R&M, the Swiss cabling systems developer and provider of fiber and copper solutions for network infrastructures, considers India a significant business opportunity. The company’s Bengaluru production unit is its leading factory in Asia. It is the manufacturing hub for India and global markets. India is a major hub, not only for production, but also for R&D and engineering. The company is investing heavily in India to develop and design the products that go outside India. R&M is already working on Fiber to the Home (FTTH) products, which are designed and manufactured in India for the European markets. In a tete-e-tete with Peter Reichle, Co-owner and Member of the Board of Directors, R&M, CRN India got an insight into the company’s aspirations for the India market. Here are the edited excerpts:
Why has R&M chosen India for its production facility? What circumstances attracted you to the Indian market?
India is one of the widest and most important markets for us. This is especially in terms of good GDP numbers and the unique skilled quality of labor here. These aspects of the Indian market caught our attention and hence we decided to build our presence in India. Indians look for higher quality products, rather than being price sensitive, and as R&M is the leader in catering innovative and high quality solutions, we have chosen to have our state-of-the-art production hub in Bengaluru.
What are the USPs of your structured cabling products and solutions for the Indian market?
We are aligned with the global standards of product and development procedures. In terms of copper, we are coming up with CAT 8 solutions for India and in terms of fiber, our products are ready to meet the upcoming boom of 5G requirements.
How ready are you to address the 5G revolution?
We have a range of latest products which are 5G complied. 5G means high speed connectivity with lower latency. We have OEM fiber which can address the 5G speed requirements.
Have you tied-up with any telecom vendors for the 5G rollout?
R&M, as a structured cabling company, is into Layer 1 cabling. We do passive cabling for copper and fiber assemblies. To roll out 5G in India, we will require more number of towers in the same area, to give the higher bandwidth to customers. As the number of towers in specific area is increased, telecom vendors require more fiber assemblies to the base stations. All the telcos of India are buying fiber for their trail purpose. We are also the major suppliers of fiber to the antenna services segment. Few telecom giants of India are using our products for their infrastructure to be 5G ready.
Which are your latest India bound projects?
We are leaders in most of the industry verticals. We are serving to transportation, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, education sectors and also the metro projects.
Please shed light on your latest offering – Cat 8.1?
Cat 8.1 is the latest cabling standard. It supports 30 meters of network and is mainly used in data center cabling. People mostly use fiber solutions to minimize the cost/expenditure factor, but now-a-days people have started looking for copper solutions. It can support up to 40 GB speeds. We have put in a lot of innovations in developing our products and have come up with unique solutions with the help of great R&D and innovation team.
How different is India from the rest of the world in terms of technology adoption?
At R&M, we use the same technology for manufacturing all the products at any plant across the globe. India is one of our global manufacturing sites and adopts the same technology. What is important to us is that people in India look for the latest technology and quality rich products. This demand made us invest in India and out of nine factories globally under the R&M family, the Indian production unit ranks first in terms of operations and supply chain. Overall, India is an extremely technology embracing country.
How strong is your presence in Smart City projects?
We are actively involved in all the Smart City projects. We supply passive infrastructure to Smart Cities. Large vendors buy our product and implement it. There are 11 Smart Cities in India till date and all of them have used R&M products. We look forward to work with more Smart City projects in the coming years.
What is your future roadmap?
Are there any plans for future investments and acquisitions in India? We have a huge demand from the Indian market. Thus, we are planning to put up more assembly lines for export. By the end of this year, we will be able to see three more lines coming up and can achieve 50 per cent more operations and supply. At present, we are only focused on fiber optics. By Q3 or Q4, we will be starting copper assemblies. Apart from that, we are adding new molds to produce parts for FTTX product family and assembly line for Europe market requirement from India. This also helps to create more local employment opportunities especially for women. The education of the people and skill level is very high. The skillset of engineers is properly suitable for innovation and R&D. We would like to invest more in India due to the skilled and quality resources available here.
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