With the power backup market growing, most of the players are eyeing the export market, among them is Sterling and Wilson Powergen. In an interview, Sanjay Jadhav, President of the company says that the company aims to triple its turnover in exports and retail while improving its current performance in the project segments.
Give us some details on the latest technology for the DG
set industry, and how up-to-date is the Indian market for these latest products. We are predominantly witnessing two major technical trends in the DG sets sector which generally attracts customer demand - fuel efficiency and emission controls. Today we have products compliant to CPCB II norms and even Euro IV standards. The availability of such products hence drives the customer towards purchasing and utilizing DG sets which are far more superior to the alternatives which were available. Any product which offers increased productivity, fuel efficiency, minimal maintenance and more importantly is cost competent drives the choice of customers towards superior products. Load characteristics though do not influence the choice for DG sets; it definitely defines the operational efficiency of that particular product. The ability to maintain a stable load ensures the efficiency and longer operational life of the DG sets. Sterling Generators is managed by a group of best minds in the industry who bring in a solutions-oriented approach and the latest in technology to our customers.
How much do the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) II emission norms for diesel gensets affect the industry?
The new CPCB II Emission Norms are a breakthrough legislation which will certainly help control release of polluting gases into the atmosphere and result in overall healthy living. CPCB II norms aim to reduce levels of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM), which are the two main pollutants in diesel engines. With implementation of CPCB II and stringent emission norms, there will be substantial improvement in the quality of exhaust gases being released into the atmosphere. Engine manufacturers are continuously developing fuel-efficient engines which will improve efficiencies by at least 10 per cent. Focus is also on developing engines which will have longer maintenance cycles and are easy to maintain. We have always been committed to demonstrate continual improvement in our quality and environment performance in an ongoing manner.
What steps is your company taking to ensure that your products meet these CPCB norms?
Sterling Generators is known to have provided its customers with CPCB II compliant gensets even before the new legislation on stringent emission norms came into effect on 1st July 2014. In view of the powers conferred by Sections 6 and 25 of the Environment Protection Act 29 of 1986, the Central government has recently amended the Environment Protection Act. We proactively work on improving our generators in order to meet the CPCB norms in an anticipatory manner.
An extensive dealer network is critical for such products. Give us details of your urban and rural networks and the expansion plans that you have chalked out for the same.
Sterling Generators enjoys the trust and excellent relationships with our customers, operating in India through a Network of 17 branch offices, at 100 dealer points, we have a fleet of 200 service engineers positioned at various key markets across India. Our pan-India network of trained service engineers is responsible for providing uninterrupted power to our customers and are available 24x7. We have already opened three export offices in Dubai, Nigeria and Australia. In addition, we also have established our presence in Africa, the Middle-East, many parts of Asia, and Australia. The company´s focus area for the near future is to expand and strengthen its export business.
How big is the Indian market for DG sets? How do you perceive the growth over the next few years?
The Indian diesel generator market has been witnessing tremendous growth with rising power cuts and supply shortages across the country. Nowadays, almost each and every organization needs consistent power supply for backup power equipment. Over the next few years the company aims to triple its turnover in exports and retail while improving its current performance in the projects segments. We are also looking at entering the recon business over the next few months.
Do you feel that with increasing grid connectivity for renewable power, the demand for DG sets will come down over the long run?
Sterling has always been a project-based company. Our focus has always been on big-ticket projects. Under the wide umbrella of Sterling and Wilson we cater to different verticals. The demand for DG sets however has been predominantly from the IT and commercial sectors. However, the demand drivers vary according to the regions. We are now focused on venturing into the retail market, for which we have designed our products as per the demands of the respective areas. The product has been completely stabilised and is also CPCB II compliant. We are an extremely customer focused company with an emphasis on quality and customer satisfaction. We do not place ourselves in a price driven market but believe in performing through a qualitative approach which is the base for expanding our export portfolio. DG sets are generally used as backup power and as such the demand will be more driven by the economic growth than grid connectivity. With improved grid connectivity the usage of DG sets may reduce over a period of time.
Has the falling price of oil made a positive impact on your sales?
Over the past decade rising oil prices globally ensured DG sets were used predominantly for backup power, but the current trends may make DG Power more affordable in some markets, however it will still remain relatively higher as compared to available grid power. If there is further 10 to 15 per cent fall in oil prices globally, the situation could be different.
- Devarajan Mahadevan
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