Frontec: Let There be Lights!

Ashok Saigal Managing Director Frontec | Insights Success | Business Magazine

Electricity – a truly wonderful engineering marvel that has woven itself into our day to day lives. We are now dependent on Electricity being available, even in remote locations. We depend of it for everything from charging  our devices, to basic heating cooling and environmental controls, to operating day to day kitchen and bath appliances, and even for running our vehicles.
Though remarkable work has been done over the years to ensure electricity reaches even the remotest areas, reliable and dependable distribution networks are still a distant dream. Both government and non-government electrical engineering firms are working tirelessly to strengthen the electrical distribution networks in India to keep pace with the need and demand to efficiently and reliably transport electricity from the generation points to end consumers .
Contributing to this dream is Frontier Technologies Pvt Ltd (Frontec), a company which specializes in Cable Joints and End Terminations of the Heat Shrink Type. Frontec has been in the business of manufacturing Heat Shrinkable Products since 1987. The company manufactures Heat Shrink cable jointing kits, which are used in Medium Voltage electrical distribution networks across India.
The company was Co-founded by Om Khosla and Ashok Saigal in 1987 as an indigenous manufacturer of Heat Shrink and has since grown to become one of the pioneers for Cable Jointing Kits in India.
Prior to setting up Frontec, Mr. Khosla had been a leading Transmission Line expert who led his then company, EMC, into path breaking contracts for 400 kV lines in India and several mid-East countries in the 1970’s. He is currently serving as Chairman Emeritus of Frontec.
Ashok, who is currently the Managing Director, Frontec has been instrumental in establishing Heat Shrink technology into India since the 1980’s. He spearheaded the introduction of this new technology through a leading multinational where he worked for ten years before moving on to establish Frontec.
Creating Reliable Connections – electrical and personal
The company manufactures a wide range of heat shrinkable products including cable breakoutsrain skirts, insulators and caps and heat shrink tubing.
These components go into Cable Jointing Kits for both Underground (U/G) as well as Aerial Bunched (A/B) Cables covering Low and Medium Voltages (upto 33KV), Cable TerminationsStraight Through Joints, and Fully insulated Tap-Off connectors for Medium Voltage A/B Cables, which are sold under the Frontec brand name. All these products are tested to National Standards and meet or exceed International industry standards and application requirements ensuring that each Frontec joint is a connection you can depend on.
Frontec focuses on connecting with the customer to identify the most suitable product for their requirements before supplying. It takes pride in its ability to respond to develop new products to meet changing market demands. The company puts strong focus on Quality Control and Forensic Investigation to analyze the cause of failures. It provides free no-fault Guarantee period replacement kits and field visits to its long-term customers who return samples of field failures for analysis even after several years.
Dealing with Challenges
Frontec’s thirty years of existence have presented some challenges too. Cable joints, being required only at the end of an electrification process, do not received proper attention. They form a fairly small portion of the overall cost of the project so more often than not, proper specifications, quality checks and vendor reliability are not discussed in detail. The price to value proposition arrived at by evaluating the technical performance of the product and mapping it to the price point is rarely considered and discussed.
Establishing Brand Image has been another major issue. Liberalization of imports has opened the market to competition from lower cost imports. As such, it is difficult for a company without an International collaboration to establish its credentials as a quality supplier worth a premium price over the lowest bidder. Good product performance backed by quick response to customer needs for quick deliveries and technical and service support have helped Frontec to establish long term supplier relationships with reputed customers.
Frontec’s commitment to quality and professional management has been recognized at various platforms. It has regularly supported CPRI in training Workshops on Cable Installation and Jointing by providing its key personnel as faculty. Frontec also contributes technical articles on cables and accessories to leading Electrical Journals in India. Following this, Ashok was invited by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to conduct a 3 day training program on Installation and Jointing of MV Aerial Bunched cables.
Frontec has serviced several prestigious customers (both SEB’s as well as large Private Contractors) in India. Many Indian Discoms and reputed EPC Contractors have acknowledged Frontec’s support in designing and executing their electrification projects.
Frontec’s inputs for introduction of LT AB cable installation methods in India were much appreciated by Rural Electrification Corporation and the company was asked to give a major presentation on this subject at the 2008 Elecrama as a key part of the “Power for All” initiative of the Govt of India.
For a Bright Future
Frontec sees the Electrical Industry in India at the cusp of a major transformation as the Power Sector transitions from a shortage situation to one of surplus power availability both at Generation and Grid levels. Interruptions in power supply are now being seen as a hurdle in overall growth and development of the country and will no longer be tolerated. An increased demand for higher reliability products will benefit higher quality producers.
Frontec has developed several unique products as per customer requirements and within the agreed on time limits. Many of these products have become de-facto industry standards. The recent addition of Mr Aditya Saigal as the head of Sales and marketing has added fresh impetus to this important function. The company looks forward to leverage its reputation for reliability of product quality and business commitments for further brand extension both nationally and internationally, and to a wider range of products.
India has been making rapid strides in the electrical field. The country has come a long way from being dependent on International Powers to being self-sufficient. With committed indigenous players like Frontec, India is sure to shine bright!

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