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Vikram Bhansali: The Catalyst of Change

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Vikram Bhansali,Managing Director

Vikram Bhansali

Managing Director

“Leading change is a high in itself; especially a change that makes a significant contribution to the industry,” energetically expounds Vikram Bhansali, Managing Director, Metravi Instruments & CEM Instruments India and the change agent of the Indian instrumentation industry. “Although I joined the industry in 1996, our parent company, Arun Enterprises & Electricals Electronics Enterprises has been in the market since 1970. Be it thermometers transitioning to thermos-couples and then to IR measurements or the entry of other path breaking products in the market, I’ve witnessed it all,” he adds. Perceptively picking essential leaves from the book of test & measurement industry’s (TMI) evolution, Vikram has been leading Metravi Instruments, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of electrical & electronic test and measuring instruments in India since 1970, from the front. He also heads CEM Instruments, a leading manufacturer of UL, GS, CE and RoHS approved TMI. Having constantly observed, learnt, adapted and facilitated the evolution of the firm, he truly believes that change is the only constant.

Influenced by the belief, Vikram, who joined the family business in order to support his father, has gradually moulded Metravi and CEM (drives innovation and customization in all kinds of instrumentation needs) into a formidable one-stop-shop organization that offers a whole bouquet of hi-tech, reliable, and quality instruments for every instrumentation need. Catering to the needs of almost all major Government, Semi Government, private and public sector industries including defence, telecom, power generation and iron & steel among others, Metravi renders consultation for using the right instruments based on application and industry.

From identifying the huge void between what was required in the industry and products available in the market back in the 70s to offering high quality, feature-driven instrumentation which is within the reach of every strata of users, Metravi has come a long way and is growing from strength to strength. “We have always tried hard to understand the needs of the industry and accordingly supplied suitable instrumentation solutions to customers. Keeping pace with the technology, we have offered state-of-the-art products to the ever-hungry engineers in the industries and that has made all the difference,” explains Vikram. Counting innovation as its forte, the firm today combines instrumentation needs into product packages in order to enable clients to carry and use single instruments instead of multiple. Staying relevant with digitization needs, Metravi’s & CEM’s products enable updation and transfer of data from the instruments onto the user’s system.

Industry Analysis & Stroke of Luck

Continually growing and evolving with the passage of time, the manufacturing industry has always been dependant on test and measurement instruments. However, back in the 80s and 90s, the TMI industry only offered old instruments which did render quality and reliability but failed in terms of bringing innovation, technology and updated features to customers. A fresh Electronics Engineer from Pune University, Vikram came on board the family business only to realise that the trading business was growing by maximum 10 percent YoY with very thin margins compared to the need for hi-tech offerings in the market.

Determined to create a difference, he spent two years studying the market for the needs of the various industries and the lack of offerings by the Indian TMI sector. Upon interacting with manufacturers and traders from across the world, he realised that Indians were being denied the latest in technology. “I knew of non-intrusive measurement and monitoring that were completely risk-free but these products were either unavailable or were priced so exorbitantly that only a select few could afford them. There was a huge need gap of technologically advanced equipment with the affordability and reliability that Indians are used to,” narrates Vikram. During the same period, Arun Enterprises was trading with various brands in India. However, since the number of players was too less, the existing companies were lethargic in understanding the needs of the industries and hence could not offer state-of-the-art products.

Having identified the various factors hampering the impending growth of Indian TMI industry, Vikram took on the task to address these challenges. That’s when he chanced upon a group of engineers who had come to India with their own TMI for refurbishing a power-generation plant project in a remote Odisha location. Their instruments were damaged in transit and they approached Vikram, who was referred to by some dealers/sellers. Grabbing the opportunity by its horns, Vikram ensured that every instrument required by the client was manufactured in India and maintained their required quality and specifications. The success of the designing and delivery gave him the confidence to pursue manufacturing.

