From a small trading business to becoming a leading manufacturer of wires and cables globally — the journey of RR Kabel

RR Kabel was established in 1999 as a manufacturing business. In a span of a little over two decades, the brand has established itself as a global player in the wires and cables sector.
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RR Kabel, one of the leading wires and cables brands in India today, faced many challenges in the initial days. 

It was started in the early 90s by Rameshwarlal Kabra as a small trading business of wires and cables in Delhi. But there was a major fire outbreak in the office in their early days. Fortunately, the accident didn’t cause much damage, but Rameshwarlal was forced to think of the safety feature in the wirings.

“My father realised safety should be a top priority in the wires and cables industry and that we should bring safer wires into the market,” Shreegopal Kabra, a second generation entrepreneur and Managing Director and Group President, RR Global, and the son of Rameshwarlal Kabra, says in an interaction with SMBStory

Rameshwarlal took the lesson from that horrific incident and turned that into an inspiration to manufacture wires and cables in-house. Thus began the journey of RR Kabel, which is now known as RR Global. It is an $850+ million conglomerate in the electrical sector having a presence in over 85 countries globally.

RR Kabel's manufacturing facility

From trading to manufacturing

To begin with, Rameshwarlal did extensive market research and also studied the international technology and machinery required to manufacture quality wires in India. 

“By then, the concept of Halogen free flame retardant and unilay wires was introduced in the market, which was in line with our company’s vision. Due to this development, we were able to bring the German technology quickly to India and that’s how we started our wires and cables business in 1995,” Shreegopal says.

RR Global now has a clientele majorly from the real estate sector and also HNIs, IT companies, banks, and corporate companies. 

Started with the exports, RR Kabel has now become one of the largest cable exporters in India with manufacturing units located in Silvassa and Waghodia.

Today, 23 percent of RR Kabel’s revenue comes from exports and the rest from domestic sales. Sixty percent of the latter comes from institutional buyers for industrial and special projects, and 40 percent from retail customers. The company claims to have a 12 percent share of the organised market in India — around 45 percent still remains unorganised. RR Kabel is targeting a market share of 15-16 percent over the next few years. 

Shreegopal says the cables are ideal for domestic applications, conduit wiring, and fixed protected installations. Apart from residential and commercial properties, these cables are best suited for auditoriums, hospitals, hotels, schools, stadiums, and all constructions for public usage. These cables are ideal for use in environments where high-performance, reliability, and safety is the norm.

Over the years, RR Global has expanded its product portfolio and now also manufacture small consumer appliances

Challenges and the competition

According to Shreegopal, one of the biggest challenges the company faces is the low focus of customers on wires and cables as these products go behind the walls and hence are not given their due priority. 

“Electrical contractors settle for low-cost and substandard cables, which poses serious safety hazards. Majority of the fire accidents in India are caused by electrical short circuits, which mainly occur due to poor quality wires and cables. We need to invest more now on the quality rather than using cheap products,” Shreegopal says.

Competing with the likes of Polycab, KEI wires, and others, RR Kabel has 29 international certifications with a production capacity of 3,600 metric tonnes for copper wires and 1,260 metric tonnes for aluminium wires.

Talking about the import of raw materials, Shreegopal says that most of the products are sourced locally except for some like copper. 

Recently with the news again surfacing regarding the Sterile Copper unit shutdown and India turning copper-rich from copper-poor, Shreegopal comments that India used to import a lot of copper. India is the largest copper user and the country has enough surplus. He says that the total consumption of copper around the world is 22 million tonnes and for India, it is 1.5 million tonnes. India manufactures, uses, and exports around 50-60 percent around the world.

The way ahead

Talking about future plans, Shreegopal says the company is planning for expansion in its product line and is readying to strengthen and enhance its current range of products.

RR Global is also looking at acquiring some companies which are into the consumer category to further grow the portfolio. 

Edited by Megha Reddy

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