Interview With Deepak Thakur, CEO, Rishabh Instruments India Pvt Ltd

Since 1983, Rishabh Instruments India Pvt Ltd has been working to provide the best quality Control and Test & Measuring Instruments to the Indian market with the latest global technology. Today, it is a well known name globally for its innovative products. In an e-interview with Electrical India, CEO of the company, Deepak Thakur is describing the changing Indian scenario and his company’s contribution to the Indian market. Excerpts…

What kind of transformation is happening in the Indian Control and Test & Measuring Instruments market?

Rishabh Instruments as one of the most respected brands and also among the oldest players in the Indian electrical metering and test & measuring instrumentation domain, has witnessed changing trends in the energy landscape, over its three decades of experience. In the coming years, India is envisaged as transcending from a deficient to a sufficient energy economy with growing awareness of energy conservation and quality. Per capita energy consumption growth anticipated going forward is expected to directly contribute to electrical metering business volume expansion but other intrinsic dimensions will also change the focus of the user segment towards further finesse & depth in energy measurement and demand for more energy efficient solutions. Another evident trend is increasing share of digitization. Digital technology is replacing analog technology rapidly with cogent value additions being provided. This is evident, whether with traditional panel meters at one end or power quality analyzers at the other end of the metering spectrum. Digital multi-meters provide paradigm improvements with respect to measurement accuracy and control precision. Technology enhancement has been a core value since outset for us at Rishabh. Our products can interact with desktop software as well as with other wireless or blue tooth connected devices including smart phones. Focus on safety has also seen huge strides in the Indian context over the last few years. Our products are designed to be highly compatible with varying environmental conditions and thoroughly tested, ensuring these products not only meet but exceed industry safety and allied standards. To ensure we provide ‘best in class’ ‘Made in India’ products to the discerning Indian as also global customer base. Our integrated end to end design to manufacturing set up ensures, we provide only quality products which are precise, accurate, and sturdy with optimal aesthetics.

What are the emerging areas where the demand for these instruments is growing fast?

Everywhere! This is the smart era and across all spheres requirement of complete and quick results/measurements is predominantly visible. This has resulted in increased demand for multipurpose products. The utility sector comprising generation, transmission and distribution is and will continue to provide growth for test and measurement instrumentation business.

As our generation capacity sees additions and expansion over the years, it will see synergistic growth in transmission and distribution thereby fueling additional requirement for test and measurement products. The generation capacity is seeing an evident trend of increasing share of renewable energy especially solar with the expectation that India would emerge as the solar capital of the world over the coming decade. Solar industry offers one of the biggest growth potentials for test and measurement devices.

There is predominant increase in outsourcing of technical and utility services in industrial and commercial segments; this technical services vertical offers immense opportunities for measurement and control products business growth as well.
The Indian sub continent has a large educational footprint with a substantial institutional base encompassing technical domain, which is also growing year on year. Education sector continues to be a large consumer for test & measurement products. While at Rishabh, we have marketing initiatives for each business segment of relevance, it would be relevant to touch upon our ‘Fun N Learn’ campaigns, which we conduct at technical and engineering campuses. With these programs we focus on increasing awareness among students of safety practices and standards for test and measurement products – and at times we are over -whelmed with the response from students and faculty to this initiative of creating a better informed younger generation.

What are the new products that you are introducing in 2016?

At Rishabh Group, we focus and strive for continuous and sustainable growth in the field of energy measurement, automation products and die casting with innovation being the corner stone. We offer our customers the most diverse product range in measurement and monitoring of electrical and allied parameters with over 32000 SKUs. Each product we add, goes through a very stringent and robust development and product launch process, targeted at ensuring that the device meets ‘Rishabh’ standard which over decades our customers have come to expect and benchmark others against. Our prime focus is always to serve customer requirements more efficiently.

