“Our customer base is now spread all across the country…”

ISA Advanced Test And Diagnostic Systems is a global manufacturer of high-end Test and Measurement (T&M) systems for the power industry. In an exclusive interview with Electrical India, Imteyaz Siddiqui, Regional Area Manager – South Asia & GCC, ISA Advanced Instruments India Pvt. Ltd., is focusing on various aspects of his company’s business in India to P K Chatterjee. Excerpts...

What’s your observation on the standards of the test & monitoring solutions being used in India?

From my experience, which spans more than a decade, in test and measurement industry, I have observed a sea change over the years. The customers or users have become more quality conscious, and hence, do not want the equipment to fail. They categorically ask to perform Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) of all the products they are purchasing before taking the delivery at their site. Utilities in their tenders are asking for longer warranty periods, eventually forcing manufacturers and suppliers to realize the importance of the quality of their products. Hence, the quality of test equipment has become very important.

Users are ready to invest more money in better and more reliable testing equipment than buying the cheapest one available in the market. They have also realized that the cheapest equipment may not be the cheapest solution in the longer run. Some customers are now calculating the total cost of acquisition over a period of 3–5 years, and they have realized that a good-quality test kit that may be costly at the time of purchase – turns down to be cost effective in 3 to 5 years compared with the cheapest kit.

Monitoring of electrical assets, especially the high-cost items like HV and EHV equipment, is becoming increasingly important. Continuous monitoring provides data in real time, and we can make a decision to repair or replace the unit in time and avoid any catastrophe based on the trending of certain parameters.

How is ISA Advance Instruments India Private Limited’s business shaping up in this country?

Although we started our operation a bit late, thanks to the great support from our esteemed customers, we are growing our business at a good pace. Since September 2012, when we started our Indian operation, we have not looked back. We are earnestly overwhelmed with the support of our customers. Our customer base is growing continuously, with the word-of-mouth publicity from the happy customers being the main reason behind this continuous growth.

What is your role in introducing new Test & Monitoring (T&M) solutions in India?

Our company is one of the important contributors to the newest development in test and monitoring solutions.

We regularly take the feedback from our customers and pass it on to our management team in Italy. Based on the customer’s suggestions & requirements, our team of R&D and design engineers keep innovating the new products and/or solutions.

What are your new products lining up to be introduced in 2016?

We have introduced quite a few products in 2016. The first product launched in 2016 is TDX 5000, which is a compact solution for Capacitance and Tan Delta Measurement.On the basis of the concept of variable frequency measurement, this unit is fairly light and extremely convenient in terms of portability.

Another product hitting the market in 2016 is eKAM. eKAM is a new, fully automatic electronic primary injection test equipment. The eKAM test system includes two portable units: one is the control unit with a large graphical display that adjusts the output, and the other is the current unit (up to 2000/3000/5000A). It can also perform Step and Touch tests with the optional modules STLG-STSG and ground grid accessory kit.

We have also launched CBA 3000, which is the most advanced and compact solution for Circuit Breaker Testing. The ultimate all-in-one circuit breaker analyzer is safer, faster, and more accurate for any timing test; motion and speed analysis; multiple contemporary static and dynamic contact resistance measurements; Both Sides Grounded (BSG) test, under-voltage condition test; and so on. All these functions are integrated in a single lightweight test case without the need of additional external modules to connect.

Who are your major clients at present and which new segments are you targeting at?

We are extremely happy that in a short span of our presence in the Indian market, we have been able to develop a strong base of customer all around the country. On the one hand, we are associated with utilities like GETCO, MSETCL, NTPC, NPCIL, TANTRANSCO, KPCL, KSEB, and BSPTCL as our major customers, and on the other hand, we have acquired businesses from major manufacturers like BHEL, ALSTOM, ABB, GE and C&S. We also have a strong presence among third-party service provider companies and EPC contractors.

Geographically speaking, our customer base is now spread all across the country, right from Kashmir to Kerala and from Maharashtra to North East.

How do you train the buyers on the new technologies?

Our major focus is to spread technical awareness in the industry. We have been organizing regular workshops in partnership with M/s Knowledge Kluster Pvt. Ltd., in which industry experts from all across the globe are invited to share their experience.

We also provide on-site training to all our customers to use the kits effectively and efficiently. Our engineers stay in constant touch with the users and guide them thoroughly until they are well versed with the instruments and start using these optimally.

What kinds of after sales support do you provide?

I always believe that in test and measurement industry, like all technical industries, good after-sales-support is the key to success. This is the reason, I always encourage my team members to go the extra mile to support all our customers. We have experienced that timely support provided to customers keeps aside major problems that may arise due to late response of a service provider.

We have a very strong team of qualified engineers – who are always ready to proactively support all our customers. Their dedication and hunger to delight a customer with timely support by providing time-bound solutions have helped us grow exponentially. The fact that most of our orders are either repeat or referral orders makes us happy. What I like about my team members is their eagerness and effort in continuously raising the bar of excellence in after-sales-support.

What kind of R&D do you conduct in ISA, and roughly what is the percentage of annual turnover spent for the same?

Our R&D team is based in our headquarters in Taino, Italy, where we have a mixed team of experienced and innovative young engineers – who are continuously working on improving the quality of the existing products and developing new projects simultaneously.

Do you also develop software for the instruments that you supply?

Yes, we have a team of software engineers who are developing software and firmware for all our products. Not only this, they are taking feedback from the market, and working to improve already developed software to meet the need of the customers. We are also intending to address customisation based on the requirement.

What would you like to communicate to your potential customers?

Through your esteemed magazine, I would like to request all those customers, who sometimes under the awe of established brand name, are a bit reluctant to try new entrants like us that ‘give us an opportunity to serve you and feel the difference!’

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