Rohde & Schwarz looking forward to a healthy manufacturing eco-system in India

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ELE Times had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Dr. Lim Boon Huat, Managing Director, Rohde & Schwarz Asia and Mr. Yatish Mohan, Rohde & Schwarz India. The rendezvous witnessed in-depth discussions on the key areas of Rohde & Schwarz’s operations, both in India and Asia- Pacific region.

ELE Times: We would like to know about R&S Asia and how RS Asia is helping RS India in accomplishing its goals?
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: R&S Asia is a global hub of Rohde and Schwarz. In Singapore RS Asia has R&D facilities System Engineering, Production and Supply chain. India is important to us because it is a rising market. Both the offices have the perfect synergy between them. RS Asia and RS India help each other to cope the problems of the customers which has been the way for the past twenty years. We have been growing together with the Asia Pacific countries, especially with India.

ELE Times: As Singapore is the global hub for RS Asia Pacific, please talk about the establishment there.
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: In Singapore we have four key segments: R&D, where we design and develop solutions and instruments, System Engineering, where we do system turnkey projects for Singapore, manufacturing and the service hub.

ELE Times: What are the key market and technology trends that you see in India and rest of the world?
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: In the next five to ten years we would see a lot of things happening whether in the wireless technology or application. For example, Internet of Things is one of the key driving factors. In wireless technology we are talking about the emergence of 5G that is changing the landscape of technology for people at large. We have to be every agile responding to these market needs. The world is changing fast and looking at the economic development, among them all India is a rising star. And many people are watching India very closely.

ELE Times: If we talk about 5G, how prepared is Rohde & Schwarz for 5G testing and the wireless systems?
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: Rohde Schwarz is a major player in 5G technology. We are engaged in respect to standard bodies and research consortiums which is the key investment that we are making in terms of 5G. Rohde & Schwarz is the front runner company in 5G technology.

ELE Times: Your thoughts on Rohde & Schwarz manufacturing in India?
Yatish Mohan: For manufacturing you need an adequate environment and local demand. Moreover we make thousands different types of equipment both in T&M and others applications. If we are to produce in India we should have demand in large volumes for some selected equipments.
The investment that you need for setting up a manufacturing plant is very high. So unless the domestic needs are high we cannot think of setting up a manufacturing plant.

ELE Times: Can you elaborate on the R&D centers in India?
Yatish Mohan: We have one R&D team both in Delhi & as well as in Bangalore. In Delhi we have around 30 people and about 25 people in Bangalore. The Delhi team is primarily working for the headquarters at Munich and the Bangalore team is not only working for the headquarters but also for the local wireless customers like Qualcomm, Broadcom and Intel. We also take up certain projects from them.

ELE Times: What are the top markets for Test & Measurement products in India?
Yatish Mohan: For Rohde & Schwarz the biggest market continues to be wireless communication. There we have customers like Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel and also manufacturers like Samsung and many other new clients who are the customers for T&M equipment. Other than wireless communication we have aerospace & defence (A&D) which is also a very strong market for us. It was there for many years as a top market however last five years it has been taken over by the Wireless Communication.

ELE Times: What kind of new testing equipment has R&S brought in this year and what follows next?
Yatish Mohan: We have come up with lots of handled testing equipments as new entrants. We have come up with oscilloscope with range from low-end to high-end. We have also come up with amplifiers, EMS and in the broadcasting side we have come up with handheld equipments and in the T&M we have the fastest EMI test receiver and the ESW that has been recently announced by Rohde & Schwarz.

ELE Times: What would be the future of T&M products like? Could you elaborate on the challenges faced while designing next-gen products?
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: The challenges while designing the next-gen products is that the prices of the T&M products that are coming down. Other than developing the products at a relatively cheaper cost, keeping up with new emerging technologies, new applications, to be capable to respond to the changes of prices, deliver new products at cheaper costs are other challenges.

ELE Times: How are opportunities shaping up in the SME and start-up sectors?
Yatish Mohan: SME & Start-up sector has not been strong territory for us before. But in the last three – four years, we have come into that domain as well; trying to reach their markets more and more every year through our direct sales force as well as through channel partners. We have right sets of products now for that market. The only thing is to get our brand more popular into that segment. A very good opportunity for us is the EMC, which is the topic of today, an area where we feel that we are very strong.

ELE Times: What kind of growth do you expect this year for Rohde & Schwarz India & Asia Pacific and what are the segments that have emerged as the primary drivers for it?
Yatish Mohan: We have been growing consistently over the last years in India and we are very strong and established company in our domain. We are second only to Keysight in India. We are very close in terms of overall quality, sales network in India, which is equally strong now and the growth that we want to see now from the white-based market and small scale industries. In Aerospace and Defence and wireless sector we already have a very strong hold in India.
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: RS Asia has been in existence for the last twenty years. If you look at our growth rate annually for last fifteen years, there has been a 15-20% growth per annum. We are lucky to have succeeded for the last twenty years continuously. We are also optimistic for the next five-ten years that we continue this trend as we develop more products and solutions from Singapore to continue that trend. Our objective has really increased the depth and breadth of our products, breadth in the sense of application domain, not just for instrumentation but system business, for communication business, and monitoring systems.

ELE Times: It’s been quite some time that you are doing business in India, what has been the difference in the last few years and now?
Dr. Lim Boon Huat: One of the active engagements in India we have is EMC business and we are seeing tremendous growth in the last few years. The reason for growth in EMCs is that the industries are coming up; young and traditional players of the public sector are showing interest. In any country whenever there is increase in EMC activity it shows there is also increase in research & manufacturing activities. Those are the indirect tell-tale signs. So when we see growth in EMC, that means more players are coming in. That has been our foremost engagements so far in India. We will see that this continues to grow in the next five years as EMC subject touches many industries which are linked together.

ELE Times: What is the vision of R&S India in next few years?
Yatish Mohan: In India the T&M industry has been growing less than 10% as the manufacturing has not grown in India, off course there were some R&D activities happening. Mobile manufacturing industry entered India about ten years ago and somehow it was not successful. The growth in manufacturing has done a comeback and this is an interesting moment for the company, and I am very sure and optimistic that in the coming years we would see a definite growth of 10% in the T&M which has been less than 6-7%. But we are very optimistic that in the coming years there should be some 10 to 15% growth per annum, even much more because if the manufacturing for smart phone starts in India then it can go up to any heights as we have seen in China. It’s a huge market for wireless test equipment.

ELE Times: How confident you are at the policies and the efforts the government is putting in?
Yatish Mohan: Excellent efforts have been made by the Government of India to bring in manufacturing in India. We have still challenges with the infra-structure in the country. Of course initiatives are being taken to improvise the same. Some invigorating points government should attend with vigor is the infrastructure, logistics and complete eco-system has to be created before we hope for a healthy manufacture activities in India.

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