Expert Speak

A High-Powered Operation

Powered Operation

Powerware International, a division of $12 bn worth UK-based Invensys, is a $3 bn company. It has four major areas of operations, namely Line Interactive (LI) UPS, Online UPS, Industrial batteries, and Switch mode power supplies.p____p According to Deepak Sharma, MD of Powerware, it occupies a large share in the LI UPS segment and search protection devices.p____p But until last December, it was in a joint venture with Crompton Greaves. “We realized that we were unable to react as quickly to the market as we should. Our focus was on networking and power products while Crompton was interested in other products. Therefore, we though it fit to split. We took over their share and started functioning independently since January 2001,” Sharma says.

Choices To Make

Powerware is currently concentrating on building its UPS business and DC power systems. It has a strong focus on its channel business so much that it also also has a separate department that takes care of the channel aspect. This distributed solutions group is building a low-end market by ensuring aggressive sales in the 6kva and below categories.p____p Sharma says, “Our international product range was not readily available and was also not cost-effective, like the 500va to 700va categories.” Powerware�s commissioning agency designed a UPS last year that went through enhancements, which is why its range is from 550va to 5150va. This, says Sharma, will form the vehicle for developing the channel to move products up to 6kva.p____p The company has two distributors, Salora and ACI. Sharma adds, “We will have a city-wise launch in the next 45 days in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, and New Delhi.”p____p He says that Powerware took stringent power conditions and met customer requirements� wide voltage window. “Our UPS products have the ability to support two computers (Pentium III with 14-inch colour monitor), which is cost saving for those who want local brands.”

Product Innovation

Sharma claims that Powerware has enhanced the look of the product as well. “It is a product, which can be placed beside the PC and not hidden under the table. Moreover, unlike other UPS devices that use domestic batteries, we use international ones. We are currently using YUASA batteries,” adds Sharma.p____p Its battery back-up time ranges from 10 minutes to half an hour, depending upon the load. This product has made Powerware so confident that it is now offering a two-year warranty. Giving more details, Sharma says, “We offer services in 50 locations and give a repaired UPS within one hour.”p____p The products go through rigorous test processes and the failure rate is below one percent. Sharma claims, “Despite this, our prices are on par with that of APC, our major competitor in UPS segment.” He claims that its other competitors are Emerson in the networking systems and MGE in distribution. But he hastens to add that the one advantage it has in the on line segment is the possession of contemporary products.p____p He admits that the ability to control price is limited. But the company has a solution in mind. It will identify resellers in each city as and when it launches products.p____p Distributors and resellers have a single source to buy now from with Powerware�s new range that is now available from 550kva to 6kva, in line as well as on LI segments. It is also working with business associates and national and regional players for its middle range of products, which includes 7.5kva to 60kva. However, it will sell its high-end products directly, that includes 550kva to 625kva categories. “We are planning to provide solutions up to 5,000kva,” reveals Sharma.

The Channel Focus

Powerware recorded a turnover of Rs 7 crore for the quarter ending March 2001 and is targeting to reach Rs 25 to Rs 30 crore in this fiscal.p____p To achieve this, Powerware is advertising in trade magazines and seeking opinion builders for its products. Sharma says, “We are working with distributors to develop loyalty among resellers. To that respect, we are also packaging freebies worth Rs 1,800.”p____p Its incentive schemes for resellers change every month. “We offer special launch prices and overseas trips if the set targets are met. Even our distributors will get higher commission depending upon the quantities lifted.” says Sharma. Powerware has also developed CDs for resellers that explains technical aspects of its products in detail. This, it hopes will help end-buyers also.

Future Wise

It is currently in talks with MNCs like Compaq, IBM and some OEMs for tie-ups. Sharma says, “We plan to launch our switch mode power supplies by the end of this financial year. Our industrial batteries will be introduced only in the next fiscal.”p____p He adds that Powerware�s main aim is to provide an entire gamut of power solutions such as AC and DC. To this affect, it began manufacturing in India from October. It used to import products from Taiwan until now.

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