How Indian display industry is shaping, role of display solutions in Smart City and future of displays in India.
Delta Displays, a division of Delta, is quite a name in the professional displays market globally, making it stronger with ‘glocal’ competence in India, ME and SEA regions is Delta India. Powered by global technology innovation, supported by strongly footed R&D bases locally, and backed up by marketing aggression, the Indian arm of the Taiwanese electronics giant has been enjoying an indomitable position in India, and getting equally aggressive in Asian geographies. Ram Bhavanashi, SIA’s India&ME Editor, converses with Hemant Agarwal, Business Head for Display Solutions Unit at Delta India, who makes ‘the intent clear.’ Excerpts:
SI Asia: Delta Displays has been quite a big name in global ProAV. What special role you think Delta has been accounting for in the SAARC?
HEMANT:Delta has been at the forefront of developments in various new visual technologies. Delta has been instrumental in initiating many new developments in the field of visual solutions domain and it continues to invest in newer areas that show promise. These new technologies have the potential to alter the future-scape of the display markets and we keenly await for these innovations to see light of the day. With rapid developments in SmartCity projects and huge infrastructure development projects, in India, the Indian digital display industry has become one of the most potential markets in this part of the world, and Delta has been providing its cutting edge technology solutions to this market exposing the Indian customer to the best in visual technology. Besides that, Delta has been supporting the government initiative of digitization of museums by providing LEDs in various National Museums like Rail Museum, Art Museum, Ambedkar Memorial and several others.
SI Asia: With particular reference to Delta's strongholds of SmartCities and Control Room solutions- what has been the contribution- in terms of market dominance, technology leadership and user experiences?
HEMANT: Talking about Smart Cities, Delta is clearly leading the Command & Control Center (CCC) segment with its video wall solutions across Smart Cities in India. Be it Aligarh or Agra in North India, Kakinada in the South, or Gangtok in the East, Delta has its visual solutions powering the video walls in many Smart City Control Rooms across the country.
Coming to technology, Delta was the first technology developer and provider to introduce 4K Laser DLP video wall solutions in the industry. This has drawn a lot of attention from various quarters; many organizations today are planning to have their control rooms with this latest technology while few others who had set up their control room in the past are seriously considering to upgrade their facilities to this revolutionary 4K Laser DLP video wall solution.
Superior technology for a superlative and long-lasting performance, coupled with strong domain competence, and trusted service support characterizing Delta Displays solution proposition, no wonder it’s become the preferred choice today for most city administrations for their SmartCity video wall installs.
Just as a case in a point, we just completed the world’s first 4K DLP Laser video wall installation in the Middle East region where more than 100 4K cubes have been installed with distributed control system. The world’s first 4K DLP Laser, is a matter of great pride for us, while it is a path-breaking contribution by Delta India to the global industry excellence.
SI Asia: How would you define Delta's success journey and / or challenges in these areas? What factors you think have helped or hindered Delta's progress?
HEMANT: Delta, now a US$9 billion group, has always been focused on innovation and systematically developing new products and technologies making it a leader in the technology domain. Delta Displays, having its own manufacturing hub in India, offers turnkey solutions to its customers which enabled us position ourselves advantageously in the regional market. That has understandably contributed to our success journey.
However, just being closer to the market doesn’t fully determine one’s success. That Delta has always laid emphasis on uncompromising quality parameters, so the products rolled out onto the market do deliver incredible performance making it a compelling solution. Then, of course, is our after-salessupport complementing the technology deployment. For, a great technology and a great performance would not win the customer confidence if they are not backed up by after-sales support, so we lay equal emphasis on that aspect as well.
That our customers have always appreciated our approach to business, and relationship with them even as we aggressively pursue adding new customers defined our success. We intently continue to pursue the success formula.
SI Asia: We do not hear much about the much-hyped 100 SmartCities programme in India- what reasons you think are impacting the programme?
HEMANT: On the contrary, we hear a lot about Smart City programme. It completely depends where you are, who you are and what you are reading and listening to. A lot of action is happening on ground and there is still substantial amount of enthusiasm in the mission.
SI Asia: What particular innovations you think Delta has been able to bring to marketplace? And, how they have impacted/ Or added to the brand value and footprint spread of Delta?
HEMANT: As mentioned before, Delta introduced 4K Laser Video wall with Xtra Slim form factor for the Control Room market. Delta, being the first to launch 4K-UHD Laser Video wall, has set a benchmark in DLP Video wall industry. The 4K Laser Video Wall offers four times higher canvas than a standard Full HD Video wall. With 8 Mega pixel display, the 4K-UHD Laser Video wall gives remarkable content clarity, ideal for real and expanding requirements for large scale visualization systems. What could be monitored on 64 Full HD Video walls, can now be monitored on 16 4K video walls only. A 4K Laser Video wall solution lets you monitor four times data in the existing space. This display solution is capable of meeting the requirements of several applications, such as utilities, surveillance, disaster control and traffic supervision – all of which have added considerable value to the brand.
