May 2012 | tata.com

Unlocking the potential

Nelco, a Tata enterprise, is in the business of offering end-to-end solutions in integrated security and surveillance solutions, VSAT services, managed services, satcom (satellite communication) projects and meteorology. It also provides turnkey solutions deploying IT and communication infrastructure as well as providing security and surveillance solutions for the government and defence sectors.

In this interview with tata.com, PJ Nath, chief executive officer, Nelco, talks about the company's recent rebranding exercise.

There seems to be a new business vision at Nelco. Can you give us the details?
The year 2010-11 was one of consolidation and preparation of a solid foundation for growth in Nelco after divestment of three lines of businesses: industrial drives, traction and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) to Crompton Greaves (CGL) in July 2010.

The board appointed me as the CEO in February 2011, with the objective of aligning the organisation to the focused market segments for business growth, projecting a unified Nelco to the marketplace and aligning human resources based on core competency for effective utilisation and better efficiency. The long-term objectives are to drive the company’s revenue multifold with consistent growth in profits and attain leadership position in the business lines that the company pursues.

What are the new business focus areas?
Nelco is positioning itself as a trusted partner for implementation and management of customer’s critical infrastructure. We now have five key business lines: integrated security and surveillance solutions, VSAT services, managed services, satcom (satellite communication) projects and meteorology.

Most of our businesses are in the sunrise sector currently. If you look at integrated security and surveillance, this is an industry which is still at the infancy stage. There is huge growth opportunity in this business due to the increased need for securing critical infrastructure and human lives against all external threats. This is true for all segments: government, defence, industries, etc. Nelco is positioned as a specialised system integrator for security and surveillance solutions.

VSAT services are also witnessing huge growth due to the increasing need for reliable data communication networks, particularly in the remote and rural areas. The huge growth in the banking industry infrastructure, particularly the ATMs, is giving additional momentum to this growth. VSAT is the most viable and highly reliable mode of connectivity for low/medium bandwidth applications in the remotest locations within the country.

We are offering managed services encompassing both, security and critical infrastructure management solutions as well as managed data centre/ IT services. We see a huge market for these services in the country.

We have been running our satellite network infrastructure for more than a decade. We are leveraging this knowledge and experience to build dedicated satellite networks for customers, particularly government and defence, under the satcom projects business. We have implemented some of the large and complex networks for Indian Air Force, ONGC, TCIL (pan-Africa network), etc.

Meteorology as a business is gaining momentum in the country. We have done some of the early projects for the defence segment and are leveraging that experience to get into other sectors now.

What was the objective of the rebranding exercise?
We are in the process of transforming our business. Nelco, which now has new leadership, has regrouped as cohesive teams with aggressive business plans and is far more market focused. We are also focusing much more on leveraging the infrastructure and solutions of the five different business lines to provide comprehensive solutions to our customers. We, however, realised that the market still associated Nelco to what it did many years back, including manufacturing colour TVs. To communicate the change that has been brought into the company and increase our visibility in the market, this identity and branding exercise was very essential.

The new identity introduces the concept of unlocking potential and captures the very essence of how we now operate at Nelco. The two spheres in Nelco’s new identity, which is a mere slicing of the common ‘circle’, denotes the unlocking of potential within the company.

How long did the rebranding exercise take?
We were undertaking a rebranding exercise as a company after more than four decades. Thus it started with a phase of internal restructuring, then discussions with stakeholders defining our current perception and aspiration in our market positioning. Post the internal discussions we hired an external agency to help us with understanding the external perceptions about the company as well as the logo and identity creation. The entire process took around six to eight months to reach a stage of finalisation.

How was the new identity promoted within Nelco (to the employees) and externally (to media, vendors, suppliers, distributors, etc)? Were there any special communication initiatives?
Currently we are in the second phase of implementation where we are communicating the brand change to our customers and partners. We are doing this with a comprehensive marketing communication plan, which involves online and offline communication such as direct mailers, B2B events, newsletters, etc. The first phase, internal communication, involved multiple sessions of ‘CEO speak’ and an internal campaign aimed towards organisation integration and performance orientation.

It could take us another two quarters of focused effort to achieve our plans to position the new Nelco in the marketplace.