We also help and support our partners in branding and promotional activities

By VARINDIA - 2011-03-18

We also help and support our partners in branding and promotional activities

Kunwer Sachdev
MD, Su-Kam India

What kind of trends do you see in the Indian market when it comes to power backups?

Customized Power-backup solutions for big industries, manufacturing units, telecom, retail, health, hospitality, education and commercial sector are some of the new trends in the industry. For example, we had recently powered Wal-Mart's Easy Day retail chain and installed a 3-phase inverter system with multiple controlled output where the distribution of the load was based on the priority or criticality of the application, thereby reducing the running cost of the system by 30 per cent.

Going forward, UPS and inverters will emerge as an economical and green alternative to generators.

For the future, we envision a leading role of alternative energy such as Wind and Solar for power generation. Solar rural electrification is a trend which is rapidly catching up with corporates, government bodies, etc.

What is the overall market size? What is your market share?

The Enterprise UPS market is Rs.4,000 crore.

With contribution break-up: Top Brands - 60%, Local Brands - 40% and Small UPS below 5KVA - approx. Rs.1,000 -Rs.1,200 crore.

The estimated market size in the Home Inverter (1-3KVA) Segment is approx. Rs.8,000 crore.

The size of the inverter market in 2010-11 (electronics excluding battery) is approx. Rs.1,600 crore and battery is Rs.6,400 crore.

In the inverter and battery category, contribution of top three brands is approximately Rs.2,500 crore, with local brands and grey market - Rs.5,500 crore.

What is your product range to cater to this market?

Su-Kam deals in Customized Power-backup solutions for big industries, manufacturing units, telecom, retail, health, hospitality, education and commercial sector. These are some of the sector-related power systems which Su-Kam deals in. We have products ranging from a pocket size 100 VA Inverter to a 500 KVA inverter all at an affordable price for the end-consumer. 

What is the Partner's role in the deployment of products and services?

Our partners help us in capturing impressive sales figures and also in providing after-sales service to customers. 

What kind of margins / benefits do partners get? What are their pain points?

There are a range of benefits and loyalty programmes for our channel partners. Our partners are offered special privileges like: we initiated the unique concept of web-based partnership programme “Club 100” for channel partners in the financial year starting from April 2010. Su-Kam hosted a website to gather all the information and it is the first level interface between the organization and beneficiaries. This e-interface brings each and every channel partner across the country to the organization. 

Club 100 is a community of premium channel partners whose offtake comprises of a major part of our turnover. The concept was initiated with the purpose of giving special privileges and benefits to those who are a part of this Club. The initial selection was done through a formula specially devised for this purpose and took into consideration - the turnover done by the partner, his creditworthiness, his standing in the market and also market penetration.   

They are also the first ones to gain information about the new innovations taking place in Su-Kam labs and in the R&D process. Su-Kam has testing units where the new products are tested. Some of the privileged partners are allowed to go through the whole testing procedure. Also, the newest products are given for trial to such partners to gain their understanding of the product and their suggestions and views on how to make the product better. 

We also help and support our partners in branding and promotional activities. We provide them with catalogues and brochures regarding the products. We give equal opportunity to our partners by supporting them in exhibitions and seminars. 

Which are the popular products selling more in the market?

Most products from the Su-Kam stable are popular among the masses as they are technologically advanced and cater to each and every need of the customer. The UPS, battery and inverter range have maximum sales. Newer products from Su-Kam also take less time to register in the minds of the customers and hence the same is reflected in the sales and the popularity. The 600 VA and 800 VA inverters are popular.

What are the opportunities for channel partners?

There is immense opportunity for our channel partners as Su-Kam is a company which keeps coming up with new products and new innovations. We have a whole diverse range of solar products. We have products like inverter plus generator which is the first-of-its-kind product from Su-Kam. With a view to catering to the rural areas we have suitable products like Pico and solar home lighting system. We keep increasing our product line and expanding our product portfolio. We are technologically very sound. As a result of all this, our partners gain a lot from our constant efforts for innovation as it helps them equally to keep up with the customer demands and the growing needs by associating themselves with a company like ours.  

How do you provide after-sales support?

The company ensures that all our customers who have invested their money and believe in our products should get the best of quality which Su-Kam offers. Every customer should go for our products as we have superior quality, the best after-sales service and our products are technologically well advanced. The team at Su-Kam often starts off with an idea that seems impossible at first. They innovate, experiment, take risks and make sure to factor in consumer needs. And end up with yet another winning product. The employees at Su-Kam are imbued with a passion for innovation, a commitment to technology and a deep understanding of the consumer's needs and aspirations.

After-sales support and a good team dedicated for that purpose is very vital and important for us. Su-Kam relies heavily on customer satisfaction as it is very necessary and essential for us to be aware of the customer's feedback and opinions. We have more than 200 service centres and more than 10,000 dealers in India. We invest a lot on training servicemen. We have an extensive training programme regarding servicing a product as well as product training programmes for our service engineers as well as the channel partner's servicemen.

