“We see the upward trends in T&M sector…”

RPP Engineering & Consulting Pvt. Ltd. has been dealing with a very wide range of products; in fact they offer equipments for all sorts of calibration, test and measurement requirements in the power industry. In an exclusive interview with Electrical India, Y K Nama, Managing Director of the company is talking to P K Chatterjee on the evolution of the Indian power T&M market and his company’s business. Excerpts…

How is the focus changing in India as far as Electrical Testing and Measurements (T&M) are concerned?

The T&M sector can be seen from various angles like Govt. Policy & Regulations… In Indian electricity act 2003 and other subsequent acts & guidelines special thrust was given to ensure that all energy meters installed at the consumer premises should be tested before installation, and at the site after two years of use.

Some of the utilities have already installed and some on the stage to go for advanced meter testing facilities. Earlier utilities were relying on their own facility – but now some of the tasks related to meter & Instrument transformer testing are being outsourced to private accredited laboratories, to meet the huge challenging task. Further, policies and incentives related to energy efficiency are inspiring users to find root causes, solve the problems and attain the high energy efficient systems. IS/IEC standards are being upgraded regularly to cope with latest technical challenges; and innovations are further enhancing the demand of the latest T&M equipment.

The consumers or users are becoming more aware about their rights and problems as well. Their zeal to improve the things are forcing upward trend for better quality and precision equipment.
Use of smart technology and latest innovations are bringing positive changes in terms of making instruments multifunctional, portable and economical.

To what extent, are we still depending on the imported test & calibration equipment?

India could manage general purpose test and measuring items; but still depending for high precision, quality and reliability on imported T&M equipment.

What are the primary differences between India-made instruments and the imported ones?

High precision, quality, reliability, multi-functionality and aesthetic are the area where Indian manufacturers are still lagging behind. Domestic manufacturers do compromise even at the small things, which can highly boost the product image.

What’s your observation on the demand of the latest technologies in India?

As I told you earlier (Refer Q1), we see the upward trends in T&M sector because of new avenue (like renewable energy), new policy, shortage of power supply etc. Thus, need of energy efficient devices and many other areas complementing to each other.

The manufacturers are the early adopters, followed by the test laboratory for the new testing technologies.

Who are your prime customers in India and abroad?

Our equipments are useful for the energy measuring & testing. These are specially designed for utilities (Generation, Transmission and Distribution), independent laboratories and manufacturers of energy meters, panel meters and CTPT manufacturers. Our portable calibrators can be used for aviation industry. High precision power analyser can be used for diagnostic purposes for the compliance of new energy efficiency regulations.

We have so far supplied to Utilities, Manufacturers and Accredited Test Laboratories around the world.

What kind of competition do you face in the Indian market?

More than competitive challenges; very often we face hurdles due to lack of knowledge or exposure, complex purchase process, and aversive nature for new trials that restrict the exposure to the new development. It is often observed that customers land up in purchasing at higher prices due to their self-made hurdles by creating the product specifications & requirements in a way, which do not promote healthy and fair competition.

Recently we have seen both scenarios. The customer who knows real testing needs, and willing to promote the fair competition has got the right products at economical prices.

Also, instances are there, where the customer who made specific brand/company oriented product specification has paid almost 50 to 60% higher price than market rates for the same product.

What are the impacts (on your business) of the new government’s plan to speed up electrification in the country?

We expect positive changes in the business but real impact will be seen during/after implementation.

With our focus shifting towards decentralised power generation, how will the demand for test & measuring devices change?

Undoubtedly, this will minimise the losses because current has to travel for shorter distance as compare to centralized generation. Currently, renewable energy contribution as compared to whole generation is quite low – but as soon it increases; it is going to impose the new challenges and problems related to grid stability, synchronisation and power quality (We can learn from European experience). This scenario will demand lot of special power analysis, monitoring, control and rectification equipment/ system.

What are the other emerging areas where T&M equipment will find a good market?

T&M used in the area of renewable energy, power quality, energy efficiency testing & evaluation will see the good market in coming years.

What would you like to say to your potential customers?

We would like to assure them that we have selected our principles very carefully; based on their product quality, high reliability and service support. We offer the high quality ‘Precision Reference Standard, Portable Calibrator, Automatic Meter Test System, CTPT Analyser, Power Quality Analyzer”.
Our products are designed by using latest technologies, and they are user friendly (on the basis of feedback from several international users). Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement form the key motivation for training and service support.

Stop worrying about your testing and measuring challenges; do let us know. We are confident that we have right technical and innovative solutions to meet out your challenges.

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