SI Asia: We see two important dynamics have been shaping the display technology domain in recent times- lowest pixel pitch LEDs and 4k to 8k resolution projection. What are Delta's stakes in this regard? please explain...
HEMANT: The "lowest pixel pitch" or "narrow pixel pitch" products and solutions have gradually become more widely used in indoor display applications. Be it in conference rooms for corporates or auditoriums of educational institutes or government museums, the market is improving and getting better because people have realized that AV is making the difference in a positive way.
As we have talked about 4K before] Moving to 8K resolution projection, Delta is also the first one to launch an 8K laser DLP projector. As digital projection market is growing fast and wide, there is a lot that is expected from the Indian market for the new 8K Laser projector. Several Indian States have been revamping historical museums and also conducting events with projection mapping on monuments by using sophisticated projection technology.
Adding to this are the simulation and visualization projects which require unsurpassed detailing through large-scale imagery; they need high-end projection systems to ensure that even the most demanding visualization needs are fulfilled. The Laser 8K projector provides a new performance benchmark to all these applications.
SI Asia: Of late, the LED display market has turned fiercely competitive with global/Asian majors eyeing the India & SAARC markets. What stands Delta free of such challenges?
HEMANT: Certainly Delta is not completely free of such challenges. We do feel the competition with such LED display companies setting shops in India. But yes, these set-ups are in a very limited capacity like having one person here in India without proper office, back-up support or even without local inventory and billing available. So, there are still a lot many deficiencies in the way they operate which is unlikely to gain the attention and confidence of Partners and End Users. This ambiguity doesn’t give them any foothold at least till the time they create that confidence of being serious market players with potentially refreshing solutions.
Against that, we have an established R&D with local product design capability in India, and aggressive plans for expansion. We believe this will give us an edge over our competition. For now, we do not see this as much of a challenge as none of them are serious players. However, maybe in future when these reputed companies start setting up India operations with big investments, it might get fiercely competitive for Delta. Till that time, we still stand tall and probably the only preferred and reputed brand to go with while buying displays.
SI Asia: What role does Delta India play in the company's R&D initiatives?
HEMANT: India is among the top ranking countries in the field of basic research and is also the future of R&D. If you don’t have R&D in India, you really don’t have an R&D- that’s the notion. Given that, Delta India does play a very significant role in R&D initiatives of Delta Global as we have onboard a welldefined and dedicated team of highly qualified and trained professionals with high credentials. As it is, India offers a vast abundance of local IT talent, with graduates who are trained in coding and software programming. This vast talent pool supports Delta with its new initiatives in the field of software.
Complementing as well as demonstrating Delta India’s R&D competence, is the state-of-the-art facility in Bengaluru where a team of over 200 qualified R&D engineers are involved in developing newer, and novel solutions for the company. We, in fact, have plans to double the number of these skilled and trained professionals in the coming years.
More on this count- while Delta India currently works on a certain category of products and software we do have plans for near future to significantly increase the portfolio of products and solutions to be developed here.
SI Asia: Where do you see Delta India/SAARC going in the next five years? Any particular road-map for action plan?
HEMANT: With the kind of investments that Delta is making in India, the future looks very bright.
While there is no reliable data available in on who accounts for how much market in India, a rough estimate suggests that Delta accounts for over 50 per cent of the market. While we would want to further consolidate this leadership position, our objective is to work towards achieving similar market share in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where we have been seeing significant growth happening in DLP video walls and LED displays.
To be able to achieve this, we are aggressively ramping up our teams in these areas so that we develop the marketing strengths to effectively take our highly advanced solutions and products to the customers of the two geographies. Looking from where we are today, the coming five years should be very exciting for Delta India as we will make our presence felt very strongly in these two fast expanding regions. For a plain matter of confidentiality, we would not be able to share the roadmap or specifics of our action plan.
SI Asia: What's your immediate priority now? How do you intend to approach the same?
HEMANT: First priority for Delta Displays division is to grow revenues to a scale where it becomes sustainable for next 10 years to come. We also have plans to set-up a base for Displays Solutions Business Unit (DSBU) in Delta India so that we are able to competently build business on the DBU. The intent is clear: we do not believe in playing short stints, or give such impression; we rather want to be a long-term player with our mark strongly felt across the displays segment markets. So, it’s both developing and driving profitable revenues even as we pursue strong brand establishment.
Simultaneously, our focus is equally on continuing our leadership position in DLP video walls and LED Displays. We dedicate adequate time and resources towards expanding market presence of Vivitek projectors. The Digital Projection market, as it is, has been growing quite fast.
Being a stable and strong-footed company with significant investments in India, this comes easier to us as compared to the competition since much of the competition doesn’t have such investment in India. Delta has invested in people, infrastructure, factories, training, and, now, we believe it’s time we reaped the benefits of our hard work and investment. The growing markets give us an opportunity to do it.
Delta Electronics India Pvt. Ltd.