At ELECRAMA 2023, APAR will highlight its focus on sustainability

  • Interviews
  • Feb 06,23
In this conversation with Rakesh Rao, Shashi Amin, CEO, Cables Solutions, APAR Industries Ltd, elaborates on demand trends in the industry and steps taken by the company to propel the cause of sustainability
At ELECRAMA 2023, APAR will highlight its focus on sustainability

The theme of ELECRAMA 2023 is woven around sustainability, which is viewed as a key performance parameter for all industries. This (ELECRAMA's theme) perfectly aligns with our company's mission, states Shashi Amin, CEO, Cables Solutions, APAR Industries Ltd. At the event, APAR's three key business segments - namely Cables, Conductors and Specialty Oils - will showcase their future-facing products and services to the intended customer segments. In this conversation with Rakesh Rao, Shashi Amin elaborates more on demand trends in the industry and steps taken by the company to propel the cause of sustainability.

How do you analyse the performance of APAR Industries in 2022-23 so far? What is driving the demand for APAR's various business segments?
We witnessed a strong third quarter of FY 2023, recording a historic high top-line and bottom-line. We achieved volume growth across all three divisions and the net profit tripled year-on-year. We are optimistic about the growth prospects of our company as we believe we are appropriately placed to tap the benefits of infra-led spending, push towards renewable energy, and China Plus One.

The current geopolitical macro environment and the level of infrastructure spending are providing a better platform for us. In addition, there is a strong push towards renewable energy globally that is driving demand. We remain optimistic about tapping the opportunities coming our way. For the company, the growth drivers remain strong.

How much do exports contribute to your business? How do you intend to boost your exports?
APAR group enjoys an excellent geographic mix, with exports kicking into a much greater extent and a better client profile. In FY22, we had exports contributing to 38 per cent of the business in the current financial year in 9 months, export contributed 47 per cent of the total sales.

For the cables business, we are one of the largest exporters and a leader in CATV/ broadband fibre optic cables. In the current financial year, our cable exports have outgrown 3X, contributing 52 per cent of sales in 9MFY23 versus 28 per cent in 9MFY22. In addition, our elastomeric cables remain in focus serving renewable energy installations, railways & defence.

The government has undertaken many steps to boost the economy - which include PLI schemes for 14 sectors, massive capital investments in infrastructure (including railways/metros, defense, etc). How are these initiatives aiding the growth of the electrical & electronics (E&E) industry, and increasing demand for the products/solutions of your company?
The Indian wire and cable industry has shown steady growth and is expected to grow by $ 1.65 billion, at a CAGR of almost 10 per cent during 2021-2025. This growth outlook is fuelled by heavy investment from the Government in infrastructure, expansion in the renewable sector and electric vehicles adoption rate.

Over the last 10 years, our Cable Solutions business is steadily growing at about 19 per cent CAGR. In FY 22, exports contributed to 29 per cent of our total revenue from the cable business. In the same year, our light duty cables (LDC) business saw sharp growth and to boost that further, we are eager to expand our distribution network to ensure the timely availability of our best-in-class APAR Anushakti, which is powered by electron beam technology, heat resistant at 105oC, melt-resistant and with 50 years of life.

How will the growing usage of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy translate into new business opportunities for your company?
Currently, the customer seeks sustainability and sees value in long-lasting and affordable products. To cope with these evolving expectations, we have developed a range of next-generation wire harnesses at APAR. As India's number one and largest cable manufacturer for renewables and speciality cables, we have pioneered expertise in designing, developing, manufacturing and supplying specialised wiring and wiring harness solutions for the EV industry. We are proud to be the first Indian cable manufacturer to enter the EV segment, geared up to meet global standards.

Backed by extensive R&D facilities and a strong research team, our harness range is specially developed as import substitutes to "Make In India".

India is one of the emerging countries in recent times for generating solar energy. With favourable government policies and a conducive environment, India is gearing up to execute the world's most extensive renewable energy expansion plan.