What is the evolution path in the future?

Solar products are going to come up more in the future. Su-Kam is also largely focussing on the Solar products as it is a growing market and has lots to offer. We are working towards expanding our solar product range and are looking to become leaders in the solar product category. Generator compatible inverters are the latest products in the power back-up industry as they not only save power, reduce pollu tion but also cut down on the diesel cost. These inverters also provide relief during switchover time from main power supply to generators. 

The inverter/generator combination will be quite beneficial for the hotel industry also as it will facilitate power saving up to 50 per cent. These unique inverters have also been customized for Telecom BTS sites providing advanced and cost-effective solution for all telecom applications. 

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Vikas Gandhi, 
Owner, Sawan Aircom
Market Trends

In India, many ups and downs happen when it comes to determining the market trends, but it is steady in this case. Mostly, it depends on the power situation and the needs of the people. Home UPSs and high-capacity inverters are the most popular products.

Sawan Aircom and Su-Kam

We deal in all range of Su-Kam products from high-capacity inverters, batteries, power protection systems, to Home UPS. In Delhi, the delivery of products is taken care by us. We sell the products to the dealer who takes care of the installation of the products.

Competition and Su-Kam Benefits

Initially, we have a 5-6% margin on sales, but since there is stiff competition we tend to get only 3-4% margin. The margin is generally derived from between the distributor and dealer.

We get really good service support from Su-Kam. When sales are down or going slow, the company cooperates and supports us. The sales team gets in touch with us during such times. 

After-sales support is very important for any brand to grow and Su-Kam is very good in this regard. They support us regularly by holding training programmes for our engineers on how to service products and also product training.

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Naresh Malik
Proprietor, Royal Engineering Systems (RES)
Market Trends

In today's jet age, more than quantity it is the quality that matters. Su-Kam products speak for themselves. I have found that Su-Kam's high-capacity inverters are preferred mostly in the market.

RES and Su-Kam

We deal in all kinds of products made by Su-Kam from high-capacity inverters, batteries, power protection systems to home UPS. 

We play a pivotal role in both selling and servicing of products as we act as a bridge between the company and dealers and customers. We don't make customers, but we make relationship and try to give the best of our services as far as possible.

Competition and Su-Kam Benefits

Nowadays, because of so many competitors in this trade the margins have shrunk. Thus, it all depends upon the quantum. The greatest benefit of Su-Kam is that it has a wide range of products along with decent availability that keeps you busy in all the seasons.

After-sales support plays the key role in the whole process of genuine business and honestly speaking Su-Kam has always come to our expectations in its service support. If the roots are strong, one can attain any heights and we feel proud to be the part of the Su-Kam group.

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Hridesh Bhardwaj
Owner, Tejas Enterprises
Market Trends

The increased purchasing power of the Indian consumers has paved the way for the growth of the power inverter market in the country. Inverters that were initially used to only fulfil the primary demands such as powering a few fans and lights are now being used to run desktops, air conditioners, and many other household appliances during power cuts. Overall, the market holds great potential considering the increasing power deficit throughout the country, burgeoning demand from customers and frequent planned and unplanned power cuts across most of the states. The demand for power inverters is expected to be huge, especially from the rural and semi-urban areas due to power cuts and load shedding. 

Tejas and Su-Kam

To combat competition, the trend, today, is to offer a strong product range along with excellent after-sales services, which helps manufacturers to attain a strong advantage in the market. The product range can vary from Digital Home UPS, UPS, Solar Products, Batteries, Power Doc and Battery Equalizers. I would also like Su-Kam to come up with some product range which can help the channel partners to survive in the off-season phase, which sometimes puts an immense pressure on the channel partner to survive in the market. The most popular products which sell in the market are Home UPS and lead acid batteries, especially the SMF batteries which Su-Kam has a strong hold in the market.

Competition and Su-Kam Benefits

There is a great challenge in the form of competition and pricing of products. The challenge of competitive pricing is being faced not only by the small and medium players but also by the big players, which has led to decline in margins in regular selling product line. The presence of a large number of unorganized suppliers with lower priced product offerings resulted in tough competition in the domestic segments, especially in the less than 1,500 va segment.

Undoubtedly, Su-Kam has become a leading brand as a power solution provider with its presence across India and globally. It was the first company in the industry to have its own R&D unit, which has achieved many milestones and innovated wide range of quality products over a period of time.

Today's customer is more inclined towards the company which provides a strong pan-India after-sales service. Su-Kam has a nationwide network of Service Centres staffed by capable engineers, who can resolve any problem faced with the products. Having said this, at the same time Su-Kam struggles in providing after-sales support in comparison with its competitors, which dissatisfies the customer and he looks for other substitutes in the market.

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beenish@varindia.com

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