NEW DELHI: Display technology firm BarcoIndia, a 100% subsidiary of Belgium headquartered Barco NV sees a big opportunity in India in areas including smart cities development. infrastructure and entertainment. It has helped set up `video walls’ in command and control centers for telcos, managing cities, police requirements, entertainment and so on. In an interview with ET, Rajiv Bhalla, managing director, Barco India says the visualization solutions company sees India as a significant growth market. Barco has 15% of its global workforce here engaged in sales, manufacturing, software, hardware development and R&D. Last week the company launched laser lit rear projection video walls, suited for 24×7 control rooms. Edited excerpts:
Barco India has a significant share in businesses like entertainment but not as big in healthcare space.
In entertainment we are leading. On the medical imaging side, we have lot of catch up to do because the biggest challenge in India today is lack of infrastructure. The patient to bed ratio is extremely poor – you have one bed for around 1,000 patients. So, the first need over here, and hopefully things might improve with Ayushman Bharat, is to set up more hospitals. The second challenge is that technology use is still very poor. More than 60% hospitals still use film based diagnostics. There are several hospitals that use even consumer grade computer screens to read an image. Penetration of monitors and devices overall is low.
What’s the focus in India? Can you share examples of video walls installations?
In India our focus is around smart cities, cinemas, corporate and healthcare. There are many companies like Aditya Birla Group using our products like ClickShare (which enables users to share content simultaneously). At Akshardham (in Delhi) the video storytelling sessions in the evening which are on our systems. Delhi Airport, UP Police, PVRs, INOX, hospital chains and many others are using our video and imaging solutions.
In UP there’s a large command and control center in Lucknow which has over 170 screens where you get live feeds form over 16,000 cameras which could help in monitoring traffic, accidents, monitor thefts and so on. All major cities need command and control centers today. In smart cities the first thing is a command and control room. Airtel uses Barco equipment at its Manesar center. Even Patanjali has a control room with video walls to track truck movements. We will tap every opportunity where a command and control center is needed.
Globally, 43% of turnover comes from entertainment, 24% from healthcare and 33% out of enterprise.
How much are you investing in India?
As of now the investment is in people and the investment is in growing our capabilities. I can’t put a number to financial investment. But we are looking at how we can optimise and maximise on our own investment.
What’s challenges do you see in the Indian Market?
The challenge is the speed of execution. India has big plans in infrastructure development. But very often budgets don’t get spent. The market can grow faster if there is better execution at the macro level.
Besides, our challenge is that India is a price sensitive market. So, the challenge is how do you either sell the complete value proposition or how you do come up with good enough products that are able to drive while you are on growth path.
A classic example is the healthcare imaging. There are enough number of hospitals using consumer grade monitors to read radiology diagnosis. Now they are going to make diagnosis out of that versus a certified grade monitor. Yes, the diagnosis quality could suffer but then good enough is good.
What are the plans for next 2-3 years, where do you see Barco?
The goals are clear; the goal is to double our turnover in next three years. We are looking at doubling this turnover by driving more localised go to market approaches; offer products that cater to the mid and bottom end of the pyramid. So, that’s from a sales growth perspective.
We will continue to focus on smart cities, entertainment and corporate space. From our (India) site perspective our goal is to be best in class in terms of software development where we help to define the path that Barco needs to take for the future. Obviously whilst we do this, we believe we need to grow our people. So, the goal is how do we grow the site in sales, in terms of contribution to Barco internally and how do we grow our people.
Government has plans for 100 smart cities.
Government has announced 100 smart cities, out of which, close to about 33 are in project execution stage. The goal is to totally drive a change in the infrastructure where you enable a better quality of life of the citizens in sustainable fashion. Whilst the announcement has been made, the execution should be speeded up.
Is Barco manufacturing in India?
We manufacture these large video walls in India. We have two buildings for manufacturing here (in Noida) and also a software development center. The large video walls, projectors are manufactured in India.
We also manufacture in China but that’s a different component ecosystem. We have close to 600 people in our offices in Noida, Mumbai and Bangalore.