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BW Businessworld

Switching To India

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Germany-based Hager group is all set to enter the Indian market and hopes to do Rs 300-crore business by 2015. The Blieskastel, Saarland-based (in Germany) Hager group was founded in 1955 by Hermann Hager and Dr Oswald Hager together with their father Peter. Today it remains an independent business, owned and run by the Hager family.

The Hager Group has 11,400 employees generating a turnover of around  €1.6 billion in 2012 and produces components and solutions in 22 production sites around the globe for customers in more than 80 countries all over the world.

Praveen Kumar Nair P, Head of Sales and Marketing, Hager India, spoke to BW| Businessworld Online's Poonam Kumar about the the future plan of the company and it's presence in India. 

What made you to come in India as an independent entity?
The size of the Indian low voltage switchgear market is estimated to be Rs 2500 crore, growing at a pace of 10 per cent CAGR, for the last three years. Given the tremendous market potential and growth, the Hager group in its strategic initiative Project 2015 has identified India as one of the strategic countries to invest and grow market share ambitiously.

Hager is targeting a turnover of about 300 crore. What is the strategy behind it?
Hager's strategy for now is to grow its turnover organically. Our growth will be driven primarily by diversifying its product portfolio and entering new market segments. We have forayed into the retail segment with aptis range of products and our home automation range, Berker is gaining acceptance. We have aligned our structures to successfully enter and gain market shares in these market segments.

What will be your focus markets in India - tier 1 cities or are you going to spread to tier 2 and 3 cities and towns as well?
After having established an efficient channel network in tier 1 and 2 cities, we are now focusing on tier 3 cities. It also aligns with our plan to focus on retail segment. Apart from appointing more than 400 channel partners, Hager has also set up 10 Service Centers across the country specifically targeting the metros and tier-II towns and cities, further making a commitment to after-sales service.

What is your sales strategy in India? How much do you expect to spend on promotions?
Our sales strategy is to differentiate and sell. Our products are carefully positioned in the segments we target. Hager products are available through a network of 400 channel partners pan India. They share our passion to deliver the "Hager Class" service to clients.

Hager is committed to create, communicate and deliver value to its customers. We are very focused & selective as far as communication vehicles are concerned. As a growing company it is natural that our annual spend on promotions is increasing.

Are you tweaking your products to suit the Indian market?
The Hager brand is synonymous with innovations. It is ingrained in Hager's DNA to relentlessly innovate and bring world class products & solutions to our customers. While being global benchmarks, we also believe in - organising better locally. We organise "Voice of Customers" Workshops & note the needs of our customers. We are investing significantly on local manufacturing. You will see launch of a locally made products with patents in Q1 next year.

Where is the manufacturing unit? 
We have an ISO 14001: 2004 & OHSAS 18001: 2017 certified manufacturing facilities at Lonikand, Pune
Please name a few projects that Hager has done within India.
Large scale projects are Hager`s forte.  Godrej Garden city, first of its kind self sufficient township is a good example of the same. It has over 13,000 villas & apartments surrounded by schools, hospitals, office spaces, multiplex etc. In a very competitive time frame all our final distribution products were supplied for this project. Others include Delhi & Mumbai International airport etc. We have clichéd over 100 prestigious projects for our Berker by Hager home automation business within one year of its launch!

How much growth are you expecting in India in the coming years?
We are expecting a growth of 40 per cent in the coming two years. With our innovative technologies and strategies, we are targeting business of 300 crore by 2015.