A start-up with a history, is how Nelco’s CEO PJ Nath describes his company, which was led for a while by the current chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, in the early 1970s.
Tata’s report card for his tenure in the company is mixed, even though he did manage to increase the company’s market share in the consumer electronics business, which used to be Nelco’s bread and butter.
Nath, who took over last year, has overseen the company make a complete break with the past, shedding some load by selling off three business units in 2011. The Nelco of today is a B2B company, as against the B2C company it was selling radios and television sets; it also sports a new logo.
The company is executing the second phase of its tsunami advance warning system, with its data centre in Hyderabad, Nath disclosed.
“We are not a manufacturing company anymore — we are more of a system integrator for providing security solutions and telecom service solutions, though I am not ruling out manufacturing in the future,” he told Hindustan Times.
The option of entering manufacturing probably stems from the demand of the old timers in the company, who feel that a company without manufacturing facilities is not “really a business,” says Nath, who is aiming to show revenues of Rs. 200 crore when the company’s financial year ends in September.
Nath evades a direct answer when asked if the legacy of the company, and its erstwhile head, had weighed on his mind when he accepted the job. “There was a sense of excitement, and well, you have to be nervous a little bit because only the paranoid survive,” he said wrily.
And no, there’s no going back to consumer electronics. Ever.