Posted By

Tags

Rakon expands footprint with new Centre of Excellence in India


Left to right Minister of State of Trade and Export Growth Rino Tirikatene, Indian High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan, Rakon Chair and independent director Lorraine Witten, Rakon CEO Sinan Altug, Former Rakon CEO Brent Robinson

Venu Menon
Wellington, June 28,2023

Make in India success story Rakon has marked a new chapter in the New Zealand -India business partnership by recently opening a research and manufacturing facility in the high-tech hub of Bengaluru in South India.

Rakon representatives gathered at the Indian High Commission premises on Pipitea Street in Wellington on June 27 to toast this milestone in the company’s India operations.

Guests included Minister of State for Trade and Export Development   Rino Tirikatene, as well as top officials from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The evening kicked off with networking over refreshments in the atrium of the high commission. Former Rakon CEO (and current Chief Technology Officer) Brent Robinson spoke to Indian Newslink about the company’s origin.

“My father Warren Robinson founded the company in 1967. It was re-founded by my brother Darren and I in 1990,” Robinson reminisced.

“It was a very small company when I started running it. It had a small team of 12 people in Auckland, turning over less than $1 million per year.”

The family owns 20% of the business and is the company’s biggest shareholder, according to Robinson.

“The crystal is the heartbeat of all electronics,” Robinson explained, adding, “Rakon is dedicated to making the most accurate crystals in the world for the highest applications [such as] 5G and space satellite applications.”

“We are transferring that technology to India,” he noted.

Robinson said Rakon had been supplying the technology globally from India since 2008, for tier-1 communications companies such as Samsung and Erickson.

From the atrium the guests moved to the conference hall where High Commissioner of India to New Zealand Neeta Bhushan delivered her welcome address.

High Commissioner Bhushan said Rakon was the perfect example of “India-New Zealand friendship, partnership and collaboration.”

She applauded Rakon for making India “an integral part of their global growth strategy for the past 15 years.” With the inauguration of the centre of excellence in Bengaluru, the company had established itself in India.

Rakon’s new facility in Bengaluru, India

“The combination of Indian talent and Rakon’s experience and expertise will be a fruitful and productive combination that will take the company to greater heights in its global business in the years to come,” she noted. She hoped other businesses would follow the example set by Rakon.

High Commissioner Bhushan said the Make in India policy had turned India into a manufacturing hub for global giants. Companies that started as Joint Ventures had decided to open their own facilities. Rakon was a case in point.

She highlighted India’s GDP growth and its “purchasing power parity.”

India’s 400 million-strong middle class represented a growing market for high-end electronic goods, she noted.

Air India’s fleet augmentation drive highlighted the imperative to connect more cities in order to “do business faster.”

She said policies and schemes such as Foreign Direct Investment, Skills India and Start Up India effectively harnessed the country’s human resource pool for companies and businesses everywhere.

High Commissioner Bhushan referenced the meeting of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Chris Hipkins in Papua New Guinea recently, which showed “the commitment at the highest level to take the [India-NZ] relationship to the next phase.”

Between January and June 2023, there have been around 25 to-and-fro visits of delegations between the two countries.

High Commissioner Bhushan highlighted India’s digitisation drive which had eased business and payment processes.

Next up, master of ceremonies Ishant Ghulyani then invited Minister of State of Trade and Export Growth Rino Tirikatene to address the audience. The minister began by acknowledging High Commissioner Bhushan’s contribution to the India-New Zealand economic relationship.

Noting the 70-year history of formal diplomatic relations between India and New Zealand, he said India was now “the world’s most populous country and the fourth largest economy. With the median age of 28, [India’s] people account for one-fifth of the world’s working age population.”

He said the key strength in the India-NZ relationship was the Indian diaspora. “Some reports quote the Indian diaspora’s economic contribution to the New Zealand economy at $10 billion. At 5% of the population and growing, New Zealanders of Indian heritage are an important catalyst for furthering our ties.”

Securing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India remained a long-term goal.

The minister described Rakon’s new facility in India as “one of the largest investments by a New Zealand company in India,” setting a benchmark for New Zealand businesses exporting through partnerships.

The minister said the New Zealand and India relationship had been strengthened through Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where “the two [leaders] discussed strengthening trade links between our two countries.”

Minister of Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor was planning to visit India over the coming months, Tirikatene said, adding, “Our efforts to build a more holistic relationship with India have been given new momentum following three ministerial visits to India since September 2022, and [Indian External Affairs Minister] Jaishankar’s visit to New Zealand in October 2022.”

In a lighter vein, Minister Tirikatene mentioned his Indian cricketing heroes such as Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev, though he himself never progressed beyond playing cricket with a tennis ball, drawing titters from the audience.

Rakon CEO Dr Sinan Altug acknowledged the Indian and New Zealand governments for their “support, collaboration and proactive initiatives” that have helped Rakon over its 15-year operations in India. NZTE came in for special thanks “for their valuable assistance in tonight’s event as well as our opening [of the new facility] in Bengaluru two weeks ago.” He described Rakon as a “flagship example” of a highly successful New Zealand-India partnership.

Altug traced Rakon’s journey in India from 2008, becoming India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of frequency control and timing products, serving both the domestic and international markets.

He praised India’s strategic role in supporting and catalysing the electronic sensory conductor industries.

“Thanks to our presence in India, in space we have had the privilege of partnering with Indian agencies such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) and Space Application Centre (SAC). Our collaboration has allowed Rakon to develop ground-breaking products for critical space applications and Indian space missions such as the recently launched Mars mission Chandrayan and Gaganayan,” Altug noted.

In telecommunications, over the last 15 years Rakon has actively supported the evolution of global wireless networks from 4G to 4.5 G and 5G, with products manufactured in India.

The audience viewed a three -minute video of Rakon’s new facility in Bengaluru, which provided skilled employment in the hi-tech sector for over 500 members of the local community.

The company has hailed the facility as “one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated manufacturing sites for advanced frequency control and timing solutions and a symbol of Rakon’s long-term commitment to growing and investing in our operations here in India.”

Venu Menon is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Wellington.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement