RR Kabel: Wiring safer buildings
Courtesy its smart media campaigns, extensive product line and wide reach, RR KABEL has gained credible brand recall among the electrical cables space during the last decade. Today, the company boasts a strong dealer network across major cities pan-India and is present in more than 80 countries across the globe. Shweta Nanda from Engineering Review recently got the privilege to chat with Shreegopal Kabra, MD, RR KABEL, who spoke to us at length about the company’s plan for ELECRAMA, the biggest electricals safety hazards in India and how to curb electrical accidents. Excerpts from the exclusive interaction:
Q. What are the current trends and innovations impacting the Indian wire and cable industry?
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards the usage of fire survival cables, especially in common areas. In line with the mandate of National Building Code of India (NBC), usage of fire survival cables is picking up in public buildings and constructions, such as hospitals, theatres, shopping complexes, tunnels, etc. Second major trend that is seen globally is increased usage of Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LS0H) instead of PVC Wire due to its safety hazards. However, India is yet to catch up with this trend.
Q. What are the safety hazards related with PVC wire? In your view, why are the wires still being used in India?
PVC wire is most commonly used in India despite the fact that they are very dangerous. When they come in contact with flame, these wires generate a lot of poisonous, dense smoke that results in limited visibility and is hazardous for people to breathe. Most of the deaths in an event of fire outbreak are not caused by fire itself but because of suffocation caused due to inhalation of toxic smoke emitted from burning wires. That’s precisely the reason usage of LS0H wires has become a norm globally. In India, however PVC is still used widely due to two-fold reasons: lack of awareness and cost.
Q. What are the biggest challenges related to electrical safety in India?
Biggest challenge in India is there is abysmally low focus on wires as these products go behind the walls and hence are not included in customer’s priority. Electrical contractors settle for low-cost, substandard cables, which poses serious safety hazards. Majority of the fire accidents in India are caused by electrical short circuits, which mainly occur due to poor quality wires and cables.
Q. In your view, how can we strengthen electrical safety in India?
This will require serious efforts from the entire value chain right from government, builder to end-users. The government needs to enforce more stringent fire safety regulations. While the government is focusing strongly on the energy saving aspect in cables, there is little thrust in the area of cable quality. Similar to 5-Star products for energy saving, there should be a separate category indicating 5-Star products for electrical safety.
The end-users need to be made aware that choosing a good quality contractor with good quality electrical products will result only in additional expense of Rs 25/square feet. This is nominal as compared to the damage caused by low-quality electrical products.
Q. Being a leading company in the wire and cable industry, what steps is RR Kabel taking in increasing awareness around electrical safety in the country?
We, at RR Kabel, are totally committed to the cause of electrical safety in India. For raising awareness, we are constantly speaking to the media, government bodies, contractors and builders. We run media campaigns around the same. I always stress that one should never play with electricity.
Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA), the apex association of the Indian electrical equipment manufacturing, is also working extensively in this direction. It has discussions with NBC, BIS and Central Electrical Authority regarding requirement for stringent laws for electrical safety standard.
Q. Tell us about key products that RR Kabel intends to showcase at ELECRAMA 2020. What opportunities are you expecting?
Elecrama presents RR Global with the ideal platform to showcase our brand and products at one of the largest exhibitions across the world. This year, we are proud to display our products from the UAE as well as India. These include wires & cables (including launching our newest product – HT Cables), copper tubes, copper bus bars and tapes, electrical accessories, lighting, fans, switches, switchgears, busduct, consumer durables, Automated multi-level car parking systems and more.
Q. Update us about RR Kabel’s manufacturing facilities.
We have manufacturing plants in Silvassa and Waghodia, Gujarat. Both our plants are equipped with modern machinery for producing high-quality products. All our plants adhere strictly to safety and quality policy and are ISO 9001: 2015, 14001 : 2004, 18001 : 2007 and 50001 : 2011 certified. We are also deeply committed to the constant upgradation of the plants.
Q. What are your future growth plans?
Given fast clearances of big projects and smart city projects, the prospects for wire and cable industry look promising. In line with market sentiment, we are expecting robust growth in the coming years. We plan to grow minimum double the size of GDP year-on-year.