Business in India India: Proximity to Customers in India brings success

Von Stéphane Itasse

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The Indian market is considered to be complex but interesting. The example of the German company Rittal shows the important factors for success despite the bureaucracy and the bad infrastructure.

Production at Rittal India in Bangalore: The quality is the same as in Germany. This is an important factor for the company for customer satisfaction.
Production at Rittal India in Bangalore: The quality is the same as in Germany. This is an important factor for the company for customer satisfaction.
(Photo: Itasse)

India was on the agenda even before China for this company from Herborn producing air conditioning systems and switchboard systems. Rittal has a long presence with its subsidiary since 1994 itself in the much noted country. The area on the business location in Bangalore has now been extended to 4500 m², the production area to 19,200 m². Last year a training centre was opened for the entire Asia-Pacific region. Rittal India has about 1100 employees and over eight agencies all over India. In addition the company works together with 40 distribution partners in the country. “This is a very strong factor for success of Rittal in India”, says Ajay Bhargava, Managing Director of the subsidiary.

Transport and infrastructure are the main topics

The company has 5000 end customers currently in the country. But “It's not enough” for Bhargava. He sees potential in various branches: For example, the food and beverage industry is growing by 8 to 10 % every year. If these companies want a better quality of production, Rittal often comes in the picture. Bhargava also sees a strong position for his company in the process industry as well as in machine building, in automation or in IT which is well represented in India. Rittal profited in the IT branch from the big trend for Cloud Computing through the establishment of data centres.

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Other opportunities for growth are present in transport and infrastructure, improvement in these sectors is the top priority of the government in Delhi. “We have already contributed in a number of projects in the field of power distribution, for improving the infrastructure and power supply. Rittal delivered electricity distribution equipment for the Metro and distribution cabinets for traffic lights. With the Smart Cities planned in all the urban areas of India other attractive development areas are opening up: The public transport technology and IT-technology must be developed and a better networking must be enabled”, explains Hans Sondermann, sales manager at Rittal. “We know many industries, when the investments in India start we will be at the right place at the right time” Bhargava says optimistically.

Intelligent logistical concepts developed for India

Rittal can feel the infrastructure problems in India even at other places: The number of complaints due to the damage in transit is high even if the situation has improved over the last few years according to Bhargava. Logistics is a challenge of a special kind. “When goods have to be transported between individual storehouses, it is possible only through sale and thus payment of local taxes. This restricts the local delivery centres in their flexibility”, explains Sondermann. Nevertheless, according to Rittal, it has found intelligent logistical concepts to be able to give a 48-hour delivery guarantee for the most important regions. This includes five of their own distribution centres where 30 distribution partners are also involved.


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