Delta Electronics India, the local arm of the world’s largest power management solutions company, the $11.2 billion Delta Electronics Inc, is planning to add manufacturing capacity in India by setting up more factories. The broad idea is to focus on infrastructure, automation and mobility as business areas, Managing Director Niranjan Nayak tells ETEnergyworld in an exclusive interview. Edited excerpts..
Delta is known as a large player in the industrial automation business in India. How has the business and its various segments evolved over time?
Delta is a company with over 50 years of history that started manufacturing components for TVs and continuously diversifies into promising areas with a vision of megatrends. Delta started its operations in India in 2003 and the focus was telecom power solutions. Today, we are the world’s largest power management solutions company. The key areas where Delta is present include automotive powertrain and electronics, power systems for ICT infrastructure, industrial automation, thermal management, smart energy solutions, building automation and display. Smart Energy Solutions include solar inverters, wind converters, energy storage solutions and EV charging solutions and energy management systems, which are important for us. Here, Delta is focusing on both hardware and software. The company spends over 8 per cent of its revenue in R&D globally, with over 70 R&D centers and over 9,000 R&D engineers worldwide and that is something we are proud of. Overall, as a company, we started with product side of business, and slowly moved into systems and solutions too.
What is the plan for growth in each one of these areas, and specifically, renewable energy and EV charging?
Today, our telecom solutions are installed at more than a million sites in India. At the same time there was a requirement for improving the efficiency and flexibility of this passive infrastructure, meaning, power management solutions. So, we invested heavily in developing solutions suited for the Indian power grid. On that background, when we diversified into newer areas, energy-infrastructure became a key area for us. In 2007, we became the first company to start a renewable energy solutions business. That included design and system integration for solar power plants in India. When the National Solar Mission started in 2010, we started developing our own solar inverters. We simultaneously focused on wind power converters. We started manufacturing these products at our Hosur and Rudrapur factories. We entered into the EV charging solutions business in 2017-18. We started designing and manufacturing the chargers in our Rudrapur factory. Later we started manufacturing AC and DC chargers for all the segments. We have now started a new manufacturing facility at Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu and we plan to expand it.
The solar inverters space in India is evolving at a fast pace with new technologies and demand centres emerging rapidly. How does Delta look at the future of its solar play?
The market for solar inverters is very cost competitive and demanding. We are one of the leaders in the solar rooftop segment. We have also launched an energy storage solution based on our solar inverters. Today we are also deploying solar inverters integrated with EV charging solutions. This is part of our focus on the future.
What is the share of these business segments in the overall business of Delta and how do you see that mix evolving over time?
Globally, Delta had revenues of $11.28 billion in 2021. We expect to surpass this in 2022. Around 50-60 per cent of this business comes from power electronics, 15-20 per cent comes from automation and the rest comes from infrastructure solutions, especially for ICT and energy globally. In India, because renewable energy and EV charging businesses are likely to grow, we expect energy-infrastructure to grow faster. We expect our revenues from India to growth much further, event without considering the exports, and we expect this to grow as we expand manufacturing activities here.
From the point of view of growth in the Indian market, what are the top 2-3 key priority areas the company is working on?
We have identified three areas. First one is infrastructure, including telecom, data centre and energy infrastructure. The second focus area is automation – industrial and building automation. The third focus area is mobility, including charging infrastructure for EVs and the power supply solutions for vehicles. Apart from this, we also plan to focus on future energy technologies like Hydrogen etc. There, the focus is to develop power electronics for Green Hydrogen production. We are planning to invest heavily in both expansion of operations and R&D. We are already building large factory operations in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. We already have four factories here and we are planning to build more factories based on our future manufacturing activities. These operations will focus on both local supply and exports. We are also building a huge R&D lab in Bangaluru which will house around 2,000 engineers. This focus on investments shows that Delta management is looking at India as one of the strongest regions for growth in the future.
The interview was published in ETEnergyWorld