Modi's 'Make In India' effect: Xperio Labs mulling Indian manufacturing unit

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, which is designed to transform India into a global manufacturing hub, has started attracting various companies.

Xperio Labs, an emerging market focused 'Devices and Services' company, is now evaluating the prospects of setting up a manufacturing unit in India.

The company will be showcasing its products at the upcoming 23rd Convergence India 2015, which is being held in Delhi from 21-23 January. Speaking to, Xperio Labs VP sales Paul Avery said, “We have both sales and support staff in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. We have also set the ball rolling for a small development team in Chennai. We look at India as our ‘hub’ for software and services and China for our manufacturing. We are also evaluating the prospects of manufacturing in India given the call for 'Make in India' by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

According to Avery, India is not only a significant contributor to the company’s revenue, but is a high growth market for them.

Talking about the products that the company will showcase at Convergence 2015, Avery said, “At Convergence 2015, we will be exhibiting our range of devices namely MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 Set Top Boxes (STB), Docsis-2 and Docsis-3 wired and wi-fi modems. We also plan to run live demonstrations of our Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows service providers to offer OTT/TV Everywhere services on a pay as you go basis.”

Xperio Labs has worked together as a team under different brands like Scientific Atlanta/Cisco and has contributed to the transformation of the Indian cable industry since 2003. “We have seen this industry grow by leaps and bounds. We have also learnt over the years that Indian Service Providers are value conscious (not price conscious) and cable has offered stiff competition to DTH and has been able to provide a credible alternative to DTH,” he added.  

The service company, which currently has offices in Hong Kong, Atlanta, Bengaluru, Delhi, Dubai, Mumbai, Surrey and Shanghai is initially focusing on markets in south Asia, south east Asia and middle east regions. “In the very near term, we would like to do deeper, rather than wider coverage in these markets and then look at other emerging markets such as Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America,” said Avery.

According to him, in the broadcast space, service providers have now started moving their focus from just offering video services to more data and voice globally and very soon next generation services, such as home security and automation services will also begin. “We plan to offer these services as part of our PaaS platform,” he informed.

Elaborating further on PaaS, Xperio Labs CTO Ajith Nair said, “This platform allows service providers to quickly launch OTT/TV Everywhere services with minimum capex and mostly on an opex model i.e pay as you go. It also helps reduce service providers’ Time To Market (TTM) and focus on customer acquisition and retention, without being concerned about the technology and its management. Service providers can offer services like broadcast TV, on demand TV, internet radio and concierge services to name a few.”

Xperio Labs, which has been involved with service providers for more than two decades, has seen the international service providers evolve from single service companies to triple pay, and in some cases quad play. “During this transition they have had to undergo several operational challenges and we anticipate that in the emerging market service providers will face similar challenges, and there is a broad dearth of technology companies that can help them with such challenges,” Nair opined.

The company, according to Nair, can provide a Tier-1 engagement model at an Asia Inc price. “We also believe we can provide close-in product and operational support with an India based support team. In this way service providers can take advantage of the best of both the worlds,” he said.

Since its inception in September 2013, Xperio Labs has been successful with a number of Tier-1 and 2 service providers in several markets like India, Nepal, Maldives, Vietnam and Philippines.

The company has been working on providing OTT/TV Everywhere service. When asked about the progress, Nair said, “It is still in its infancy in emerging markets, it is similar to what Digital TV was 8-10 years ago, but slowly and surely we have seen a huge upswing in consumers purchasing more mobile devices namely smartphones, tablets and Phablets and hence their need to consume content on the move, or consume content on multiple screens in the home.”

“We have made considerable progress with the technology and we are currently in the midst of launching a tier-1 MSO go TV Everywhere. Our target group is tier-1/2 MSO's who appreciate the need to launch such services but don't want to make a capex investment and also don't want to build and manage the OTT infrastructure,” informed Nair.

Xperio Labs, in order to meet the requirements of its growth plans in India is always on a lookout for strategic partners, who can, not only help them grow their reach in the market but also invest/co-develop in some of its services and technologies.

Avery is confident about the products the company makes. “Our devices and services are built not just keeping a consumer, but also the service provider in mind, a B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer) approach to the market. The industrial design, user interface, along with the software design and architecture of our products reflect our understanding that technology is only as good as it is useful to the people using it. In short it is an experience that we provide our customers,” he informed.

According to Nair, digital STBs may soon cease to exist in its current form. “In the years to come, it would just be an application residing on a mobile device or television, or it would have to transform into a set of devices; a  gateway for home entertainment, communication, security, automation and health care with one or many display devices,” concluded Nair.

Organised by Exhibitions India Group (EIG), the 23rd edition of Convergence India 2015 is themed around ‘Connecting India.’ The event is set to bring together the best minds in the ICT ecosystem under one roof to create an interactive platform for the companies to showcase their technical prowess, and tap into new business opportunities. The expo which will focus on growth opportunities, future trends and upcoming technologies for the ICT ecosystem stakeholders, will feature a wide spectrum of ICT verticals including telecom, mobility, broadcast, cable, satellite, entertainment, IT and information security etc.

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