The Indian sensing and control industry is seeing a transformation. As the living standards of the population go up and more advanced manufacturing processes and products are demanded by the market, sensing and control have come to play a very important role. This is evident, be it in the household consumer electronic products market – like washing machine, refrigerators, security systems and lighting controls – in the industrial sector for precision operations, or in the service sector for temperature/humidity control and so on.
Sensors are used for the measurement of many physical/non-physical parameters such as: temperature, humidity, light, time velocity, acceleration, dimension, rotation, position, identification, direction, pressure and flow – among others.
Over the last decade or so, India has seen a surge in the number of global sensing & control players entering the market. Most of them have come in on their own and set up offices, while a few others have entered with a business partner to start with. Their initial success has made them more confident. They are now looking at expanding their footprint in India by setting up manufacturing bases and by enlarging their channel partner base.
The broad trends in the sensing & control market are as follows:
- The growth in the sensing and control industry is faster than that of the overall industry growth as the product penetration is increasing fast.
- India gets most of its sensing and control products from the US, Europe and China.
- Product customisation is needed, so while products are brought in as SKD (semi-knocked down), locally customisation is done to fit client needs. This is done by companies that are also setting up engineering resources as well as sub contractors who can assist them in meeting specific customer requirements.
- The process industry is larger than the equipment industry, as a lot of sensitive equipments are imported to India, whereas process execution is done locally.
- There are several factors driving the use of these products. Examples: increased driving safety requirements, comfort, new emission norms, energy efficiency needs, lifestyle, precision & accuracy needs.
- There are very many diverse applications, and thereby a large number of players active in the market. There are quite a few Indian players too, however Indian suppliers are more active on the process side, rather than on the equipment.
- Some of the key industries where the demand for these products is increasing are: Automotive, Medical, Defence, Buildings, Consumer Electronics, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage and Aviation.
While the market is in its early stages of growth, competition is increasing. A strong product and brand supported by a good strategy could help make inroads, since customer loyalties are not yet strong. Local companies are on the lookout for technologies to enhance their portfolios through alliances and partnerships with other best-in-class companies.
Rohit Chaturvedi is the Managing Director of Expand in India, a venture that provides business advisory and execution services to companies eyeing business expansion opportunities in India.
An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Rohit has previously worked for well-known multinational companies, including DuPont and Schneider Electric.
Note: The views expressed in this blog are the author’s own expert opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCPC and its employees. RCPC cannot be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.