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Kaleidoscope -Leaders' Views

Ashida's Indigenously designed Numerical Protection Relays compete with international brands

Mr. S. D. NAIK
Start of Business : 1970
Business website : www.ashidaelectronics.com
Main Product Lines : Numerical Protection Relays, Control & Relay Panels, SCADA – Substation Automation
‘Star’ Product /State-of-the Art Design/Front-running Product : Numerical Protection Relays (Self Powered Relay)
Quality credentials of products (ISO/ CE/UL /CSA/RoHS etc.) : ISO 9001:2008, CE Certificate
City & Country of factory and Head Office : Thane, India
Names of locations of branch offices : Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad
Main countries of business operations : Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Italy, China
Major market segments for products : Utilities, Switchgear, RMUs, Substation Automation
Turnover growth % in last year compared to previous year : 20%

45 years ago, Ashida Electronics started designing electronic products as import substitutes. During those days, when government had controlled policies for business operations, Ashida made determined and sustained efforts due to which now they offer products to market that are absolutely comparable with international brands. Emphasis on innovative design and excellent quality control, has made Ashida as a preferred brand for Numerical Protection Relays.


What were thoughts and philosophies for starting your business?

In 1970, me along with my brother-in-law Lt. Mr. Manohar Kulkarni took first step to start our business venture. This period was before introduction to Globalisation, Privatisation & Liberalisation. The market was not open and we had many challenges to overcome. But, the basic idea of becoming an entrepreneur was very much strong which helped us to overcome all the hurdles we faced. We had a big dream of developing a product indigenously which was been imported. Additionally, 40 years back Indian government was pessimist of investing in Research & Development. This also urged us to get into business venture and create sustainable and indigenous products which can compete with existing foreign products.


To what extent you feel having fulfilled your objectives today?

ASHIDA is a recognized R&D House as well as Export House. ASHIDA has made lot of Research and have successfully designed Power Protection & Automation Solutions. Recently, in one of world’s biggest electrical fair i.e. ELECRAMA 2016, ASHIDA received an award for Best Product Developed by an Indian Exhibitor. I guess this certifies everything.


What according to you are your positive points towards growth and sustenance of your business?

ASHIDA has always focused on quality. We have never compromised on the quality of product. Since, we are in Protection industry we need to bind to all technical standards. This discipline in our approach is our biggest strength which has helped us to grow and sustain.


What are your considerations/ideas when you develop and introduce any new product or concept?

One approach for considering new products is to understand the lacunae with technical perspective. The second is to develop solutions which are more suitable to Indian technical and technological environment. This helps the industry to have customized solutions to Indian environment instead of using the prototypes that are been developed for American or European design standards.


Do you have any Green Channel Supplier

We have implemented Lean Manufacturing Procedure. This has helped us in eliminating wastes in manufacturing procedure. It has resulted in enhancing the quality, reducing the time and increasing the production capacity. We do we have Green channel Suppliers. These vendors abide to guidelines and supply product components JIT.


Are you a Green Channel Supplier to any customers

‘ASHIDA’ make Relays have high reliability in our customers’ mind. We supply the products as per our customer’s guidelines. We are green channel supplier to many of our customers.


What are your growth/expansion plans for next 5 years?

The basic idea of developing and manufacturing products indigenously keep us active. We have already created strong base in Electrical Protection industry our next focus is to penetrate in Electrical Automation industry.


How do you foresee growth of your industry in next 5 years (a) in the country, and (b) internationally

Indian products are now been well received. Our products have managed to create confidence in Utilities and Industries that Indian Products are at par with international brands. Even in international markets the perspective of looking towards Made in India products is facing transition. In international markets Indian products are well accepted.


What kind of bottlenecks you anticipate in your growth plans for next 5 years, and how you plan to counter them?

‘ASHIDA’ make relays are reliable, cost effective and lead time is lowest. These 3 attributes will help us to counter any speed breakers.


National/local competition is mostly from business units that come up by copying a leading brand with less features, less quality and less price. Do you have experience of it?

Our Electrical industry is in transition phase. Client’s expectations have been increased in terms of product quality and reliability. These expectations help in removing duplicate products


How you see the onslaught of international competition in your business segments?

Competition helps us in becoming more competitive with respect to the quality of products as well as developing and integrating technology. Competition keeps us motivated and challenges make us more aggressive in penetrating new markets.


Do you have any activities in practice for improving performance, loyalty and retention of your employees? You may like to mention those here along with your experience.

With implementation of Lean Manufacturing we have increased our production capacity. The Lead Time is low and our R&D team keep innovating the products. This helps quality and satisfaction for employees. Additionally, we also practice some periodic activities for employee satisfaction.

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