Why R&D is important?

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. and Bharat Electronics Ltd. are top two PSU’s(public sector undertaking) which top this year’s 100 most spenders in R&D. BHEL at No.2 and latter at 11.The concept can be compared to the saying “a stitch in time saves nine”.

Statistics have shown that the increment in revenues are tremendous while investing in research and development.These companies follow the tagline “Spend Today,Earn Tomorrow”.Indeed its true,they have bagged orders worth crores of rupees and even they have been exporting the technologies earned through R&D.While it is only recently that many companies are realizing the importance of it,the Govt. run companies have recognized this years earlier.Leave aside the pharmaceutical companies because the sector itself is research driven.

BHEL

It was established in 1956 with the collaboration of Soviet-Union technology,they would export it and the firm would develop it as per the Indian markets.Post-liberalization era in Indian economy,when all the customs were lifted in power sector,firms like GE(General Electric),Siemens refused to collaborate for their own-profits.This was the time when BHEL recognized that it needs its own calibre in R&D.

The figures have shown that copyrights and patents have been filed per day.With R&D facilities attached at all its 14 centers,it has spent 2.4% of its revenues in it.6723 crores were earned when 829 crores were infused in research.Some key achievements of BHEL in context of R&D are-

  • coal gasification technology allows thermal plants to generate electricity with 40% more efficiency.
  • permanent magnet motors to reduce the size of submarines to help better mobility.
  • insulated-gate bipolar transistor based inverter for rail locomotives to consume power with more efficiency.It helped BHEL bag 400 crore deal from Indian Railways.

Bharat Electronics Ltd.

When we talk of defence technology,we talk of BEL.The firm is largest supplier of equipments to defence sector of the country leaving giants like Wipro,TCS behind.It has invested around 5.4% of its revenues in R&D.A huge revenue stream is generated by constantly investing into research arena.Some key highlights are –

  • BEL is awaiting the order from Indian Govt. of coast surveillance system guarding 7600 km coastline of Indian sub-continent.It uses electro-optic sensors.The project has already been developed keeping in mind the safety post Mumbai terror attacks.
  • Stars V mark II radio is an advanced radio which lets users to change the frequencies to prevent the interception from the enemies.It uses frequency hopping algorithm developed by BEL.
  • BEL wrote algorithms for EVM’s(electronic voting machines) which are widely being used across the country by voters.This technology is now being demoed to countries like Uganda,South Africa,Philippines,Honduras….

It is evident that one who has edge on technology stays ahead irrespective of the field one is in.Innovation drives businesses.Whether it is product or service oriented,creativity and differentness is the punchline.For these all,research and development are very crucial.


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