Consequently, Vikram started with the Metravi brand in order to offer state-of-the-art-technology at reasonable prices. Determined to provide complete instrumentation solutions for the varied needs of different industries, the firm become a one-stop-shop for all kinds of instruments. Metravi today offers a full range of instrumentation covering right from everyday multimeters to hi-tech professional grade Thermal Imagers. Vikram also got the CEM brand to India and now heads the Indian office as the Director for CEM to offer innovation and customization that leverages cutting edge equipment and a talented R&D team to continuously launch new TIM products in the market. “R&D is the root of development and brand establishment; we believe that excellent R&D ability can accelerate the further development of an enterprise,” adds Vikram.

Customer Oriented Product Portfolio

Every industry is unique and so are their specifications and requirements. While customers are often unaware about which instrument or specification would serve their measurement needs best, the onus falls on subject matter experts like Vikram and his team to educate the clients about the products available in the market. The customer oriented organization first enquires and understands its client’s usage, measurement or application requirement. Thereafter, the group offers them relevant products.

Metravi specializes in a plethora of TMI such as digital multimeters which range from 2,000 to 60,000 counts and can be connected to flexible clamps to measure up to 3000A, as well as data transferable to the systems over the Internet. The company is the only one in India to offer 50,000 count Clamp Meters as well as ones with wireless PC interfaces.
Users no longer need to carry their computer to the very site of the measurement, if the system is even in 100 meters of the location, the reading from clamp meters can directly go into the system. Metravi’s clamp meters are the only ones that offer Coating Thickness Meters, with auto selection of ferrous or non-ferrous substracts as well as Bluetooth or USB interfaces for data transfers.

The company also provides Ultrasonic thickness gauge that can measure up to 220 mm with resolutions of 1 mm and is soon going to introduce gauges with 0.1 mm resolution. Additionally, Metravi’s product portfolio includes Digital LCR Meters (from hand held ones to professional grade), ELCB Testers and environmental meters including multi-Gas Analyzers, Air Quality Meters, Air Particle Counters, Sound Level Meters and Radiation detectors.

CEM’s flagship products are the Thermal Imagers for which it offers an unbeatable and enviable range, right from smartphone adaptors that can turn smartphone into a hi-res thermal imager, to professional grade hi-tech ones having up to 640x480 px resolution. Additionally, some of these thermal imagers can also be connected to drones. The indigenous Group of companies is working towards propagating its offerings and solutions to companies across the nation in order to educate them about the choice of hi-quality, reliable and innovative instruments are available at a realistic pricing as opposed to American brands selling products at three times the Indian price.

Cost Effective yet High Quality Solutions

While Metravi & CEM ensures that its products are cost effective, the company never compromises on the quality. Maintaining the highest industry benchmarks, every Metravi & CEM instruments adhere to the RoHS standard and is made as per the latest IEC and/or EMC directives so as to comply with CE, CSA and UL certifications. The company also ensures that third-party inspections are conducted by companies such as TUV or SGS among others before goods are shipped out of the factory. Once the products reach India, they are individually inspected and tested against known standards for which individual reports are made available to clients. In case any fault is located in any instrument, team Metravi & CEM is able to trace the fault level backwards, right down to the component supplier.

Similarly, the highest order of quality is maintained at every juncture of development at CEM through an advanced production line and skilled workers ensure. Building on years of industry experience, CEM has set up a sound quality management system that standardizes and consummates the entire production flow on the basis of quality standard.

These in-depth services are rendered by Vikram’s dedicated team of service engineers. For every product that the companies deals in, there are whitepapers that contain explicit descriptions of the product with respect to philosophy of every technical work that the product is used for along with application notes. Additionally, there is a repository of videos for product-wise usage/application in order to make it easier to understand. Other than helping with preventive maintenance, this approach also helps new recruits understand how critical applications work and what kind of results they should be looking for at.

With on-call training for all clients when required along with on-site training offered for volume purchases, the team offers a dedicated calling line as well as email ID for after sales support and queries. Functioning as true client allies even beyond the sale, Metravi & CEM offer robust after-sales services for application and usage support including training. “We share product unpacking and usage videos as well as offer on-call explanations and hands-on training for certain clients,” explains Vikram.

