The clear technology leader for RF test and measurement, broadcast and media, Secure and Radio Communication, cybersecurity and networks,R&S is outpacing legacy competitors in a difficult global economic environment amidst impact of the COVID-19. Meanwhile, the company is enjoying a sustainable growth through consistent diversification in the fields of communications, information technology and security, said Senior Director, T&M Sales & Operations, Rohde & Schwarz India, Nasser Jariwala in a candid and thoughtful discourse with ELE Times. Excerpts.
ELE Times: How will you define the role of Rohde & Schwarz as an ecosystem partner of the Indian technology industry?
Nasser Jariwala: Rohde & Schwarz works globally to shape the future of communications, information and security. We are market leaders in all of our business fields, including RF test and measurement, broadcast and media, Secure Communication & Radio communications & Monitoring, cybersecurity and networks.
In India we have partnered with Government agencies, training institutes and technology companies to facilitate technology growth in the country for the past 25 years. We have a strong presence in multiple locations across the country including tier-II cities directly or through our channel partner network.
India is not just a growth market for us, we look at India holistically. For several years now, Rohde & Schwarz India has been associated with leading Public sector units for tech transfer in the fields of broadcast transmitters, communication and monitoring receivers. Rohde & Schwarz India with global expertise and direct local presence has been working to facilitate key objectives of the Government like Digital India, Make in India, Atma-Nirbhar Bharat with focus on skills and investment in infrastructure. We have strong R&D Centers in Bangalore & Delhi supporting global product development.
We have been instrumental in supporting research in new domains of Material measurement and Quantum Physics as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment.
ELE Times: With regard to COVID-19 – a situation that has regrettably been with us far longer and kept us much busier than any of us could have imagined around one year ago: how is the company faring?
Nasser Jariwala: The current and previous business year has presented us with hitherto unseen challenges both at professional and personal levels. However, Rohde & Schwarz has successfully waded through the crisis and has achieved its key business targets. We are also on track to achieve higher growth in this financial year.
Rohde & Schwarz ended a successful financial year with revenue of more than EUR 2.5 billion despite a difficult global economic environment amidst impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has proved beyond doubt that our strategy of focusing on sustainable business practices was the appropriate course of action.
Even during the pandemic, R&S worldwide achieved sustainable growth through consistent diversification in the business fields of communications, information technology and security. In India too, the company has proven itself to be a reliable technology partner and was able to deliver after- sales services despite many challenges & lock down restrictions with full compliance to local authorities’ regulations.
Moreover, our senior management with its visionary outlook along with a COVID-19 Task Force at headquarters and local task forces helped to prioritize employee’s safety, health and alleviate stress.
We have weathered the storm well, we have maintained our focus and I believe that we are well-positioned to help support our customers in this new post-pandemic world. Our collective endeavors will help us to navigate and steer the company to achieve new heights.
ELE Times: Where do you see the growth opportunities for Rohde & Schwarz in the Test & measurement Business?
Nasser Jariwala: I believe that FY 22 will be an exciting year for Rohde & Schwarz with new product introductions planned in nearly all the market segments we serve. In general, Rohde & Schwarz has been following a strategy of increasing its R&D activities on the cloud and software defined products. If anything, the pandemic has helped sharpen focus on these areas and have resulted in accelerated developments in these areas.
5G is the most awaited technology in India. However, with the growing complexity of 5G devices, there is a need for one unified interface to test across all layers helps to simplify signaling tests and get a holistic view to the design validation test process of a device. As a company, we have unmatched expertise and comprehensive T&M solutions for the entire wireless ecosystem including 5G. We are rightly positioned to bring benefit to the entire mobile communication value chain.
From standardization of new processes to the development and manufacturing of components, wireless devices and base stations as well as, from the integration of new technologies into network operation to network monitoring and optimization, Rohde & Schwarz T&M equipment plays a key role. We support all established wireless standards and are making a decisive contribution to the introduction of 5G, connected car applications (V2X), machine-to- machine (M2M) communications and the internet of things (IoT).
Our test and measurement (T&M) solutions are also positioned well for the internet of things (IoT) market. As part of the Industry 4.0 concept, 5G will revolutionize factory automation by connecting operating facilities wirelessly. Rohde & Schwarz has already developed a comprehensive test and measurement portfolio to set up and reliably operate 5G factory networks.
ELE Times: Any other market segments that R&S is looking for T&M business growth besides Wireless Communication?
