LAPP Group India
Lapp Group India, a 100% subsidiary of the LAPP GROUP Germany, is a leading supplier of integrated solutions and branded products in the field of cable and connection technology. Having started its operations in 1996 with a manufacturing unit in Jigani-Bangalore, it is the second largest plant outside Germany. In 2012, Lapp Group India completed the first phase of its second manufacturing plant in Pilukedi, Bhopal. The manufacturing plant in Bhopal produces more than 216,000kms of single core cables per annum, catering mainly to the Building Cable Segment. In 2014, the production area at Jigani was also doubled and a new multi core line was commissioned in Bhopal with a total investment of over 5 Million Euros. Currently, Lapp Group has the second biggest market in India.
Today, Lapp provides about 150,000 km per year of power, control, instrumentation and data cables along with connectors, accessories and customized cabling solutions to over 5500 customers pan India. Our customers are spread across different industry segments such as automation, textile, automotive, machine tools, oil and gas, renewable energy, process industries, as well as in the infrastructure and building sectors. To service our customer better, we currently have 23 Sales offices along with 5 service points & 5 warehouses. We also have a strong network of 180 dealers and distributors, a state of the art laboratory and a fully-fledged Innovation & Engineering Centre. We provide tailored solutions for customer-specific applications to meet the industry challenges.
Lapp brands – ÖLFLEX®, UNITRONIC®, ETHERLINE®, HITRONIC®, EPIC®, SKINTOP®, SILVYN®, FLEXIMARK® – are some of the best-known brands in the cable technology field and have earned a reputation for being high quality, reliable, value for money and safe.
Responses to be attributed to Mr. Marc Jarrault – Managing Director – Lapp Group India Pvt. Ltd.
- Give us a brief background of LAPP Group. What inspired you to start a company in India?
Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, Lapp Group is a leading supplier of integrated solutions and branded products in the field of cable and connection technology. Its wide range of portfolio ranges from standard and highly flexible cables for power, control and data applications, and industrial connectors, customized system solutions, robotics solutions & automation systems for the intelligent factory of the future.
Lapp Group is a family run company. The founders of Lapp Group had a special affinity towards India and had foreseen potential of the Indian market in terms of rapid growth in infrastructure and industrialization in the year 1996. India has always been a key focus for themowing to the promising growth opportunities of the country. Lapp Group India is the second largest company of the Lapp Group.
Mr. Andreas Lapp,Chairman of the Board Lapp Holding AG, is also Honorary Consul of the Republic of India for Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland Palatinate. He has always urged and worked towards extending support to enhance and strengthen the trade relations between the two countries.
- What motivated you to focus on cables and connected technology?
In the 1950s, the upswing in industrialisation led to a huge demand for cables and conductors. Facing this development, Oskar Lapp’s (the founder of Lapp Group) one question on how couldhe optimise the time-consuming current method of inserting single cores and switching strands into the outer sheaths, gave him an idea ofinventing the first industrially produced flexible, colour-coded signal cable – ÖLFLEX®. From the brand ÖLFLEX®, Lapp Group went on to offering connectors, lands, conduits to client-specific preassembled systems for cable systems, spiral custom cables, energy supply systems and custom applications all around the world.
Here in India over the last 20 years, the manufacturing sector has seen tremendous technological changes with automation as the key highlight. Automation’s significant advantage is increase in productivity in facilities. Also, scalability, repeatability, waste reduction and enhanced quality control give companies an advantage by reducing long-term costs, thus increasing product output and revenue.
Cables play a prominent role in running ‘smart’ factories and an efficient cabling solution connects multiple components in an automated factory. Robots, for instance, have become a crucial element of complex production processes and are used throughout the industry. As robots are always in motion, they must work accurately and reliably under stress, just like the corresponding cables, components and cable systems. Since even the smallest of interference can lead to high costs when it comes to production failures, cable manufacturers work towards manufacturing cables which ensures smooth and reliable operations.
- From 1996 to 2017 your company has come a long way. What according to you has contributed towards the successful expansion of your company over the years?How has your company kept pace with technological upgradation over the years?
Innovation is one of Lapp’s guiding principles. Innovation results in future-oriented solutions for our customers. At Lapp Group India, we always strive towards improvements in methods, processes and technologies. The emphasis on technology has enabled Lapp to market new products on a regular basis, while maintaining quality standards.
At Lapp Group India, we continuously strive towards developing our products and system solutions keeping in mind the customer requirement and our high standards of quality, safety and reliability. This is possible only because of continuous improvement of our processes and procedures. OLFLEX®CONNECT is our customized cable assembly solution to help offer customers with a plug and play solution in order to scale up to meet business requirement while saving on operational and capital expenditure and the cost of holding inventory at the customers’ end.
LAPP Group India is ISO 9001:2008 certified. This is an international certification awarded to companies which follow the quality management principles to improve organizational performance. Both our manufacturing plants in Bangalore and Bhopal and our Sales offices across the country are certified under ISO 9001:2008.
- What are some of the biggest challenges your company has had to face over the years?
India is a challenging market. The market is price sensitive and demands world class technologies at affordable pricing. To meet this challenge, we manufacture products high in demand in India with an exception of some specialized products.
Another important challenge is the infrastructure which is the key to ensuring that heavy-duty products are moved from one to place to another to ensure timely delivery. It is critical that as a country we lay more focus on developing road and rail infrastructure to fuel growth by ensuring ease of transportation of goods from one place to another.
Moreover, India needs to emerge as a manufacturing hub for machines and equipments like China and Europe. ‘Make in India’ is a step towards this. This initiative will help grow the demand for cable and connection technology as well.
