Interview—Raminder Singh Soin, QUAD Electronics

quad-interview-photoQUAD Electronics is a premier product life-cycle management company in Hyderabad, India. Since inception, collaborative partnerships and ground breaking solutions have converged to enable customer’s success. QUAD deliver unparalleled quality and support to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), transforming thought leaders to market leaders.

In an exclusive interview with Pradeep Chakraborty, Raminder Soin, chairman and managing director of QUAD, highlights the company’s capabilities and offers his take on the Indian electronics industry.

Please provide an overview of QUAD Electronics. What are the key areas you are working in?
QUAD Electronic Solutions Pvt Ltd.  is the premier and only product life cycle management (PLM) company in India in the field of electronics. We are an Indian company with a global DNA. We are based out of the city of Hyderabad, in the southern part of India.
We provide a full range of PLM services to some of the biggest OEMs globally. We are a Tier-2 company with processes at par with those of Tier-1 companies. It is this unique value proposition of ours which prompted some of the prestigious names in the industry to associate with us for their global manufacturing requirements. We have demonstrated our competitiveness on both price and quality, vis-a vis global players.

QUAD numerically connotes “4”—which represents the core domains of design, manufacturing, fulfillment and after-market services. We serve as an extended supply chain to our customers, managing their procurement of components/parts from preferred (least cost, good quality) vendors worldwide, leveraging economies of scale.

At present, the markets we serve are communications, consumer, industrial, enterprise and networking, power, and defense.
QUAD operates a network of five sites in India—two in Hyderabad and one each in Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupathi. Apart from these locations, QUAD also has an office at Manchester, UK, for catering to its European clientele.

QUAD offers its customers a unique blend of global processes and local delivery, which supplements its knowledge of the Indian business scenario.

What has QUAD recently done in electronics specifically? What’s planned ahead?
In the recent past, QUAD has added another feather to its cap by way of getting the world’s largest computer peripherals company to manufacture in India, with QUAD. Also, we now offer our manufacturing solutions for telecom products catering to the European markets. We have also started manufacturing of tablet PCs for a global player.
The plan ahead is to target inorganic growth for QUAD and spread our footprints into other markets. We would also be focusing on venturing into the automotive, aerospace and medical segments, with increased focus on solutions for the defense space.

Healthcare and medical are said to be key segments for India. What has QUAD been doing in these areas?
As far as the medical segment is concerned, we presently do not cater to this segment. However, we do plan to add a customer in this space by 2012.

What are you doing in enterprise and networking sectors? Please elaborate.
We have started manufacturing of tablet PCs, which has already put us into the enterprise and networking space. We intend to grow this business further.

What is your take on the Indian power electronics scenario for 2011-12 and beyond?
This is a growing sector, and the demand for these products is increasing at a rate greater than 20 percent year-over-year in India.

How do you see the electronics industry in India performing in 2011-12 and beyond?
As per recent market reports, the Indian electronics market presently stands at a value of $40 billion. This is slated to increase to a mammoth $400 billion by 2020, vis a vis the global market at $1.7 trillion.

The present domestic production is around $20 billion—about 50 percent of the domestic demand! Domestic companies can expand the production to $85 billion by 2014 and to $320 billion by 2020. This would constitute a very significant contribution to the GDP, at 20 percent for 2020, at par with other economies.

There is a clear upward trend for the appetite of electronics goods in India and the signs are very encouraging in turn for EMS players catering to OEMs.

Has enough has been done about the Indian electronics industry? What more needs to be done?
The Indian electronics industry continues to grow at a healthy pace. A significant and interesting statistic to note is that India’s import bill for electronics is projected to be bigger than its import bill for oil! Taking cognizance of this, the Indian government has taken serious steps to encourage Indian electronics manufacturing going forward.

The National Manufacturing Policy has recently got an in-principle approval from the central government. This policy calls for radical measures in Indian manufacturing, in order to create sustained development for this country.

However, concrete steps have to be taken in order to create an ecosystem for components in India. This should be the top-priority going forward, in order for Indian electronics manufacturing to have a strong and sustained growth. Also, the government needs to ease customs clearance procedures for EHTP/SEZs for a faster TAT.

What are your expansion plans? What are your biggest challenges currently?
Our plans for the future are aimed at dominating the PLM space in India and to grow our business globally through both organic and inorganic means. The biggest challenges we see going forward are the lack of a supply chain ecosystem and access to low-cost funding.

Are there any plans to enter the solar business?
At present, the solar space in India is very crowded, with not a very significant demand in India. With the National Solar Mission (NSM) in place, we would evaluate the developments in this sector in the near future, and then strategize on what areas to target in this space, if lucrative.

How do you see the future of developing the semiconductor Industry in India? Is there any “limitation of growth” of EMS business without developing the semicon business in India?
The Indian government has taken certain steps to revive the semiconductor business in India. The previous attempts could not yield desired results, but there has been a recent revival in their efforts to push this business.

Earlier this year, various government delegations have visited countries such as Taiwan with the purpose of attracting investments into semiconductor fabs in India. Also, the GOI recently released an EOI in this regard. The EMS business would derive a huge advantage with the development of the semiconductor industry in India.