Nasser Jariwala: We are also focusing on other important market segments like Aerospace & Defence, Automotive, RF Components & Research.
Today’s vehicles integrate with an increasing number of wireless technologies, radar and high-speed data buses. Thus, verifying that unintended electromagnetic interference (EMI) is within specified limits and that cars are immune to disturbances from external electromagnetic sources (EMS) is becoming an ever-growing challenge for the automotive industry. A new field is the infrastructure for e-mobility such as charging stations that need to comply with applicable EMC limits.
As a world market and technology leader with decades of experience in EMC testing, Rohde & Schwarz offers end to end solutions for automotive electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and full-vehicle antenna testing. The automotive market has responded positively to the company’s innovative radar sensor and vehicle connectivity solutions.
Rohde & Schwarz is a close, long-standing partner of armed forces and leading companies in the aerospace and defense industry. Rohde & Schwarz meets the stringent requirements of the aerospace and defense industry with its high-end T&M instruments and systems for use in radar and satellite technology, avionics, navigation and military communications. Companies worldwide are developing electrically powered air taxis that will revolutionize transportation in urban areas. With its T&M equipment for industrial electronics, research and education, Rohde & Schwarz focuses on fundamental technologies and components at the start of the value chain.
As an expert in aerospace test applications, we are leading the way with innovations for Radar & EW Systems, Communications (4G,5G, SatCom), flight navigation (GNSS) and the overall electronic system performance. Locally in India, we are able to customize TRM ATE solutions to meet customers’ needs and prepare tailor made configuration ensuring high level of optimization and confidentiality.
In the economy range of T&M equipment which we renamed as R&S ESSENTIALS, we will ramp up our product portfolio with new products and also extend the range of our popular selling Handheld FPH Rider spectrum analyzer and also our high-performance power supplies. In addition, we also plan to introduce new features within our satellite amplifier family.
ELE Times: How do you strategize to add value to your customers?
Nasser Jariwala: We have a worldwide service and support network that safeguards customer investments. We support the technology industry by offering comprehensive services throughout all phases of the product life cycle. The company continuously invests in training its technical service and sales personnel to maintain a high level of technical competence in pre- and post-sales support.
In India, we continue to invest in building our infrastructure to provide customers with the same global standards of service and calibration. Last year, we did around 40 Onsite repair & Calibration as part of our SLA contractual agreements. Our Local System Integration Centres help to customize EMC & RF TRM ATE solutions as per customer testing needs and DUT requirements. We further look to evolve our customer engagement through market segmentation and focusing on the specific customer needs. Our corporate strategy will help us initiate the next steps in this process and further strengthen the market segments.
ELE Times: You just mentioned “evolve our customer engagement”. What does that refer to and how will it help your customers?
Nasser Jariwala: We want to focus even stronger on our different business models to take the company to the next level by introducing new product lines while addressing new customer demands. For example, in our T&M business we focus mainly on products and will still continue to do so. However, we have recognized that our project business requires more system expertise. General contractors want to have strong partners that cover not just a product group, but entire subsystems. We want to address this demand by setting a focus on Turnkey projects. Thus, this process is one of the key focus areas when it comes to taking the company to the next level through better customer engagement.
ELE Times: How do you envision the growth of the electronic industry market in India from the perspective of T&M solutions?
Nasser Jariwala: India is emerging as a forerunner in the next level of technological innovations. The electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector has seen a steady growth in recent years along with a shift in focus from pure play systems or product designs to include areas such as product development, original design manufacturing (ODM) and so on.
As an ecosystem partner, RSINDIA is upbeat about the overall growth of the Indian electronics industry. We feel that Government’s incentives for manufacturing and startups, focus on local value addition, new manufacturing base creation, enhanced industry academia interaction, utilization of Government facilities like Government e-Marketplace (GeM) will help the country to grow its manufacturing base and compete in the global market.
Driven by digital transformation, IoT, Industry 4.0, and other mega trends, the use of connected electronic devices is expected to grow along with the demand for electronic test and measurement equipment. Therefore, our products find significant utilization in research, product development, prototyping, manufacturing, and field-testing applications in the country across industry verticals.
Despite a temporary decline due to COVID-19, we are expecting the Indian market for our T&M business to grow at CAGR approximately 5% for the next 3-4 years. We also anticipate a sharp V shaped recovery of the Indian market in the next 8 to 10 months resulting in normal pre – Covid sales figures within the next 12 to 18 months.