The Government’s implementation of GST has further eased the process of doing business and is a big step towards ease of doing business and establishing India as a global manufacturing hub.
- What are the unique attributes about your products that set them apart from the products offered by other players in the Indian market?
Lapp Group is a solution provider with customizing the products according to customer’s requirement. We are the one stop shop for all your cable and connectivity requirements. We have an extensive range of more than 40,000 products which are of superior German quality. All our products comply to global standards, and come with low maintenance cost and high service life.
We offer not only high quality but also technologically superior products.
- What has been the impact of GST on your business?
Introduction to GST has savedtransportation cost, transaction cost and administrative cost. It hasalso reduced errors, transit damages and delays.In the operation front, we are able tosave a lot of time, cost and manpower. Earlier, we were suffering from non-value-added activities like stock transfers. By way of GST, we are able to bill any customer in India as there is no request for local VAT billing by the customer. Initially it required us to stock transfer the materials to the respective state and later bill it locally to the customer. With GST in place it saves us about 50% of our time and effort. The process is nowfaster, and we can reach our customers better.
The revised rate of GST on cable and wire from 28% to 18% has further come as a welcome relief. We will be now able to pass on the price benefit of reduced GST to the customers.
- What has been your approach towards product innovation in the textile industry? Describe your wide range of products for the textile industry.
In 1996, when we started our operations in India, textile industry was one of the focus segments. We have some of the reputed textile manufacturers as our oldest customers. Lapp is re-thinking and re-defining the cable and connection technology, with focused R&D and innovation, to meet the challenges faced by the textile industry. Our offerings go further than just the cables for the power, control and data applications but also connectors, conduits, cable glands, marking systems and tools along with our OLFLEX® CONNECT customized cable assembly solution.
Lapp is synonymous with innovation and we believe in developing innovative cabling products and solutions that help and assist our customers. For the textile industry, we offer tried and tested products and customized solutions, used in various stages of textile processes like spinning, weaving, knitting, fabric and garments processing. Lapp products are designed for critical applications like continuous motion, high temperature, for chemical and other harsh environments. Lapp cables are slim and light in its construction making it more flexible and can withstand high temperatures. The products are chemical/oil resistant and weather proof, with great mechanical strength.
Following are few of our products that are ideal designs for the textile industry:
OLFLEX® CONNECT: OLFLEX® CONNECT our customized plug ‘n’ play solution, ranges from the simple cable assemblies to industry standard servo connections and right up to sophisticated high-speed drag-chain systems, to help meet exact customer requirements.
OLFLEX® CLASSIC 110 cables: These are screened PVC control cables with transparent outer sheet, designed to be flame retardant and all weather resistant.
UNITRONIC® cables: Data network cables and field bus components provide a forward-looking solution for all applications in industrial machinery and plant engineering. From transmission of simple control signals to field bus signals in complex network structures, we offer a reliable cable and connection solution.
ETHERLINE® cables: High-quality data communication systems for ETHERNET technology. A secure, fast and reliable path to the future of ethernet applications and delivers an effective solution for applications in the industrial environment.
EPIC® SMART: Industrial connecters designed and manufactured specifically for Asian markets with the promise of high performance at a cost-effective price. These connectors are waterproof and temperature resistant that can be used for the power and control applications in textile industry.
- What is your take on the future scenario of cables and connected technology in the Indian market?
One of the emerging trends in Data Network cabling is the use of fiber optic cables emerging as a popular medium for both new cabling installations and upgrades, over copper cables. Fiber offers a number of advantages over copper including greater bandwidth, higher speeds and greater distances, higher levels of safety and immunity to many environmental factors that otherwise affect copper. Also owing to its light weight, design and durability, the size of fiber makes it easier to handle and takes up lesser space in cabling ducts. Manufacturers have also started to offer end-to-end cabling solutions that provide the benefit of consistency to one’s network. Of the thousands of feet of cables running through a manufacturing facility, the end-to-end solution brings together all components, cable assemblies, patch panels, patch cords, connectors and adaptors.
We are also excited about the Make in India Campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This campaign has laid out the red carpet to foreign investors to manufacture their products in India. While the wire and cable and industry does not get a direct mention in the campaign our focus is on supplying cables for applications pertaining to industries that is part of the campaign – such as textile, automotive, machine tools and gain benefit.
- What are your future plans?
We believe in driving growth for the company not only by increasing our customer base but also by acquiring new companies to meet our customer requirements and address new segments. Last year in October we happily announced the acquisition of companies like CEAM and Fender. CEAM was a leading European manufactures of data cable for Industrial Ethernet and fieldbus network systems where Fender specialized in cables for alarm and fire protection systems. This facilitated us to expand and venture into newer segments and sector.
Along with acquisitions, we have also ventured into markets outside Germany. India is the 2nd largest market where we are growing at double digit. Apart from India we also see China as the crucial market as it is a manufacturing hub and market in US has also proved to be fruitful for us. For every market, we look at customizing the production to meet customer requirements and application demand.
Our vision is to become the preferred partner for cable and connection technology for our customers across all segments of the industry. We at Lapp Group India aim to double our current annual turnover and build a base of 10,000 active customers by the year 2020. This growth is expected to come from ensuring that we increase our customer base in our focus segments and also strengthen our presence in retail. To achieve long-term sustained growth, we will continue to cater to different industry segments and focus on large corporate organizations as well as SMEs & SMBs. Our key focus areas include automation, textile, F&B and infrastructure industries which have been witnessing considerable growth over the last few years.