In today’s dynamic corporate world, not many companies can last close to four decades and it’s often tougher for legacy players to adapt to changing technologies. But having run the marathon for the last 37 years, TVS Electronics is lacing up to sprint its way into the future and is banking on its R&D for this.

With a high brand recall as a printer and other IT peripherals maker, TVS Electronics is now trying to carve an image as an end-to-end electronics solutions provider. For this, the electronics major is increasing its R&D spends to develop products for the new ‘print-less’ world. With the Indian electronics sector going through a golden period, the company wants to leverage its decades of manufacturing expertise and infra to undertake contract electronics manufacturing services (EMS) for third parties. It is also looking to grow its IT infrastructure management services, especially targeting the growing areas of data centres and green energy set ups.

“We have been pioneers in printers and other IT hardware but as the landscape of printing technology changes, we have set an R&D vision to identify areas of strength and figure out what lies beyond our current product portfolio,” says Srilalitha Gopal, MD, TVS Electronics (TVS-E).

The origins

Founded in 1986 by Gopal Srinivasan, scion of the TVS family, TVS Electronics ruled the market in the ’90s as an early mover in the dot matrix printers and other IT peripherals such as keyboards and mouse. Srinivasan is now the non-executive chairman of the board.

Aiding India in its computing journey, the firm garnered industry-leading market share in the IT hardware space. As the sector raced ahead, TVS-E also forayed into products such as set-top boxes before it finally landed on its silver bullet — point of sale (POS) devices for the retail sector. Today, its operations are split under two business segments: products and solutions group (PSG) and customer support services (CSS). Under PSG, it serves retail, BFSI and logistics industries with Touch POS systems, dot matrix and thermal printers, track and trace products like barcode scanners. The CSS vertical focuses on field support and warranty management services for top IT hardware OEMs, IT infra management services and e-waste management, among others.

Mr. C Balaji, Vice President- PSG Business, TVS Electronics(TVSE)

Mr. C Balaji, Vice President- PSG Business, TVS Electronics(TVSE)

“Transitioning as technology progresses has no doubt posed key challenges, including adapting to rapidly changing market demands and maintaining our leadership position. But, we have tackled these challenges by leveraging our strong foundation in the industry, continuously innovating and expanding our product portfolio,” says C Balaji, Vice President, PSG Business, TVS-E.

Leading the charge
37 years in existence
609 employees
Market leader in Thermal printers
No.3 in barcode scanners and label printers
272 customers
1 centralised factory
2,882 customer support field staff
Over 90% districts covered
Source: Annual report FY23
Embracing change

The new product development efforts have focused on input devices and fintech products to usher in a ‘print-less world’. Take for instance, TVS-E’s cloud printer with a sound box, which when used in hotel kitchens will not just generate a receipt for the order but also announce it on audio. Another product exciting the company are mobile printers that can be put in the hands of field staff for companies. Some video analytics and surveillance products are also in the offing but the company did not specify timelines for commercialisation.”The goal is also to add more software elements such as billing solutions and analytics to the hardware and thus increase wallet share of existing customers,” explains Balaji.

However, its decision to accelerate POS products around 2008 has been an inflection point to bring in large format retailers as clients. The PSG vertical makes up over 70 per cent of the ₹360 crore revenue clocked by TVS-E in FY24. The company also notes it has reached a value addition of over 50 per cent for its products thus earning the tag as a Class I supplier for government orders and helping businesses grow in this space. As per exchange filings, Aditya Birla, Trent, Zudio and Westside are among its retail customers and HDFC Bank, LIC feature as BFSI clients.

Contributing one-third to its revenue, the services vertical is also finding new growth drivers. Among OEMs, the company is an authorised service partner for various multinationals such as HP, Dell, ASUS and others, as per filings. “We are seeing good traction in our IT managed services portfolio, managing marquee green energy projects and data centre operations,” says Balaji. The company currently manages almost 350 MW on behalf of a top solar power player and is looking to grow this to 1 GW by the end of this fiscal.

In its biggest ambition yet, the company also wants to provide end-to-end contract services in areas such as manufacturing, distribution network and service support. “The idea is to see if we can take a customer of PSG or CSS segments and also get them to benefit from our EMS strengths,” says Balaji. The team is also in advanced talks with potential new customers across those in audio solutions, education sector and green energy space. “We have invested over ₹45-50 crore in our Tumkur plant in the last three years to create new lines and now have a large reliable vendor ecosystem around it,” says Balaji. The Tumkur facility in Karnataka is spread across 70 acres with around one lakh sq ft of work area and has spare capacity to ramp up EMS.

While now in the right lane, analysts believe it will take a few quarters before results begin to show, as the company is a bit late to the party. But that does not deter the team. “Our tagline ‘Taking IT to the heart of India’ and ‘Innovative solutions for a better tomorrow’ reflects our commitment to innovation. Despite the competition, we believe our comprehensive approach and commitment to quality position us well for success,” says a gung-ho Balaji.