Europe's Simon eyes premium niche in switches

Europe's Simon eyes premium niche in switches
 In 2007, European switch maker Simon entered the Indian market through a joint venture, but somehow it did not work well for the Spain-based company. Now the company has re-entered or revamped itself without any partnership, and aims to create a strong foundation in India to grow.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Amit Garg, CEO, Simon India — the Indian subsidiary of Simon Holding, a Spain-based €266-million electrical wiring devices, lighting control and security systems company — said: “It’s now 100 per cent Simon. Last year, we decided to go on our own, and now we are focusing on creating a new team, bringing in people with the right experience, and in a couple of months we will fill in key positions of the company.” Simon Holding comprises 25 companies globally and offers more than 3,500 varieties of products with a sales network covering over 98 countries.

Simon plans to position itself in the mid-high and high segments in the country. The company has introduced S82 designer switches, and in October it plans to launch S38. “We have plans to build India-specific products and they will be unique,” said Garg. The company opened its global R&D centre in Noida recently. “Our focus is ‘Make in India’, and this R&D centre has commenced with three highly qualified people. Over the next three years, our idea is to bring in around 50 people onboard,” he said.

The company will invest Rs 25 crore on its R&D centre and also in marketing. “We have been getting very positive feedback from the market. The total switch and sockets market in India is worth Rs 4,000 crore, including modular and non-modular,” Garg said.

Garg said there are some 100 players in the market. “We are confident that with our 100 years of experience we could provide good quality products to Indian customers. We want to become one of the top three players in the premium segment,” he said.

Expansion plans

Though at present Simon’s primary business is in North India, especially in pockets of Punjab, Delhi, UP, and Rajasthan, it is planning to expand pan-India from next year.

“We will participate in an exhibition to be held in February next year in Bengaluru. In the next few years we will have a 400-500-member sales team across India. We are also planning to expand in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh by the end of next year,” he said.

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