Piyush_shahPiyush Shah, Managing Director, Hitachi Hi-Rel Electronics Pvt. Ltd

Hitachi Hi-Rel Electronics Pvt. Ltd was formed in late 2011 when Hitachi of Japan picked up equity stake in Hi-Rel Electronics Pvt. Ltd, amongst India’s leading names in industrial power electronics. In this exclusive interaction, Piyush Shah tells Venugopal Pillai more on how the association between the two companies has gained momentum and what the company’s future plans are.

What expectations do you have from the new central government to boost the electrical equipment industry that has had a challenging phase over the past two-three years?
I would suggest that trapped investments in half buried projects must be unlocked. That will make the ‘electrical equipment’ business make smooth and robust. Future business will subsequently follow.

Overview of Hitachi Hi-Rel’s manufacturing facility at Sanand, Gujarat.

We understand the coming together of a global brand like Hitachi and a domestic leader Hi-Rel was aimed at creating a robust platform for the domestic and exports market. Tell us about how this association has been shaping up.
The Hitachi Hi-Rel association has been shaping up very well. We have completed the new factory at Sanand in record time. Bulk production with tremendous ‘value engineering’ has been successfully achieved.

Tell us more on the new Sanand manufacturing plant.
The Sanand plant is fully operational and occupied. We already have started the activities for Phase-II at our Sanand as well as our Gandhinagar plants.

You had stated that power generation will be a key demand driver for Hitachi Hi-Rel. What is your view on the renewable energy space, mainly solar?
We expect our solar products to play a big role in growth of the company. The products are well received and are the ‘best in class’ in specifications and performance. Despite short-term clouds, we expect a bright future for the solar market overall in India.

Now with your association with Hitachi, would you continue to focus on the low-rating UPS segment (homes and small offices), which is witnessing a big stream of unorganized players?
We will continue to remain in low rating UPS business but with a very focused approach.

Several multinationals are picking up controlling stakes in domestic companies in the electrical equipment space. What is your reading? Do you think that such associations can make Indian products more competitive in the global market?
The success ratio of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is very poor, at the global level. The end-result is entirely dependent on the individual cases and conditions of the merger.

How do you see your partnership with Hitachi shaping up in the coming five-seven years?
We are already an integral and important part of Hitachi’s overall power electronics business. In the coming years, our global presence will grow and we will see tighter collaboration with various Hitachi group companies across the globe. We expect robust growth from business opportunities outside India, as well as from the domestic market.

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