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India has emerged as a major market for specialized T&M devices

EM NEWS BUREAU ,  Thursday, June 30, 2011, 12:30 Hrs  [IST]

Arun Dogra.jpgArun Dogra, Vice President-Sales, Marketing & Support, EMG, Agilent, India

Agilent Technologies Inc. is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. In an exclusive interaction, Arun Dogra describes the activities of Agilent's electronics measurement (EM) business in India. With almost every big global organisation starting its R&D operations in India, the potential market for T&M instruments has expanded significantly. India will continue to be a great market for Agilent, asserts Dogra.

 To begin with, please tell us about the various products and solutions that Agilent Electronics Measurement (EM) offers in India, with respect to the power and electrical sector.
Agilent Technologies is the world's premier measurement company and offers the broadest range of innovative measurement solutions that enables its customers and partners to be leaders in their respective fields. Agilent deliver products and services that make measurable difference in the lives of people.

Agilent offers following products in the electronic measurement sectors in Indiaoscilloscopes; spectrum Analyzer (signal analyzer); network analyzer; logic analyzer; protocol analyzers and exercisers; EMI/EMC; phase noise; physical layer test; bit error ratio test (BERT) solutions; digital multimeter; voltmeters; power meters & power sensors; frequency counter products; noise figure analyzers & noise sources; LCR meters & impedance measurement products; digitizers; DC power analyzer; dynamic signal analyzers; mechanical & physical test; parameter & device analyzers; curve tracers.

The industrial, computer and the semiconductor markets is growing due to the development in the Indian infrastructure and computational markets across Tier-I and Tier-II cities. Aerospace and defense is growing as well and India is investing to expand its infrastructure particularly in areas like telecommunication. All these factors has contributed to the growth in the electronics measurement market in India.

What are the biggest demand drivers for Agilent (EM) in India?
All our products are class apart and leading in their categories but the demand in India has been more towards Oscilloscopes. An oscilloscope being among the fundamental test and debug tools in all spheres of product development and manufacturing, finds application across industry segments.

Untitled - 35.jpgThe oscilloscope market in India has grown rapidly over the last couple of years and the demand has always been driven by the best price-value that an oscilloscope vendor can offer. The demand for oscilloscopes has been strong from all key buyer segments- basic, high-volume & advanced, or highperformance. While education has been a key driver of growth for basic oscilloscopes, the design-validation customers push the envelope for high-performance oscilloscopes.

With advancing technologies, shrinking device sizes and rising data rates, the need for advancements in oscilloscopes is evident. Agilent has taken long strides and spearheaded a number of innovations in this field, making oscilloscopes "future-ready" for technologies of today and for the ones to come.

It is a general impression that India lacks facilities when it comes to testing of electrical equipment (especially high voltage gear). What is your view?
India has emerged as a major market for electronic products and systems and the growing business and demand for electronic products has led to an increase demand for greater accuracy and highly specialized test and measurement (T&M) devices such as digital multimeters, digital insulation testers, logic analysers, digital oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers, time domain reflectometers (TDR), multimeters, line power meters, etc.

Agilent Technologies, the No. 1 Test & Measurement company, has a large Indian presence to support its large Indian customer install-base. Agilent offers its Indian customers unmatched breadth and depth of measurement tools and expertise Agilent also offers the Indian customer widest range of world-class application support locally. Our India customer support centre holds an ISO 9002 certification and is an NABL accredited calibration centre.

To help keep our customers at the forefront of new technologies, Agilent has strong R&D presence. Our endeavor in India has been mainly across three focus areas:
  • To drive customer satisfaction by engaging with customers to link their roadmap to Agilent R&D through joint developments & partnerships to leverage sustainable, mutual profitable growth
  • To enhance technology advancement and innovation for both global and local markets
  • To drive internal and external productivity that enhances customer experience at each touch point with Agilent
Untitled - 36.jpgWhat is your view on the SME sector as a business driver for Agilent?
India has been witnessing a robust growth in the test & measurement space and this growth is happening across all the industry segments. Private participation has increased in segments like aerospace and defense, while telecom service providers have started investing heavily in test and measurement. The success of the global leader in handset manufacturing in India has instilled confidence in other players to invest as well of which we are at the forefront.

The SME market is a huge focus for us and it is known that we are the only T&M leader who has the capability to provide solutions across industry sectors. We maintained the lead in the market with our innovative products; in-line with the growth that the T&M industry is witnessing. The market is growing at a rapid pace, with the increasing design, R&D and manufacturing investments in all the major customer verticals including telecom, aerospace, defense, automotive, consumer electronics, contract manufacturing, semiconductors etc.

