TimesTech Buzz: Give a brief about R&M and its channel business. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the business?
Gaurav: Channel partners have a prominent responsibility in creating and expanding business opportunities across the globe. R&M has strengthened its regional distributors across India to make sure that our products are available everywhere in the country.
Considering the current and future scenarios of the Indian market, we design effective partner programs and roadshows which not only help us to increase our business figures but also accelerate the growth of our channel partners.
We were able to deal with the pandemic as said by our CEO Michel Riva with flexibility and resilience and this has reflected in our sales where for the year 2020 R&M ended the financial year with sales of CHF 249.5 million. Before the pandemic, more than half the companies surveyed worldwide preferred personal customer visits; today, that remains true for just one-fifth of companies. But this has not impacted R&M in any way as we are a company who help organizations/ DCs/ projects like smart cities, metro rail, airports, etc.
TimesTech Buzz: What are the focus segments for 2021?
Gaurav: India is the third-largest global market for R&M. Almost every big player in the market is R&M customer. We can also say that India is R&M’s new distribution hub. With a strong understanding of the competitive Indian market, our growth is backed by our key focus around BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, Hospitality and Government verticals for smart city projects, 5G connectivity, DCs and FTTH. R&M’s solutions are deployed at many customer sites and our footprint is pan-India. R&M has been a key player not just in the global market but also in the Indian region.
TimesTech Buzz: Please throw some light on R&M’s contribution to Indian Gov. Initiatives – Smart Cities/Make in India initiative?
Gaurav: Make in India from R&M’s perspective has two major components FTTH and 5G and we have already invested heavily in India on these two aspects. Fiber will play a key role in enabling the Government’s ambitious Bharat Net Program to provide high-speed broadband connectivity for all. Aligned to GoI flagship initiative Make in India, R&M had inaugurated a state-of-the-art production facility in August 2018 at Jakkur, Bengaluru. The plant was started with the idea that this plant will be supporting India to India but now the company is also exporting Fiber products.
Talking about Smart Cities, I think we are one of the leader’s today in the Smart City projects.. R&M has developed a special product line for copper, shielded or double jacketed cables with anti-rodent, anti-termite features specifically designed for the Smart City market. R&M is actively involved in most of the smart cities projects and we are proudly part of more than 15 projects across India.
TimesTech Buzz: How well is channel/distributor network spread across India? What are R&M channel ecosystem and strategies/initiatives for current FY?
Gaurav: With 5G about to roll out in near future, we are building our capacities on both human and technology level and have been continuously upgrading our human skill set for the upcoming demand. The year 2020 saw a disruption of a scale never seen before in our lifetimes. Innovation in our marketing activities has been the steady constant in the last few months and we intend to stay focused in the year ahead. We will continue to have a healthy mix of ATL and BTL activities, but with a dash of digital outreach since that is what the times now mandate. To keep our suppliers informed and, help them expand their distribution hub, R&M organized a virtual event – ANGA COM DIGITAL 2021 show from 8th to 10th June 2021. In digital form, R&M demonstrated the design possibilities of a new PoP (Point of Presence) fiber distribution station in concrete construction. R&M also presented its wide-ranging program of CCC solutions at the virtual trade show along with various other products. R&M is developing a comprehensive digitalization business model covering all aspects of cabling and network technology. It ranges from project planning and logistics to quality assurance. Within the framework of Building Information Modeling (BIM), planners will be able to copy construction drawings and 3D data in the future and integrate them into their designs. In the webshop, channel partners, clients those associated with R&M can store configurations or order lists and reuse them for future construction projects.