When we talk about Make in India and how the components market is growing in India, then there is a name which has come a long way. Saison Components is snow-balling. In an exclusive interview with Saison Components, Puneet Shukla, CEO of Saison Components took us to a veritable journey of Saison and how it has successfully logged major milestones in all these years. Edited Nub.
- The idea of Saison Components and to the backdrop what has been the success-strategy of the company?
Saison is not a very old company. Though I have been in the industry for the last 30 years, Saison is only a 6 and a half years old. But within these six and a half years, we have around 40+ companies from US, UK, Canada, Taiwan, China and Korea. We have initially started with Korea and we have been working with only the reputed company in China, not everybody. We have specific criteria. We don’t go with the test report or we don’t go with the quality of products with any specific documents. Our interest is to understand the company. Normally, what we do when we sign an agreement with the other company, we go through the infrastructure, and how big is the company, their working style, their people, their manpower. These are few of the criteria that we look into to understand the company. What we feel is when the company, the people and the company processes are good; the quality should not be questioned. This is how we work. We started from 0 and today we have done around 20 million dollars business in India. This year we have done well, next year our target is double what we have in our current business.
- The Indian Industries and the Global Industries alike are moving forward with technologies like IoT, Sensors technologies, etc. so what major components in respective to Indian market you see is in demand today.
See if you talk about IoT, I don’t think it is a very new concept. It is nothing more than RF technologies. RF has been available for a very long time. It was not in use publicly but now, everyone is talking about everything remote. Therefore, this technology is popular. When we talk about components, there aren’t many changes in components but the use of RF technologies has increased. Earlier, people were talking about RF only on smart connected things in defense, space products only but today it is available at home also. When it is introduced widely in our homes, offices and everywhere, then people name it the IoT. This is my definition. Not talking about what the bookish explanations here, I am speaking what I understand with my experience and from my knowledge.
- There are major competitors emerging in the Indian market, because of the electronic components demand and consumer electronics. What keeps you ahead of the competition?
If you talk about the competitors, it’s either the major players or the mid-sized players. But, actually, it totally depends on the demand and supply. Like it always is, if the demand is increasing, the supply should also increase and when supply increases, people would enter. So competition would be there, but it cannot exceed any limit in the sense that there is a limit. One can only cut the prices to a certain extent only. Now the customers are getting the benefit because they know no suppliers can take the advantage of monopolism and charge them very high prices. So competition is good for the market. People with honest policies will survive and so much better than they already are.
- To understand the business model of Saison, the demand can vary from a bulk of components to a single component. How do you strategize your go-to-market strategies in that scenario?
Saison is different than all other distributors. We have a very economical model. Why I say so because we directly connect the vendor with the customer. We are the channel to support them. We are just like an extended arm of our vendors. We help them introduce themselves to customers, getting the technical questions answered from our end and if it’s not possible, communicating with the vendors and taking help from their experts. There’s inquiries, negotiations, all the commercial and technical part that we take care of. Eventually, when the time comes for ordering, it directly goes to the vendor and later, the vendor supplies directly to the customers. This way, both sides remain clear. A customer knows that they are not overcharged and similarly, the vendors are clear of what they have quoted. In simple words, no third parties are involved and cannot earn any advantages. This is the model of Saison.
In most cases, people opt for distributors. Distributors have their own right because they need to keep it in stock so the charges are high sometimes. Therefore, a situation of doubt is created between the customers and the vendors. But again, sharing my personal views on it. I might be wrong or might be right.
But for Saison, our model has been successful for the last several years. Our vendors are dependent on us and we guide them properly.
- Adding to that, in the changing landscape of saying digital transformation from what they quote today as ‘Industry 4.0’, how difficult is it for companies like Saison to cope up with them. How do you streamline or strategize so that your customers get an easy way to get the components they look forward to?
I don’t find it difficult for Saison because Saison always has hired qualified engineers in selected fields, electronic or mechanical, depends on the products of the customer. We don’t find it difficult as our team is of young engineers and experienced people. So for me, I don’t think Saison will face difficulties because we have excellent teams in support of our vendors. Talking about the competition again, I also don’t consider it to be an issue because we don’t work with very high margins. We believe in volumes, we believe in services and we believe in quality customers. We don’t run behind customers who talk about any type of credits? or any type of support from our vendors. So we work with niche markets and selected customers.
- Lastly, what was your expectation from ep-India 2018 and how has it come through in these two days?
ep-India has always been a very good platform. For the last six to seven years, Saison and even before that when I was working with the different company, we have always been a part of ep-India. There are good people behind this. There are quality visitors who visit here. We get inquiries and moreover, there’s publicity for us. We get a good marketing not talking in business terms, but this platform is about recognition. People visit here and understand. We have participated in other exhibitions but the experience we gain is unlike any other than ep-India.