R&D is the root of development and brand establishment; we believe that excellent R&D ability can accelerate the further development of an enterprise

Evolving & Transforming to Suit Client Needs

Metravi that has become a bonafide TMI industry leader today has always attributed its success to the stellar services rendered by the company to its every client, while CEM offers world-class quality & reliability along with innovation & customization. When an organization raised an inquiry for infrared thermometers, the samples were approved and 50 pieces were swiftly supplied. However, upon using the product, the client encountered a problem with the product’s application. Vikram & team swung into action and understood the problem being faced by the client and came up with a solution that could be implemented at a firmware level while quashing any need to redesign the hardware. The firmware change was implemented, a pilot reading was conducted and a video sent to show the client the results. The changes were approved by them and Vikram & team proceeded to make the firmware change for all 50 pieces.

The functionality change made by Vikram & team was very well received and subsequently it became a sought after instrument in that particular segment. The product was also recommended by the government department that oversees the client company’s operations. Replicating such success stories for various clients, Metravi & CEM today boast of a clientele that includes formidable names such as Indian Railways, TATA Group of Companies, Jindal Steel, Airbus, NTPC, ONGC, IOCL, BARC, Nuclear Power Corporation, Aditya Birla Group, BHEL, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Mankind, Shree Cement, L&T, Maharastra State Electricity Board, IIT, AIIMS, HAL, ISRO, ITC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Energy, OTIS Elevators and several others.

Vikram, a true visionary, has always leveraged his ability to sense the pulse of the market. He believes that there is immense pressure on the manufacturing sector to reduce costs and improve efficiency & productivity. This push can be attributed to the advancement in maintenance practices. “I have seen how maintenance practices have changed to extract the maximum out of the machines, from corrective to preventive to predictive and condition based monitoring,” Vikram explains.

In order to keep pace with the industry, Metravi is gearing up to introduce a professional range of products which will all be water and dust proof, to be used in rugged environments. Some of the products would be intrinsically safe. The product range would include products with OLED displays, which is unheard of in the field of instrumentation as yet. The company is also working towards making instruments communicate with each other. Leveraging the power of the Internet, Metravi is striving to come up with technology through which data that is displayed by the instrument could be moved over the internet so that one need not be physically located at a place to see what is happening.

With a host of exciting product plans set in motion, Vikram’s journey in the TMI sector is about to enter its second innings. A true proponent to moving ahead with times, Vikram will go down in TMI industry history as a true catalyst of change.

KEY MANAGEMENT:

Vikram Bhansali, Managing Director
Armed with over 20 years of experience in the TMI industry, Vikram has helped the industry evolve with inclusion of high quality, innovative and cost effective instrumentation. An electrical engineer by degree and a true blue entrepreneur at heart, his ventures Metravi & CEM have been leading the industry in terms of rendering products for various industries, applications and measurements.

Vimal Raj Bhansali, Director & Mentor
It is with him that the business started and an entrepreneur, mentor and patron armed with more than 50 years of experience in the TMI & Electrical industry, his able shoulders are what Vikram & team rely on for overall guidance & strategy. Steeped in experience, he is able to check and analyse the business and accounting and prod the team towards growth with his overly capable ideas, analysis and strategies.

Ankur Meghani, Business Development

Richa Nevatia, Marketing Head

Head Office: Kolkata

Number of Employees: 20+ in Kolkata. (for Metravi), 1800+ worldwide – India, Germany, Russia, Hongkong, China, & US (for CEM)

Offerings: Range of Thermal Imagers including adaptors that convert smart phones into Thermal Imagers, Air Particle Counters, Multi-Gas Analyzers, Multimeters & Clamp Meters combined with Thermal Imagers, High Current Data Loggers, ELCB Testers, Clamp on Ground Resistance Testers and Digital Storage Oscilloscopes on Tablets. From simple Voltmeters & Ammeters to Oscilloscopes & Spectrum Analyzers to High Voltage Testing equipment.

CEM specializes in Infrared Thermometers, Digital Multimeters, Clamp-on Meters, Insulation Testers, Electrical Testers, Light Meters, Sound Level Meters, Thermo-Anemometers, Environmental Meters, Gas Detectors, Manometers and various other measuring instruments.