French electricals and digital building infrastructure major Legrand expects IoT, energy efficiency, connectivity, and user-interface product verticals to drive its business in India, contributing the bulk of its revenue, over the next few years.
Legrand India had closed 2019-20 with a topline of Rs 2,621 crore, while the same contracted almost 9 per cent in 2020-21 due to the pandemic.
While the first quarter of 2021-22 was also a near-washout due to the second wave of the pandemic, July-September was better and from October onwards demand is back to the 2019 level.
''We aren't there yet (2019 sales levels), September was very close to that, maybe only 2-3 per cent down; but in October we touched the 2019 level. So if there is no third wave, we're very confident of reaching at least the 2019 volume levels, if not better it. Going by the current demand trend, I am sure we'll easily make it,'' Legrand India CEO and MD Tony Berland told PTI.
On the future of India business, he said the Internet of things (IoT), energy efficiency, connectivity, and user interface products will drive the business here, contributing the bulk of its revenue over the next few years.
''Currently, IoT fetches around 19 per cent of the topline and I want to take it to at least 25 per cent over the next few years. When it comes to IoT, I've a very clear roadmap ready and most of the IoT products sold here are also developed locally,'' Berland said, adding the connectivity vertical is the single largest revenue head now.
What makes him really optimistic about India is the huge scope for IoT and the large energy saving objectives. Berland also said they're investing heavily in digital infra here especially in data centres where they are getting new products to keep pests away, ensure connectivity and better user-interface.
They are also doing their bit in the electric vehicles space with charging stations and have tied up with Tata Motors, Berland said.
''We are very happy to be here and are very confident of making it big here--among the top three, which is our headquarters' target, because India is a very important brick of our global operations.
''We've high confidence in the capabilities of India and in the huge untapped potential here,'' he said yet admitting that they have a long way to go.
Legrand is investing to make India a key profit centre of the group globally over the years and is making enough profits to make needed investments.
But Berland ruled out capacity addition or capex towards it saying they've ample capacity already built and pointed out the Rs 1,500 crore capex in the past three years to build capacity.
''We aren't increasing manufacturing capacity because we already have excess capacity. Now we're adding more automation and thus investing in products and R&D and not in manufacturing capacity as our focus is more on IoT and automation. We've no issue at all with capacity as we can increase it manifold at any plant because of the way the plants are built.''
Berland, who took over India operations in March 2019, says despite India fetching only under 5 per cent of its global revenue, the headquarters is pleased with the success so far and is keen to make it bigger and considers this market to be among the key growth pillars going forward.
''We are also not averse to inorganic growth and are always on the lookout for the same. So far we have made five acquisitions here since our entry in 1996, the biggest being Numeric Power Systems's UPS division for around Rs 829 crore in February 2012.''
The 6-billion-euro Legrand is a global leader in electrical & digital building infrastructure. The Limoges, France-based group has manufacturing facilities in 90 countries and its products are sold in over 180 markets. Globally, it is a leader in wiring cables and cable management.
Legrand India offers a wide range of products in energy distribution, wiring devices, home automation, structured cabling, lighting management solutions, cable management and industrial application products and is an undisputed leader in MCBs, RCDs and DBs. It has a leading position in home automation.
Headquartered in Mumbai, the company has three plants, seven training centers and two R&D centers in India and employs a little over 1,000 people.
On a visit before the pandemic, Legrand global chief executive Benoit Coquart had said they would digitalise 40 of the 100 product families sold here, such as light switches, circuit breakers, and door-entry systems.
Encouraged by the appetite for technology here with projects like smart cities, the company is also bringing its IoT-based home solutions to the country and has partnered with Google, Amazon and Samsung for its interoperability.
(With inputs from PTI)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)