“AV Industry is Fast Evolving Into a Hi-Tech Sector”

Hi-Tech Sector
Gagan Verma
Executive Director India & SAARC, Crestron


Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation are propelling the adoption of AV by several sectors including the retail, hospitality, education, infrastructure and residential development projects, amongst others. While still in its nascent stage in India, the AV technology offers exciting opportunities for the manufacturers and the channel partners.

Crestron is a global manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems. Its solutions are built on a validated architecture, using best-in-class technology that integrates unified communications, AV presentation, IT, lighting, audio and environmental systems and works across industry sectors. In an exclusive chat with Channel Times, Gagan Verma – Executive Director India & SAARC, Crestron, explains the various challenges and opportunities in the AV industry and the company’s different initiatives in this space.

CT: What are some of the interesting or key installation projects that the company has participated in recently over the past year?

Gagan Verma: We are part of many projects over the past year, it has been an iconic year with multiple landmark projects, few interesting jobs were for the HQ project for the biggest Business House in India, we are doing the entire Integration of the Building with the latest of Audio Video Integration, BMS Integration, Lighting Integration, Environmental Integration and IT Integration( Room Scheduling, Remote Management etc ), in Government Vertical we just finished the AV Upgradation for the Honourable Supreme Court of India.

CT: What are some of the major tech / AV trends you have observed in the marketplace? What do you think are the reasons towards the trending?

Gagan Verma: Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation are propelling the adoption of AV by several sectors including the retail, hospitality, IT parks, infrastructure and residential development projects. From the consumer side also, there is an increased awareness for the need for automation, which is prompting system integrators to offer more options. This segment is still a nascent industry in India and we see long-term growth. The AV trends will continue to gain momentum and drive growth for the segment. With the Indian economy growing at a healthy rate, creating positive business environment, we expect the push to continue for our business.

CT: In this age of technology disruption and value-chain consolidation, how do you think the role of system integrators has changed in the grand scheme of things?

Gagan Verma: As the adoption rate increases, the role of system integrators also gains significance. Now, they have become integral to the industry because of the growing demand. Despite technology disruption and value-chain consolidations, system integrators are still part of part of the core network in expanding our business considering that the industry is still evolving in India. This region is still a long way when it comes to AV adoption. But we see scope for tremendous growth and system integrators will continue to play a vital role.

CT: How can we enhance the manufacturer-integrator-client relationship? Where does InfoComm India come in on this equation?

Gagan Verma: There is no doubt that the manufacturer-integrator-client relationship must improve by leaps and bounds, especially in developing markets like India. For any nascent industry, the awareness among the clients is key because it will lead to higher adoption rate. To enhance the awareness among clients, this relationship plays a crucial role. Platforms like InfoComm India, which is five years old, is vital to foster growth in the industry. It is one-stop destination for professional AV companies and the participation is increasing year-on-year. This is a good sign and companies need to leverage this platform for better business outcomes.

CT: Integration being a big part in the AV industry, what are some of the challenges and opportunities you would anticipate in the near horizon?

Gagan Verma: The AV industry is fast evolving into a hi-tech sector, as innovations are taking place at every level. An installation would need frequent updates and integration is critical. With the advent of IoT and Internet-based security, integration becomes even more important for all sectors. The security sector in particular will have multiple challenges and obstacles. Therefore, it is important for clients to decide what they want from a long-term perspective. For the industry in a market like India, the challenge still remains the same – raising the awareness level, improving adoption rate, sensitising the need for professional AV.

CT: What new technology is/are on your radar right now? Why? How will that affect or drive the market going forward?

Gagan Verma: The entire focus is to move the company towards IT, we are leading the charge to move the entire Industry towards IT, we have released our XIO Cloud Technology which prompted Microsoft to award us the prestigious IoT Partner of the year award. The revolutionary IoT-based deployment and management platform for the modern, intelligent workplace reduces installation time by up to 90%, allows one to configure up to thousands of devices in the same time it takes to configure one, helps in resolving events remotely to improve device uptime, helps gather actionable usage data to optimize people, space, and technology, with no programming.

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