‘This plant is going to be unique within the Belden group’
An interview with Ashish Chand, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Belden Inc., and John Stroup, CEO, President & Chairman, Belden Inc.
Industrial automation solution
What is your strategy to strengthen Belden’s presence in India, especially the enterprise segment?
Ashish Chand: There are 3 legs to our strategy for the Indian market:
Firstly, Belden offers a very comprehensive portfolio for end to end LAN solutions, addressing a variety of end markets, including traditional enterprise applications but also industrial, and broadcast ones. We have always been much focused on products, technology and applications and will work hard on educating users and specifiers in India regarding the same. For example, if you look at our CAT 6A products we offer 625 MHz as standard and thus a 25% headroom over industry requirements – this is very important for upcoming applications. Similarly, Belden have developed the most comprehensive line of industrial cabling solutions in the world today.
Second, we focus on local execution, both in terms of operational and commercial elements. We have been building a strong team of sales, engineering and support experts in India over the past few years and are now moving ahead with the establishment of a state-of-the-art manufacturing footprint in Pune to support the business. We will build capability for product localisation as required to cater to special needs in the Indian markets.
Third, the uniqueness of Belden is that we are not just an enterprise company. People are deploying LAN solutions in offices and large campuses that also fire and safety systems, building automation systems, lighting control systems, broadcast solutions and so on. Our diverse portfolio addresses all of these. Further, we have a comprehensive range of Cyber security solutions for the enterprise which is very important today; Industrial and broadcast customers are also very enthused about cyber security. These solutions deliver functionality needed to implement best practices and ensure the safety, resiliency and reliability of system. None of our competitors are as broad as we are. And yes, we are currently working on a few large integrated projects that will help demonstrate these capabilities
What are the highlights of the upcoming manufacturing facility at Chakan?
Ashish Chand: Belden is setting up a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the Chakan Industrial Area in Pune. The Pune plant and a co-located engineering centre at the MIDC Phase II and will focus on the production of Enterprise, Industrial Connectivity and Networking products and also serve as an export hub. The facility is expected to be ready in mid-2018 and will house modern production lines, an engineering centre and test labs, all built to the highest standards of safety and quality, consistent with Belden locations worldwide.
Belden will be leveraging Pune’s vast pool of highly skilled engineering talent and the manufacturing facility in Chakan will accommodate professionals across all segments. Once the set-up for phase 1 is completed in Chakan, we will be have approximately 150 employees. Phase 2, expected in 2020 will see us doubling our capacity and employment
How much is the initial investment? What are the key products that will be manufactured in India?
John Stroup: This plant is going to be unique within the Belden group, the only Belden plant globally that will have every business division represented in it. We are putting in a lot of state of the art technology and practices. The products rolled out from this plant will be: Industrial Ethernet Switches, Enterprise Connectivity Solutions – Copper and Fibre, a wide range of copper cables for different applications and Coax cable and connectivity products for the Broadband market.
Ashish Chand: Our investment in this facility is in the range of USD 25 million in the current phase. Apart from servicing requirements in India, we will be exporting to Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East.
To further consolidate Belden’s market position, what will be your offerings in terms of the products/solutions?
Ashish Chand: We believe that although the enterprise market is fragmented in terms of applications we have solutions that serve almost all high end requirements including Datacentres, IT and ITES, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Manufacturing and so on. We also believe that consolidation will take place in the enterprise segment, both in terms of project sizes and also in terms of integrated networks based on IP convergence. With our complete product portfolio of industrial cabling, enterprise connectivity, and networking devices and systems, we are well positioned to address these consolidated opportunities apart from continuing to address our traditionally strong industrial markets that will also need enterprise style products: These markets are Process Automation that includes Oil & Gas, Energy, Transportation and Factory Automation and Machine building.
Our partner ecosystem is strong and we are working towards building an even wider network of partners, resellers and value added distributors. Ingram Micro is our national distributor for the enterprise business segment and we have regional distributors in all major cities in India and SAARC.
What are your priorities for the Indian market? What new opportunities do you see in this dynamically growing region?
John Stroup: India is on the cusp of significant socio-economic development, and this growth will last for a few decades given the median age (26 years) of the Indian population as well as the relatively low penetration of many products and services that Indians are rightly aspiring to.
This offers companies like Belden a great opportunity to invest and grow business. However, we are here not only for short-medium term business but to participate in the long term. We believe that whilst India’s young population creates a unique opportunity, it also presents a problem – the lack of broad based experience, e.g., the experience to build quality infrastructure is limited to a few people and companies and this creates a non level playing field.
Belden are committed to bringing in the best technology, making it available to all and sharing our global experience of over 115 years with the young and energetic people of India.
Ashish Chand: Yes, the region offers tremendous opportunities. Currently, we have three priorities, one is to complete our operational set-up quickly, second consolidate our sales and distribution set up and third, continue building a great team through talent acquisition. We are engaging customers and collaborating with them through our customer experience centres. Recently we opened a new customer experience centre at Bangalore that showcases how Belden is innovating across enterprise, industrial and broadcast/broadband markets and solutions to meet the needs of its customers in this new age of converged networks.
Photo1 Ashish Chand, MD, Asia Pacific, Belden Inc; John Stroup, CEO, President & Chairman, Belden Inc; and Paul Turner, VP-Sales, Belden UK.
Box with photo
Belden to Make in India, lays foundation stone for Chakan project
Belden Inc., is a global leader in high quality, end-to-end signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications. The Pune plant and a co-located engineering centre, is being set-up with an initial investment of USD 25 million and will focus on the production of Enterprise, Industrial Connectivity and Networking products and also serve as an export hub. The facility is expected to be ready in mid-2018 and will house modern production lines, an engineering centre and test labs, all built to the highest standards of safety and quality, consistent with Belden locations worldwide.
Whilst laying the foundation stone for the Chakan project, Mr John Stroup, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board, Belden Inc., commented; “Smart Cities, the Make-in-India program and various Digitisation projects initiated by the Government of India, open an arena of investment opportunities to boost local infrastructure and manufacturing. We are delighted to participate in this growth initiative by investing ahead of the curve through locally manufactured, high-end Enterprise and Industrial Networking and Connectivity solutions.”