As the global head of Schneider Jean-Pascal Tricoire spoke to the media here, the €26.6-billion French company’s revenue in rupee terms moved from ₹140,000 crore to ₹200,000 crore within seven to eight minutes.
Anil Chaudhry, Country President and Managing Director of Global Operations, Schneider India, congratulated Tricoire with the “good news”.
For a French-headquartered company, depreciating rupee can be challenging, but with over 50 per cent of products manufactured in India getting exported, the firm says it tries to protect itself by producing and selling locally as much as possible.
On whether currency volatility impacts Schneider globally, Tricoire said, “We sell in 160 countries, but we have direct presence in 100 countries. We operate, by principle, in all of these countries in local currency.”
In the past decade, the movements of currencies have been incredibly important, he said, adding that “it is not only about India, it can be in Japan or Great Britain.”
While, on the one hand, Schneider procures material from different countries, it tries to be open in adopting the best technologies. In India, for example, it has a strong 1,500 people in R&D team and 28 factories.
Globally, Schneider has 250 factories and India is one of the largest industrial countries for the company. Tricoire also said that a big revolution that is happening in India is in energy space — decline in cost and storage of renewable energy, which are opening opportunities in solar and micro-grids. In the next 20 years, Tricoire feels that more than 50 per cent of new investment in electricity will be in renewable space. This shows a complete shift in the production of energy, which is getting more decentralised and closer to the consumption centres.
While the company believes in providing products and solutions that save electricity, it also points out that micro-grids are best way forward for many smaller places such as islands.
The cost difference between building a grid and a micro-grid is another interesting area, with many adopting micro-grids for their energy solutions. Schneider has implemented micro-grid in Sunderbans, which lead to creation of some small scale rice and sugar mills. In Purulia, Schneider is implementing another similar project.
And in the next few years, the company expects to have 100-150 such micro-grids.
“In India, close to 275 million do not have access to electricity, reason being they are remotely located compared to main grid. As India is a signatory to COP 21, these micro-grids are replacing fuels like kerosene and wood, all of which lead to green house gas emissions,” said Chaudhry.
On India plans, he said Schneider is completely aligned to recruiting and training people
In the past ten years, the firm has invested €800 million (₹6,000 crore) in India, and it will invest another €100 million (₹750 crore) in the next three-five years in R&D and manufacturing.