Rishabh’s state-of-the-art R&D facility is perpetually driving advancements and adoption of new technologies to deliver solutions aligned to market expectations. These products we create at Rishabh, are developed for the global market, since our products serve customers across 70 countries through our international subsidiaries and channel network. Several new range of innovations are in queue but in the immediate future, we are focusing on features such as touch screen, mobile applications and bluetooth, being embedded in our existing products.

In recent months, Rishabh has launched a new series of CAM switches with current rating up to 200A, which boasts of improved performance than the other industry front-runners in the same product category.

Another innovative product successfully launched is the 3 phase CT (Current Transformer) where instead of using 3 CTs for 3 phases, only one SKU is required. We are pioneers of such a solution in India.

Similarly, focused developments efforts enabled us to expand our transducers range further, with the recent launches of dual output transducers RishDucer CA/CV in the Rish Con Transducer series. With regards to test and measuring instruments, we have introduced the new Power Clamp with a rotating clamp jaw opening, for which Rishabh has a design patent and also added Insulation and Earth Tester to our portfolio.

Another addition is a fully programmable Signal Isolator and a new series for Programmable Relay including the Earth Leakage Relay. Very efficient Power Quality Analyzer is in the queue as well and this will be positioned as an ‘all in one’ product. As a philosophy we are migrating from the conventional LED type meters to high end touch screen Multi Function Meters. Market will witness series of product launches on these lines from Risahbh over the next few months.

Our robust and structured development process complimented by complete end to end in-house R&D infrastructure from mould design and manufacture to PCB design and manufacture to testing labs. Our highly energized and capable R&D team has year on year ensured successful product launches for Rishabh.

Do you offer customization of the instruments through your R&D support?

To respond expeditiously to the changing needs of the customers, we have kept required flexibility in our product roadmap. Moreover, we do understand that a pre-requisite for a successful product is, it possessing requisite flexibility when being designed or as such being re-engineereable efficiently – so as to meet customer expectations and application requirements effectively through the product life cycle.

At Rishabh Instruments, we have invested in R&D infrastructure, human resources and capability building consistently over the years. Our R&D facility is approved by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the certification lab is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). It is evident that these facilities and resources provide Rishabh a unique advantage for developing and honing our offerings from time to time.

We also leverage our European subsidiary Lumel to augment our own insights of solution requirements in the global arena and keep ourselves abreast of international trends in addition to using the facilities there to supplement our own design and testing efforts.

The intensity of our product launches and caliber of the offerings are a reiteration of our R&D prowess. Our product portfolio offers a wide range of solutions – each with substantial depth by way of multiple features and functionality options through varying models – but, we also customize our offerings further as per customers’ requirements.
Our R&D facility aligned with our product management team works day in and day out to meet market requirements, since customer satisfaction is paramount at Rishabh. Our ability to do so successfully is reinforced with most of our key account relationships. Some of these have sustained and grown for more than two decades now.

How do you ensure product quality and assure perfectness of the measured values of the parameters?

At Rishabh quality is not only something, which we strive for but it is intrinsic core of ethos. We believe in the philosophy, that rather than merely creating and adhering to quality programs, quality focus needs to become culture. In our case, quality begins with our innovative thought process and has direct roots to customer satisfaction focus encompassing all the relevant elements of the business value chain – such as development, design, manufacturing, marketing, and selling to after sales services.

As mentioned earlier, our R&D facility that is approved by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and a certification lab, which has received approval from NABL, sets the tone for ‘best in class’ design, engineering and testing, certification practices, which are so crucial in effective product development. Rishabh team also leverages the expertise of our European subsidiary Lumel to gain quality insights and requirements in the global arena to keep ourselves abreast of international quality demands, which are then incorporated into the new product development process as pertinent.

Apart from this, we are a certified ISO 9001:2008 Organization and have world-class facilities to test our instruments as per IEC, DIN, IS and ANSI standards. Each device manufactured in the company goes through a stringent testing and quality check. The QA lab is fully equipped with highly accurate calibration and testing equipment such as Datron Wavetek, Fluke, Zera, Yokogawa etc.

