-Mr. Tony Berland, MD & CEO, Group Legrand India 

Self and Company Introduction

I took the responsibility of Legrand Group in India in January 2019.

I'm very attached to the Legrand group, where I've spent almost my entire career. After holding various sales and marketing positions, I took on strategic responsibility for one of our business units at group level.

Over the last fifteen years, I have been successively responsible for our organisation in South-East Asia, then in Australia and in India for the last 5 years.

Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures, dedicated to supporting technological, societal, and environmental change around the globe. Legrand’s core purpose is improving lives by transforming the spaces where people live, work and meet, with electrical and digital infrastructures and connected solutions that are simple, innovative and sustainable.

Interestingly, Legrand India’s journey also marks completion of 25 years. Legrand India began its journey in 1996 and ever since has grown manifold adding more leadership brands into its fold – IndoAsian, Numeric, Valrack, Adlec. While we are the specialists in Electrical and Digital infrastructure, we are the leaders in power protection devices, Single phase UPS, PDUs, and among the leaders in user interface.  We are fast growing in the Data Center segment with a blend of offers from our entities, and in IoT, EV segments.

We have 7 state of the art manufacturing facilities, 3 R&D centres and a wide distribution network with over 870 distribution partners and 19000+ retailers. In addition, we have 20 Innoval’s Experience Centres, 2 Studios, 22 Legrand Zip (Shop in Shop) outlets across India. 

Our UPS division has the distinction of having the largest service network in the industry with 250+direct service centres, supported by a team of 1200+ service professionals.

We have enjoyed continuous growth over the past 25 years and take pride in being among the most respected brands in the country.

What are the business and investment opportunities you see between India and France? 

India and France are currently in exciting times of deepened collaborations, marking 25 years of strategic partnership between the two countries. The Horizon 2047 roadmap further cements this relationship and the ties between both the countries across various sectors. In the multi-faceted bilateral relationship, I personally see the areas of Climate & Sustainability, Technology and Education will create further advanced collaborations and opportunities for investments. Both the countries have a strong commitment to eliminate single use plastics and ban on single use plastic products which will augment the green initiatives. The ongoing collaboration in the areas of space and defence underscores the enduring strengths of the bilateral ties.  As India and France continue to strengthen their bilateral ties and trade investments, it is evident that the shared values and aspirations will drive towards achieving greater heights and in solidifying the strategic alliance in the years to come.

What are some of the key challenges faced by your industry in the Indian market as well as by your company specifically? Can you describe some of the strategies you’ve implemented to overcome these challenges?

I often say that I see more opportunities than challenges in India.

Over the years, we have been able to build a solid foundation based mainly on a network of professionals and suppliers, which allows us to support the growing Indian market as well as the need for innovation to meet our customers’ needs.

I would say that the diversity of our customers' needs and the effort required to meet them are perhaps the most significant challenges. India is not a single market in terms of customer aspirations. The needs are different depending on the States, regions, but also depending on the types of cities.
To achieve the full diversity of India requires massive structures and investments in terms of operations. But our current successes and expected growth reassure us that these investments are justified.

 I am tempted to mention here the complexity of the regulatory and tax systems, but over the years we have seen significant improvements that give us a glimpse of a less restrictive future.

What have been the biggest accomplishments of your company in the last few years?

Over the years, Legrand India has built and strengthened its position as the Group's fourth largest subsidiary, and our current growth means that we can look forward to becoming the Group's third largest.

In a very competitive market, our teams and I are very proud to have been able to build strong leadership positions.

The past 25 years of our journey in India has been invigorating, thanks to our continued focus on innovation, our customer needs and emerging segments. While there are several key areas of accomplishment, from bringing new technologies, products that cater to the wide and different audience segments, I take pride in sharing a few of our accomplishments.

We continue to invest in Research & Development, infact 5% of our turnover is dedicated to R&D investments. Legrand India has 3 R&D centres, and 85% of our turnover is from localisation, Make in India products.

True to our spirit of Improving Lives, we have several social initiatives that we take pride of. Under our Legrand Empowering Scholarship program, we assist deserving and meritorious girl students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in pursuing undergraduate programs in Engineering, Architecture, Science, and Technology from recognized colleges and universities across India. Additionally, the scholarship extends its support to meritorious Indian students pursuing Masters programs in France. Currently, the program has 400+ enrolled girl students, including differently abled and transgender students, with multiple batches set to enter the workforce in 2023.

Under our mission of effective plastic management, we've undertaken beach clean-up for 12 months in four Mumbai beaches starting from sept 2023, which is truly an eye opener. These clean-up initiatives are a collective effort that showcases our commitment to cleaner oceans and a healthier planet. 

Under our Green Energy initiative, we have accomplished installing solar energy sin 4 government schools and 2 schools for the differently abled and in a rural community with 39 KW with an estimate of 35-40 Tonnes CO2 offset/year , covering 8500+ beneficiaries. This initiative is part of Group Legrand India's larger efforts to promote environmental sustainability and contribute to the well-being of local communities.

How has IFCCI added value to your organization in India?

IFCCI provides a platform to connect, network, and build relationships. Regular events, seminars, and conferences organized by the chamber offer opportunities to meet potential clients, and partners. The chamber fosters collaboration by connecting businesses with common interests. This can lead to possible joint ventures, research partnerships, and other collaborative efforts that can enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of participating organizations.

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