The switchgear industry in India mainly covers low voltage switchgear products such as Air Circuit Breakers (ACBs), Moulded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCBs), Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs), Residual Current Devices (RCDs), and fuse gear products. MCBs, RCDs, and DBs are low technology and highly price sensitive product segments with several small and medium participants operating at regional levels. This is a high volume business with demand primarily from commercial and residential segments.
Rajesh Nandwani, VP and Business Unit Head –Switchgear, Anchor Electricals said, “While the overall domestic market grew between 5 to 10 per cent last year, the first two quarters of this year witnessed a slow growth.”
Growth Drivers: According to Nandwani, the switchgear market will continue its growth trajectory given the aggressive reforms initiated by the government through programmes such as Power for All, Make in India, the Integrated Power Development Scheme, Housing for All and the Deendayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. He said, “The overall impetus given to the T&D will in turn drive the demand for switchgear and electrical equipment industry as well.”
Challenges: Nandwani from Anchor Electricals points out that the unorganised sector particularly for domestic switchgear products such as MCBs and RCCBs still continues to grow. He adds, “The other factor remains that while the industry has set benchmarks, continuous development needs to be done to foster new technologies. It is equally necessary to keep raising the bar of safety standards to ensure that only standardised switchgear products occupy the shelves in the market.”
Advanced solutions: Anchor unveiled its basket of value for money switchgear under the brand UNO last year. It will be focusing on adding more products under the UNO portfolio this year. “With a new facility commissioned at Haridwar recently, we foresee venturing into commercial switchgear segment with an attractive product range in the financial year 2017,” informed Nandwani.
Innovation in switchgears is primarily in terms of the aesthetics and customised features offered by the products such as improving the product lifecycle, tamper-proofing, increasing safety and handling, improving user-interface and focus on multi-functionality and niche functionality.