Small and best

Boosted by last year's strong growth, R&M is planning on developing more of its strengths and reaching higher goals in the future.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  March 23, 2008

Boosted by last year's strong growth, R&M is planning on developing more of its strengths and reaching higher goals in the future.

Unlike most of its cabling peers in the region, Swiss cabling major Reichle & DeMassari (R&M) enjoyed a very healthy growth in the region last year.

According to statements made by some of its top management at the recently held international press tour at its headquarters in Wezikon, Switzerland, the family-owned business grew by 97% in the Middle East region and around 23% globally.

"There have been a lot of installations in the Middle East with shielded solutions. We promote shielded versions but we are open to unshielded ones. It is up to the countries and what they would like to adopt.

In the Middle East, the times are changing there is more communication. And if cables are not shielded some problems could come up. So a lot of companies, especially in the financial sector, are opting for shielded solutions," states Peter Reichle, COO of the firm.

A part of the growth in the Middle East last year is attributed to the doubling of business in India. Even with India out of the count this fiscal though, the team remains optimistic about its results in the region.

"I hope the numbers will not be affected by taking India out of the equation. The Middle East is an important region and there is big potential there. It also provides advantages in our supply chain strategy and we might build a hub there. We hope that we can equalise our figures with growth in the region itself even when we take out India," says Reichle.

The company will continue to invest 6 to 7% of its annual turnover in R&D, according to him. With over 70% dependence on copper, which suffers from extreme price fluctuations, the company is constantly in looking for efficient production methods and leaner management.

"In the short to middle term copper will be our main business. Longer than ten years, it is difficult to say what will happen to old technology. We have a full range, follow customer demand and advice them on using copper and fibre at the right places for the right situations.

With a lot of projects like fibre-to-the-home coming up, demand for these solutions will increase in the future. But there will still be a demand for copper," assures Reichle.

Reichle also scorns any competition they face from Asian brands companies in the region.

"To compare our products with the Chinese versions today would be completely wrong. Our systems and solutions are completely different. If you put in these solutions, they don't work well or with new features they cannot adapt and you have to pull out cables - if you collate all those costs, you find that the apparently cheaper solution is actually more expensive," says Reichle.

The firm wants to continue its growth with its own R&D.

"We are not going public. We are growing with our resources. Our strategy is to be maybe not the biggest, maybe stay a little smaller but to be the best and always do the best job," he concludes.

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