This year we wish to become amongst the best places to work with. We aim to establish ourselves as an incubation centre where new ideas and innovations take place in order to contribute towards the growth of the electrical industry.
What have been the latest trends in demand for your products & services in India? Where do you see the next demand growth coming from?
Our country is now moving on the path of becoming global manufacturing hub. This infrastructural shift has lead to increase in the demand of application products. In a few years time, fossil fuel vehicles will be redundant. And so we have the entire ecosystem changing to keep pace with the anticipated product changes.
We have been part of the electrical industry now for more than six decades and we feel these are the most exciting and optimistic times for the entire industry, both internally and externally in terms of technological development and demand.
Another trend that has picked up recently is the use of our rooftop solar panels with tracking system. These tracking systems have Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) or DC Optimizers. We are amongst the first ones to introduce this advanced technology in India. Through this technology, challenges like shadows of trees, advertising hoardings and telecom towers which affect the electricity generation in the rooftop solar installations will drastically reduce. With usage of this technology there will be huge reduction in the power loss, risk of failure and fire will be minimal and real time performance can be monitored online of individual panels as well.
We believe electricity storage is another trend that will soon attract industry’s attention in a big way.
Once the consumers are equipped and comfortable with the new introductions the demand will then be coming to make all these trends more consumer friendly by introducing products associated with it like mobile applications to maintain and control the systems. The inclination will then be turning consumers into prosumers.
Anything else you would like to add for our readers.
These are the best times to be in this industry. Consumers need to be quality conscious rather than price conscious, as safety and reliability are big factors in this segment today. In case of solar products, the focus should be on efficiencies and not just price per KW or MW of installed capacity. There is going to be a huge thrust on integration of Electricals with Electronics, and with the whole emphasis on Electro-mobility, the electrical map of the country is going to change very rapidly. Petrol pumps will become redundant like landline telephones, if they do not upgrade themselves quickly. At the moment, the Government is going at a faster rate of change than the industry, and we might find ourselves struggling with changes in technology, if we do not adopt latest technologies in manufacturing and product development. This is India Gen-Nxt, with Tech-Nxt on the horizon, and rapidly growing into our everyday lives, which we need to wholeheartedly adept ourselves to, and very shortly, we will be leading rather than lagging the world in terms of technology.
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