At Rishabh, we have also consistently invested in end to end manufacturing infrastructure, with top of the line equipment. Our focus has been on ensuring maximum in-house production and assembly activities with minimalistic outsourcing. This strategy enables to have a strong control on our product quality.

More so, every device which is produced at Rishabh undergoes testing, and we issue test certificates for each digital and electro mechanical product we manufacture – something which perhaps we are uniquely providing to our customers.
Our initiative and approach as defined above have helped us build customer satisfaction in India and across the globe – and that is the biggest testimony of our quality standards.

What kind of post-sales support do you give? How do you manage that?

It is a known fact that customers buy products from us for the value proposition offered once – but they continue to come back to us again and again depending on how we as suppliers engage with them in the post sales scenario. Starting with our founder, we all at Rishabh follow the strong philosophy of ‘Customer First’. Customer satisfaction is the prime focus of each and every team member at Rishabh – and till date we have adhered to this principle very dedicatedly and will do so going forward too.

We have always made special efforts to keep our customers engaged. In addition to periodic updates through e-mailer, we have also given our customers an option to reach out to us at a nodal point electronically with their views and issues.
Further, we have started with Customer Engagement Programs in the form of half day meets in select cities/towns. We also often conduct in-house seminars at customer’s facility where our team provides product training focused on helping customers team understand how they can use our products more efficiently in their respective processes or applications.
In addition, we have a strong team of after sales service at HO, and also in the regional offices who can provide post sales support, should any need arise, in real time.

Rishabh has designed a website training program, which serves as an online training module covering our entire product range – this is another mechanism available for self learning about Rishabh offerings and get trained on usage.

We believe in customer feedback being crucial to understand their expectations and how we stand up to it. Finally, this helps us in serving them better. For this purpose starting with self, all functional leaders and select team members across R&D, Engineering, Production, and Marketing etc., travel to meet customers from time to time.

What are your suggestions to the potential buyers of the Control and Test & Measuring Instruments?

Various initiatives started by the Govt. of India like ‘Make in India’, Smart Cities, Digital India, Startup India, etc. are expected to provide impetus to economy whether impacting core sectors such as Infrastructure and Power or business verticals like IT, services, logistics, hospitality etc. over the medium to long term.

It would be difficult to cover all aspects of this emerging scenario wherein control and test & measuring instruments would find usage, hence focusing on one of these viz. power sector.

We clearly see sufficient availability of power for all users across India over the next few years becoming a reality. With both base load and peak load deficits expected to see a down trend in most tier I and tier II locations in the country, the new emerging domain, in the power sector, would be quality of power. In time to come, attention of entire power instruments users will be drawn to better power quality. The ultimate performance of equipment or machine in question would depend on the quality of power it is receiving. In light of this, manufacturers of such equipment will have to design and produce equipment with suitable configurations wrt power utilization but test & measuring instrument OEMs will also have to develop products that help analyze quality of the power – and subsequently also improve the same.

At Rishabh, we have a clear road map to address this need of the industry and we are coming up with high-end devices like panel mounted Power Quality Analyzer, hand held (Portable) Power Quality Analyzer, Power Factor Controllers etc.

The only message we would like to give for all power instruments users is to remain aware, bring more focus on assured power quality as this will have a direct impact – not only on the equipment but also on their overall business economics. Another important factor which needs to be highlighted is safety. Lack of proper safety provisions in power instruments which one is using is like riding a bike in a race without a helmet. It is critical that customers choose products prudently. Checking for safety features available with the product is very critical since finally there is human life and well being linked to that instrument being used in field conditions. Decisions taken only with one dimension of lower prices but may be by compromising on the quality or safety features can prove to have substantial fall outs. We encourage our customers to study the standards the product being procured is complaint to in addition to price and external appearance of the product since finally performance matters. Hence, I would like to recommend potential buyers to remain insistent on safety, latest standards, guaranteed product performance and proven track record of the manufacturer.

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