29 May 2020 17:37 IST

Polycab — connecting with customers through reliable products

Wires and cables make up 86% of the company’s ₹7,900-cr turnover; it exports to over 40 countries

Is it possible for a cables and wire manufacturer to go green? The answer is yes. Polycab India Ltd. has developed a ‘green wire’ which is non-carcinogenic, lead-free, energy-efficient, recyclable and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant.

The company — whose key focus is energy-efficiency — may have had its genesis in a small, 200 sq ft electric shop named ‘Sind Electric Stores’ in Lohar Chawl, Mumbai in 1964. Opened by Thakurdas Jaisinghani, who had shifted from Pakistan to India after the Partition, it sold such items as fans, switches, wires and lighting.

The founder’s tragic demise in an accident four years later forced his sons Girdhari and Inder to drop out of school and enter the business at a young age. Their siblings, Ramesh and Ajay, followed them, and the brothers learnt the business the hard way, hands on. Their enterprise and hard work paid off and, by 1975, they were able to set up a factory ‘Thakur Industries’ at Andheri, Mumbai, making cables and wires. This remained operational till 1984.

Polycab Industries was registered in 1983 (and incorporated later in 1996 as ‘Polycab Wires Pvt. Ltd.’) for the manufacture of insulated cables and wires. It became Polycab India Ltd. in 2018, just before it went public in 2019.

Power sector equipment

The company grew through word of mouth (it started advertising aggressively only in 2016). It entered the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business in 2009, making its mark in power distribution and rural electrification projects. By 2014, it had forayed into the FMEG segment, manufacturing switchgear, switches, solar products, conduits and accessories.

 

Polycab today maked wires and cables of different varieties — power, control, solar, building, flexible, multi-core, communication, welding, submersible, specialty, LAN, OFC, railway signalling, and green wires. It is also present in the fans, lighting, luminaries, pumps and appliances markets.

Its latest offerings include fire survival cables (capable of functioning for long periods even when a fire is raging), E-beam cables with greater current-carrying capacity, rubber cables with non-corrosive insulation and better flexibility, and instrumentation cables.

Polycab has always maintained that quality and reliability, combined with the right competitive pricing and a good stocking policy, are the key factors that keep its products moving. Keeping the safety of the consumer and its own brand name in mind, it has introduced unique bar codes in each and every product to prevent counterfeiting and ensure verification of authenticity.

These products are manufactured at 25 facilities, spanning the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, as also the UT of Daman & Diu. Most of these manufacturing facilities comply with ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001 quality and environment management requirements. They also have the ISO 45001:2018, IATF 16949:2016 and BASEC (British Approvals Service for Cables) certifications. Apart from these, some products are also manufactured according to the customer’s specifications and special technical requirements.

Range of clients, exports to 40 countries

Polycab’s clients come from various sectors — oil and gas, IT parks, railways (Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.), construction (L&T), and EPC companies, and not just in India but worldwide. As these sectors are witness to frequent change and product development, the company constantly innovates to keep its products up to the mark. Its central quality and test laboratory, at Halol, has the NABL accreditation.

 

Availability of quality material, in tandem with technical expertise, makes Polycab products attractive to both domestic and foreign customers. Its products are exported to over 40 countries. The turnover in 2019 was above ₹7,900 crore. Wires and cables accounted for the lion’s share of this — 86 per cent.

At present there are about 3,450 distributors and more than 1 lakh retailers who connect the company to the consumer. Recently, Polycab set up three ‘Experience Centres’ at Lohar chawl (Mumbai), Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. The aim of these centres is to educate consumers and trade partners about the diverse range of products on offer. The response has been good; a total of 100 such ‘Experience Centres’ are planned across the country.

The company also conducts awareness programmes to keep electrical dealers up to date with information on new products. It stays in touch with its agents and customers through the Polycab Current newsletter which covers such products and their uses.

After sailing quietly under the radar for many decades, Polycab products got major advertising mileage only during the IPL in 2016. They are promoted by celebrities like R Madhavan (fans), Paresh Rawal (wires) and Ayushmann Khurana (switchgear). The main tagline is ‘Connection Zindagi Ka’ and the emphasis is on quality, safety and responsible usage. The brand also has a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Social responsibility, awards

On the CSR front, Polycab has adopted two villages and aims to turn them into model, hygienic villages with toilets in every home and school. It also offers health check-up camps, breast cancer awareness camps and flood relief camps. It has focussed on building roads, and bringing lighting to and eradicating malnutrition in rural Gujarat.

Polycab has achieved the ‘Superbrand’ status every year since 2017. It has received the prestigious ‘National Best Employer Brand 2018’ award from the Employer Branding Institute of India.

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