In a solar plant, cables play a pivotal role in interconnecting solar modules, combiner boxes, inverters, and other electrical components to take the generated power to the grid. In the last decade, India witnessed a sharp increase in demand for and technological advancement of modules, structures, inverters, and copper cables. But in this metamorphosis, the copper cables could not meet a few critical challenges besides ensuring lower transmission losses.

Witnessing these needs, APAR Industries developed and launched a special photovoltaic (PV) solar cable that sustains the surge and other harmonic transitions during electrical power transmission. These surges occur at all levels between applications, like PV modules, inverters, inverters to end power distribution grids, etc.

What are your plans for Elecrama 2023?
ELECRAMA is the flagship event of the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA) and is well known for bringing together the complete spectrum of solutions that powers the planet. APAR has been participating in ELECRAMA for the past 20+ years. As a key player in the global power and distribution segment, we have always found ELECRAMA an ideal platform to meet and greet existing and prospecting customers.

This year senior experts from three of our key business segments, namely Cables, Conductors and Specialty Oils, will be present at stall no: H14A2D1 (Hall 14), showcasing our future-facing products and services to the intended customer segments. The theme of ELECRAMA 2023 is woven around sustainability, which perfectly aligns with our company's mission. This year at the event, we will highlight our focus on sustainability and our continuous efforts towards a greener tomorrow. Further, we will also reveal our newest business vertical, "Telecom Solutions". Our innovative cable solutions will take the spotlight at the event attracting various segments of users.

Participating at ELECRAMA, our focus will be to demonstrate our innovative cable solutions to various segments of users. ELECRAMA allows us to learn about the latest technologies and connect with customers about their requirements. In addition, it will provide us with a holistic view of the entire value chain to strengthen the supply chain, logistics & vendor capability assessment and a deeper & direct trade engagement with buyers and sellers.

Sustainability is viewed as a key performance parameter for all industries. How will your company propel the cause of sustainability?
We understand that economic growth can no longer be pursued at the expense of climate change and environmental degradation. So, pioneering the surge towards sustainability, the Government of India is leading and accelerating the evolution to a green, net-zero future by building the right infrastructure and regulating sustainable practices across all sectors.

The growing number of net zero emissions pledges by countries and companies reflects the increasing sense of urgency. In the wires and cables industry, APAR Industries is proud to be the largest enabler for green transition in India by supplying a range of cables and harnesses to solar power plants, the electric vehicle (EV) industry, especially for EV buses, etc.

Buildings consume around 30 per cent of India's electricity and 2/3rd of the buildings which will exist by 2030 are yet to be built. Our cable solutions business has further risen to the cause by spreading awareness about APAR Anushakti wires and cables to direct consumers and influencers like electricians, contracts, etc., for equipping it into the buildings in the design stage. We have recently released an ad campaign to raise awareness about the product.

With more awareness about such products, the demand for sustainable wires and cables will inevitably grow steadily in future.

What are your growth plans for the company in the coming years?
APAR is the largest manufacturer of electron beam cables in India, with three electron beam accelerators (1.5 MeV, 2.5 MeV, 3 MeV). We are soon going to commission another 2.5 MeV e-beam line, over and above the existing three e-beam facilities at our Khatalwada plant in Gujarat. Our cables factory is also commissioning 2 additional CCV lines.

At APAR, as an organisation, we believe in continuous improvement, augmented with the implementation of Kaizen and Lean Six Sigma programs across both our cable facilities in Umbergaon and Khatalwada in Gujarat. We have been investing in new technologies and methods to make our operations more efficient, minimise wastage and improve our products and services.

Backed by extensive R&D and a strong research team, we have introduced a comprehensive range of application-specific smart wires and cables in India. As India's foremost cable manufacturer for renewables, we also cater to various speciality sectors like railway locomotives, coaches, naval ships, submarines, solar and windmills to supply hybrid cables, harnesses, telecommunication as well as general purpose LV, MV XLPE cables, fixed and flexible wires & cables. We are the first to enter the EV segment and supply harnesses.

Today, cable manufacturers in India understand and are offering more sustainable products. We look forward to all cable companies, collectively educating and influencing customers on the importance of switching to more sustainable, long-lasting, safer, high-quality cables & wires such as FR-LSH, and electron beam cured wires.

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