Nilesh Malani, President and Chief Marketing Officer, Polycab India Ltd.
Nilesh Malani, President and Chief Marketing Officer at Polycab India, spoke to ET Insights about the role of cables and wires industry, sustainability and the future of Polycab India. Here are some excerpts:
What role do cables and wires play in our modern lives?
We have time and again acknowledged, the vital role of cables and wires in our lives. We live in a wired world today; wires and cables connect our systems, machines, gadgets, friends and indeed, our lives. The global growth drivers for the wires and cables industry include rising urbanisation, industrialisation, and growing infrastructure.
Increasing investments in renewable energy, upgradation of power transmission and distribution systems, smart grid development and accelerated demand for internet connectivity, are expected to drive market growth. These factors augur well for higher demand from domestic and export markets.
The construction sector, led by infrastructure projects, rail network expansion and urban infrastructure projects like the Smart Cities mission, metro rail, data centres etc., will drive the demand growth.
It would be impossible to survive without the power provided by wires and cables in every house, office, etc. As the world is evolving and people are adapting to the new, the focus has now shifted to buying environment-friendly products. Consequently, the production of wires and cables has evolved to meet the growing demand for durable, eco-friendly wires and cables today. To sum it up, the industry landscape has completely transformed in the modern world, and we are looking forward to catering to our audience in a sustainable way.
The adoption of a green effort by the wire and cable industry presents its own set of problems. What is your approach for sustainability?
We at Polycab India, are preparing for a low-carbon future. We have championed environmental preservation since our inception and take its stewardship seriously. We actively review the impact of our operations and make choices to reduce our environmental footprint. Our commitment to environmental sustainability promotes the health of our business, the quality of service we provide and value creation for our diverse groups of stakeholders.
The goals that we have selected to own and work upon directly, include climate action, industry innovation and infrastructure, good health and well-being, responsible consumption and production, decent work and economic growth, affordable and clean energy, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and gender equality. The development of a comprehensive ESG framework align us to the highest global standards and serve as a guide for the implementation of sustainable business practices. This framework will align us with the finest global standards. This framework will align us with the finest global standards.
Polycab is constantly developing innovative compounds and materials to provide superior performance while ensuring compliance with all local and international standards and striving to create new benchmarks in safety and sustainability.
Our main purpose is to innovate for a brighter living. The clients that we cater to are delighted with the cutting-edge, reliable, and environment-friendly goods and solutions. Our dedication to being a responsible and caring business is shown in the fact that we place a strong emphasis on sustainable development. We aim to make a noticeable, larger impact on the communities and ecosystems where we live and work.
Polycab is an ecologically and socially responsible organisation, and one of its primary goals is to develop long-term value for its stakeholders via sustainable expansion. We hope that by embracing sustainable development and going above and beyond the minimal information disclosure requirements and regulatory compliance standards, we will be able to bring value to our shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers, as well as to society.
What are the top two technologies your company will prioritise in 2023?
Polycab has always been at the forefront of utilising technology to support business growth and become a digital-first organisation. We have invested meaningfully on advanced technologies and digitalisation to improve customer experience, ease of working, decision making, operational efficiencies, pace of manufacturing and process automation, amongst others.
To keep the organisation future-ready, we are upgrading Oracle ERP to the latest version (12.2.11) + OIC Middleware along with bolt-on such as sourcing, planning, S&OP, EPC, EXIM and automation solutions in addition to identified business improvement areas. We are a highly data-driven organisation and with this upgradation, we can utilise relevant business insights in real time and deliver more accurate business decisions.
We are also working on implementing business process automation solutions such as Warehouse Management, Invoice Processing Automation, Logistics solution for Transport & Tracking, EHS Management Tools, Vendor Portal, new HRMS and payroll solution, travel booking self-service and expense automation etc. These initiatives will improve our performance, scalability, and reliability across operational areas.
Over the next few years, we are looking to digitise our entire ecosystem and completely innovate the way we conduct business. We have drawn up the blueprint and initiated execution for creating joyous experiences for all our distributors and customers as well as for increasing sales teams’ productivity.
A quick look at your journey so far, the challenges, and the way forward?
Polycab is India’s largest manufacturer of wires and cables, and a prominent player in FMEG industry with an established export presence. The business started in 60s as a small electrical shop based out of Mumbai and has now scaled up to be amongst the top 130 listed companies in India with over Rs 41 Bn of Market capitalisation.
We have concluded the first nine months of FY23 on solid footing, registering the highest ever revenue, EBITDA and PAT in the history of the company, which stood at Rs 97.84 Bn, Rs 12.40 Bn and Rs 8.54 Bn respectively. Our healthy performance demonstrates the strength of our executional capabilities effectively leveraging our strong market position and robust distribution network.
To take our capabilities into the next level, we have envisioned a multi-year program called “Project Leap”, which includes a range of strategic themes and initiatives focused on growth, profitability and long-term capability building for the organisation across B2B and B2C businesses with a goal of achieving Rs 200 Bn sales by FY26. Under this project, Polycab is working on customer-centricity, improving Go-to-Market excellence, new-product development, enhancing digital capabilities, expanding presence in overseas market and a sharp focus on ESG.