Westinghouse eyeing huge potential of electrification in Pakistan

Syed Amir Raza, Country President Westinghouse talks to Engineering Post

Syed Amir Raza, Country President Westinghouse talks to Engineering PostIn the realm of electrical innovation, few names resonate as profoundly as Westinghouse. With a legacy spanning over 150 years, Westinghouse has been at the forefront of powering nations, pioneering advancements that have transformed everyday life. As the company continues its global expansion, Syed Amir Raza, with three decades of industry expertise, stands at the helm as the Country President for Westinghouse in Pakistan. His vision extends beyond mere market penetration; it encompasses a holistic approach to electrification and sustainable growth.

Recently Engineering Post has the opportunity to have an exclusive conversation with Syed Amir Raza, the newly appointed Country President for Westinghouse. During the conversation he explained that Westinghouse is truly a company relying on innovation and quality product development. It has the honour of having countless patents to its name.

“Guided by our legacy of innovation and quality, and a star studded history in product development, manufacturing, and design, we plan to introduce our high-end high-performing products for residential and industrial customers worldwide,” shares Syed Amir Raza, encapsulating Westinghouse’s commitment to excellence.

His journey in the electrical industry reads like a chronicle of perseverance and expertise. With stints at renowned companies such as Schneider and GE, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role at Westinghouse. His decision to join Westinghouse reflects not only the company’s global stature but also the immense potential he sees in the Pakistani market.

“Working in Pakistan proposes a huge potential as the electrification of the country is low in industry as well as in our homes. Many people are still working on manual machines. In many apartment buildings we see stairs instead of escalators or lifts. This show how much potential for growth there is in the Pakistani market as reliance on electricity increases” Syed Amir Raza asserts. “We recognized the immense potential of Pakistan’s market, characterized by a low per capita consumption of electricity and a burgeoning demand for electrical appliances, and decided to work in this untapped market” he explained.

Indeed, Pakistan presents a unique landscape, where the need for electrification is acute, and the demographic dividend of a youthful population promises exponential growth in energy consumption and demand for electrical appliances. “The demographic of the country shows a very high number of young people, which means that electrification and the usage of electricity and electrical appliances will only increase with time,” notes Syed Amir Raza, underlining the intrinsic link between demographic trends and energy consumption patterns.

However, he acknowledges the challenges inherent in penetrating a market dominated by established players amidst economic uncertainties. “The current market situation is not very promising,” he admits, citing factors such as high interest rates, sluggish growth, and risk-averse lending practices inhibiting investment and business expansion.

“A very tangible marker that the market is currently not ready to move towards investment is if we look at the performing loan being given by the banks we see that their ratio is very low,” observes Syed Amir Raza. This reluctance to invest stems from a lack of confidence in the economic climate, exacerbated by political instability and fluctuating market conditions. “When the interest rates are this high, instead of trying to set up a business, which involves risks and operational costs etc, the people would just park their investments in banks and use the interest being offered. High Interest means that borrowing cost is increased which means that growth for businesses would not be possible through loans,” he added explaining the current market dynamics in play.

Nonetheless, Syed Amir Raza remains undeterred, viewing challenges as opportunities for innovation and adaptation. “As a new entrant, the existing players become more aggressive, so they try to protect their market share,” he acknowledges. Yet, he remains confident in Westinghouse’s ability to carve a niche through its diverse product portfolio, competitive pricing, and unwavering commitment to quality. “Our product range is complete and diverse, catering to the diverse needs of the Pakistani market,” asserts Syed Amir Raza. Indeed, Westinghouse’s portfolio spans electrical distribution, electronics, home appliances, and nuclear divisions, ensuring a comprehensive solution for residential and industrial consumers alike.

Moreover, he emphasizes the importance of affordability and accessibility in a price-sensitive market like Pakistan. “We will provide competitive prices so they feel they are getting value for money,” he affirms. This customer-centric approach, coupled with Westinghouse’s reputation as a reliable brand, instils confidence among consumers, facilitating market penetration and brand loyalty.

Quality remains paramount in Westinghouse’s ethos, with Syed Amir Raza underscoring the premium nature of their products. “Quality of the products being provided by Westinghouse is also very premium and high-end,” he states. This commitment to excellence, coupled with extended warranty offerings, positions Westinghouse as a trusted partner in Pakistan’s electrification journey.

Overcoming logistical challenges, such as product availability, remains a key focus area for Syed Amir Raza. “To overcome this, we are developing partnerships all across the country with our channel partners,” he reveals. By strengthening their distribution network, Westinghouse ensures that their products are readily accessible to consumer’s nationwide, facilitating seamless integration into households and industries alike. “Further down the line we are also planning to open up our offices all across the country especially in the northern region to increase our presence and further collaborate with our channel partners,” he said.

Moreover, Pakistan’s energy sector faces pressing environmental challenges, exacerbated by the reliance on fossil fuels and outdated infrastructure. “As the global community intensifies efforts to combat climate change, Pakistan must transition towards sustainable energy solutions,” emphasizes Syed Amir Raza. This imperative aligns with Westinghouse’s commitment to environmental stewardship, driving innovation in renewable energy and carbon-neutral technologies.

As he looks towards the future, he remains optimistic about Pakistan’s trajectory. “Despite the challenges we face, I am confident that Pakistan has the resilience and ingenuity to overcome obstacles and emerge stronger,” he declares. This unwavering optimism fuels his determination to drive positive change, both within Westinghouse and across the broader socio-economic landscape.

A very significant problem faced by the Pakistani market has been the non-availability of products due to import bans and restrictions. This has resulted in depleted stocks of main companies and halting or complete shutdown of many projects across the country. During the exclusive conversation with Engineering Post Syed Amir Syed Amir Raza Country Head Westinghouse explained how his company plans to overcome this problem “Product availability is an important issue in the Pakistani market and we have seen many players fail because of their lack of focus on it. We plan to ensure the availability of our stocks through our channel partners and making sure that the inventory maintenance is a top priority for them as well.” he explained.

His vision at Westinghouse embodies a synthesis of innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability. Through his leadership, Westinghouse is not merely a purveyor of electrical products; it is a catalyst for transformation, empowering individuals, communities, and nations to realize their full potential. As Pakistan navigates the complexities of the modern world, Westinghouse is sure to ride the wave to the top with innovation and quality products.