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Exclusive: Agilent on rebranding, Keysight in India

Posted: 24 Jan 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:spinoff  rebranding  electronic test & measurement 

Agilent Technologies identified Keysight Technologies as the electronic measurement company that will come out of its backyard before the end of this year. EE Times India's Arti Singh spoke with Agilent EMG Country Manager Sudhir Tangri to find out more about the name change and operations of Keysight in India.

EE Times India: Can you tell us more about the spin off; and formation of Keysight Technologies?

Sudhir Tangri: We made the announcement in mid of September 2013 that we are going to be two different companies, but it's a long process as there are many regulatory issues that need to be sorted out. We made our first announcement in September last year that we are going to separate our electronic test & measurement businesses, and this process is going to terminate towards the end of calendar year of 2014.

So, we are talking about this good 12 month window that will witness various milestones and one of the major milestone we reached was the announcement of the new name. As we go ahead, in next few months we will see lot of re-branding done by the electronic and measurement business, which is now Keysight Technologies. But, we will continue to do business under the name of Agilent and this will happen till August 1, 2014, and post August, we expect to do business under the name of Keysight.

EE Times India: What does the name Keysight mean?

Tangri: Keysight is a new English word that we have coined and it's a combination of two English word 'KEY' and 'INSIGHT'. From 'Key' we mean something indispensable or essential and 'Insight' is the power of being or having vision or seeing something that the others cannot see. Agilent products enable our customers to have their key-insight into their designs, into their electronic measurement and so and so forth. So, the way we look at it the name connotes "seeing something that other's cannot" or "enabling our customers to see what they otherwise cannot by virtue of our products and by virtue of what our business group does." The name 'Keysight' connotes what we are, what we do, what our products do, and what our products enable our customer to do.

EE Times India: How is Keysight going to operate in India?

Tangri: We are in the process of separation and we will start the marketing activity to rebrand the electronic measurement business of Agilent Technologies to Keysight Technologies . We expect all the legal formalities for Keysight Technologies to be completed till August 2014. Until then we will continue to do business under the name Agilent Technologies. Starting 1st August 2014 we will operate under the new name Keysight Technologies.

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Tangri: Keysight Technologies as an organisation will be 100 per cent focussed on electronic measurement business, that's the core, that's our legacy, that's our heritage.

However, when it comes to the way we conduct business, it's going to be as usual for us. There will be no changes in customer relationships, processes and contracts at this point of time. We expect minimal disruption to day to day business as we move forward and we are putting a lot of things in place to ensure that we maintain business continuity.

Having said that once we become a separate entity, which is 100 per cent focussed on the electronic measurement business, we expect undiluted focus on electronic measurement market will enable us to serve our customers better and help us to enable more customer value.

EE Times India: Can you tell us how exactly Agilent will look like in India? Do you think the separation and name change is going to create confusion among customers?

Tangri: Agilent currently has two distinct businesses, one is the electronic measurement business and another is the life sciences and diagnostic business. Post-split electronic measurement business will become Keysight Technologies, however the life sciences and diagnostic business of Agilent will remain as it is and operate under the same name. The life sciences business also has a presence and footprint in India. Post transformation of measurement business into Keysight, the life science and diagnostic business will remain as the Agilent business.

Both the businesses cater to very different markets, so we don't expect any overlap and confusion in the marketplace. Confusion part is partially true. However we are not worried as it will be taken care by our planned branding and marketing activities.

EE Times India: What would be the size of both business units, post separation?

Tangri: Post the split, Keysight will be approximately a $3 billion organisation, and Agilent, which is the life science part, is going to be a $4 billion company. And, the ratio is going to be very similar in India as well. So, you can make a conclusion that Agilent's life sciences division is ahead of the electronic measurement division in India.

EE Times India: What kind of marketing budget you have set for India?

Tangri: Yes, we do have a budget allocated for branding and marketing in India. However it is too soon to discuss the budgets as we are at a very initial stage. But, it will roll out as we make progress in time.

EE Times India: How customers are responding to this whole situation?

Tangri: We see excitement among our customers and partners. Before sharing the current perspective, I would like to share what happened 15 years ago. An electronic measurement business spun off from Hewlett and Packard in 1999 and people were extremely thrilled at that time also. And, the reason for that excitement was that Agilent as an entity was spun off from HP, and that the company was solely focussed on electronic measurement business. We carry a legacy started by HP 75 years ago because the first product that HP made was an audio oscillator, which is a measurement product. When Agilent was born, people were excited because we focussed back on our core that was electronic measurement business.

Now in 2014 as we see, the same excitement is there among people. All our customers, partners and our employees are excited. The reason for excitement is very similar. Going forward, Keysight Technologies as an organisation will be 100 per cent focussed on electronic measurement business. Our customers believe that by being 100 per cent undiluted focus on electronic measurement business we will be coming out with more products and will be adding more value to our customer that's what they are excited about.

EE Times India: What do you think of Indian government policy related to the test and measurement industry?

Tangri: We are keenly following the manufacturing policy and also the policy of Indianisation of various high technology segments. Specifically talking about manufacturing policy, Agilent is part of some of the discussions where the government is seeking feedback from the industry in streamlining the manufacturing policy and that it comes out with something that is executable.

EE Times India: With single-focus branding, what sort of growth Keysight expects to see in the Indian market?

Tangri: We have been growing at a rate much faster than the market rate. According to several data, the test and measurement industry in India is growing at a CAGR of anywhere between 5-9 per cent, and we are growing at much higher rate compare to the market rate. And, this higher-than-the-market growth rate is coming on a base which is the largest in the industry. Our installed base is higher than the combined installed base of our competitors.

EE Times India: Have you set any specific strategy for Keysight?

Tangri: Our strategy continues to be first to market leading edge customer value technology solutions, deliver the best customer experience, and to continue with a very strong record of financial performance. Keysight will be a $3 billion company employing close to 9,500 employees operating out of 30 countries. And, we have a very strong financial performance of 19 per cent of operating profit. We continue to be the No.1 market share holder worldwide in the test and measurement business.

Keysight will be headquartered in Santa Rosa, California as opposed to Silicon Valley where Agilent has its headquarters. In India, Agilent had about 1,800-1,900 employees.

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