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Special report: Innovating AV tech in India

Installation reports on PSNI Global Alliance’s positive forecasts for the region

PSNI is forecasting a second wave of positivity to come from the AV technology market in India. With extensive experience in India and the wider APAC region, and backed by integrator partners from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the company is taking a keen interest in the country’s rapid economic development, and in particular the exponential growth of its technology sector.

Now the world’s fifth largest economy, India’s growth has been aided by investment through such government initiatives as Digital India, Start Up India, and Make in India. Such efforts have
not gone unnoticed, with the Indian technology sector attracting investments worth $9.36 billion, in 2019, representing a 95% increase compared with the previous year – demonstrating that India is regarded by global investors as a top destination.

Budgeting for investment
Under the Union Budget 2020–21, the Indian Government announced its largest ever financial investment (US$ 901.70 million) to the Ministry of Science and Technology, demonstrating India’s intense efforts towards establishing itself as a leader in industrialisation and technological development. Key highlights for the technology sector included tax relief for start-ups, new data centre parks throughout the country, five new smart cities, and full-fledged online degree programmes for under-privileged.

Following the global decline in the pro AV industry in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, growth is widely expected to resume this year. Since APAC was the first region to be impacted by Covid-19 and the first to re-open, it is expected to experience the strongest growth of all regions, with a 7.4 percent compound annual growth rate from 2020 through 2025 – while the Americas and EMEA play catch-up with growth at 4.7 percent and 4.5 percent respectively. Consequently,  in 2025 APAC pro AV revenue is forecasted at $126 billion, compared to $108 billion for the Americas and $81 billion for EMEA.

As a further boost to India’s technology sector, Prime Minister Modi has responded to the pandemic with a kick start to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (Self-reliant India campaign). This is an investment equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP and includes boosts for the technology sector.

Rapid growth

As India’s economy continues its rapid growth and development, so too does its demand for AV integration. The country has a strong culture of pursuing engineering and technology, and residents recognise that AV over IP is the future. Streaming solutions and distribution over IP are particular areas
for advancement in the region, especially in education, government, hospitality and residential markets.

There are also likely to be numerous opportunities in AV control as a result of e-governance gathering pace, as rapid distribution of key messages to the public will be a basic requirement of all institutions.

Whilst the global Covid-19 pandemic caused widespread devastation to many industries, recovery is already well under way in India, and the Indian AV technology industry is currently considering what measures it must take in the short and longer terms.

Measures that AV suppliers and integrators can take right now include working more closely with clients, prudent inventory planning, strict management of cash-flow, and augmenting skillsets through training.

Going forward, new markets of growth need to be explored. For example, the focus towards an increased adoption to a work-from-home format is growing. This could result in a need for higher quality, more reliable video conferencing technology amongst other things. 

There is also the possibility of more opportunities for surveillance, control rooms, and network operations centres, so solution providers could find business continuity in that segment.

“The pandemic period had its effects, however India’s economy continues to grow,” comments Girish Narayanan, of Resurgent, a PSNI Certified Solution Provider. “Governments are now turning into early adopters of technology. The huge investments they make in new technologies and infrastructure development will open opportunities for companies like Resurgent. They can provide high-end AV design and build integration services by bringing global standards to the Indian market.

“It is just a matter of time for India’s private and public sector to bounce back with its full power. Covid-19 has brought a major chunk of the population closer to new technologies. AV has increasingly become a part of our daily lives now. In coming years, our focus will be on making the technology more accessible and help the government bodies and companies to provide services and grow using Audio Visual technology integrations.” 

China challenge
Over the longer term, there is unlikely to be any significant reversal in the current trajectory. India has the capacity to challenge the manufacturing supremacy of China. The appetite to implement current technologies and to develop new ones is expected to continue. India can already boast a huge workforce with the skills and competences needed to fuel its boom. Moreover, vast swathes of the population are eager to do the training necessary to fill one of the many new roles in the burgeoning technology sector.

“India’s dynamic attitude to engineering and technology will positively impact streaming solutions and AV over IP in areas related to education, government, hospitality, and residential markets,” concludes Narayanan.