Very recently, Agilent's R&D centres for life sciences and chemical analysis at Bengaluru were expanded. What are Agilent's plans for the electronics measurement line of business?
Our customers look at us as "technology-enablers" and expect us to be always ahead of the technology curve when it comes to our products & solutions. Throughout its history, Agilent has invested heavily in research and development, firmly committed to technology leadership and our Research Laboratories identify and enable technologies that advance measurement, create compelling customer value and achieve sustainable competitive differentiation.

In fiscal 2011, we will invest 11 per cent of revenue in R&D across the board, organically outpacing the market and as India is a big market, we will continue to focus on R&D centres.

What is your view on availability of qualified manpower in India, mainly for Agilent's R&D and product development endeavours?
As per a study by Zinnov, owing to the large presence of MNCs in India, the installed base of talent pool continues to increase. The MNC R&D talent pool currently stands at 1,73,000 and is expected to grow to 2,84,000 by 2015. We have grown steadily in India owing to the great pool of talent and the learning and development programmes that we have created internally.

Untitled - 37.jpgWe have initiated global programmes wherein we have worked to build a talent pipeline for the future generation. Agilent Technologies has been supporting technological and R&D capabilities across the globe right from the student level. Since 2003, we have engaged more than 275,000 students in the U.S., China and India in the Agilent Clean Air Challenge (CAC) curriculum, a science- and math-based program targeting students in grades six to nine. Additionally, Agilent has trained approximately 2,000 teachers in CAC. Agilent has been a sponsor of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for 10 years and awards paid summer internships at Agilent sites around the world to "scientists and engineers" of tomorrow (high school students) competing at the event. We also award teachers globally; development grants to those mentoring students that compete at the event and we award $25,000 scholarships to deserving students competing in areas of science that align back with Agilent's businesses at the event.

Since Agilent's inception in 2001, Agilent After School (AAS), a hands-on, kit-based, after school science program targeted for middle school aged students has reached more than 500,000 students globally, with some 6,000 Agilent employee volunteers implementing it. Agilent has invested $3 million in AAS to provide the program in 24 countries, and currently are implementing it in 14 countries.

The Agilent Technologies Foundation supports university researchers working at the forefront of bio-analysis and electronic measurement.

In a general sense, how do you view India as a market for Agilent Technologies? What could be the three most important and distinguishing attributes that you see in the Indian market?
As electronics technologies evolve, Agilent stays one step ahead, anticipating customers' test and measurement needs. India has been a great market for us where we are growing continuously and evolving everyday with the changing market dynamics.

Agilent offers the broadest T&M portfolio from a single vendor in the market today. From consumer electronics to homeland security, from wireless and wireline communication to network reliability/assurance, Agilent offers its customers unmatched breadth and depth of measurement tools and expertise. Our continuous new product development is proof of our focus on innovation and our commitment to keep our customers on the cutting edge of technology. We offer the widest range of application support locally. Our local customer support centre holds an ISO 9002 certification and is an NABL accredited calibration centre. To help keep our customers at the forefront of new technologies, Agilent works closely with the standard bodies like WiMAX™ forum, LTE and 3GPP.

Untitled - 38.jpgIndia is an emerging and one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Segments promising growth of T&M in India include Telecom, Aerospace & Defense, R&D, Automotive & Consumer Electronics, and Education. The telecom sector remained unaffected by the economic slowdown and registered a robust growth during the period. The tele-density has grown multi-fold over the last couple of years and yet the subscriber growth story continues. Telecom T&M growth has been mainly fuelled by increasing subscriber base, domestic demand and new technologies like 3G, WiMAX™ and LTE. All these new technologies come with their special needs for test. The aerospace and defense sector has been largely dependent on the T&M industry for mission-critical testing needs. Recently, India has successfully launched Chandrayan-1 and plans to undertake many such missions in future as well. Therefore, T&M for space segment has attracted a large amount of investment.

In the past 10-15 years almost every big organization has started R&D operations in India. These R&D centers too need T&M equipment to develop new designs or technologies. With increased R&D activities in India, growth of T&M is certain. Automotive and consumer Electronics are other segments that hold a great potential for the T&M industry. In addition to the above industries, India's proven strength in semiconductor design is an important driver for T&M growth in India. Education industry is expected to see significant continued investments by government & some new investments from foreign private players in the next few years.
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