Landis+Gyr began its operations in the Middle East in 2007 but the company itself has a much longer history; founded in Switzerland in 1896 as a manufacturer of high quality, state of the art electricity, water, gas and district cooling meters. The company has grown to cover 30 countries across five continents, employing in excess of 5,500 people. Over the decades Landis+Gyr has been pioneering various innovations including launching the world’s first digital meter in the late 1970s. Today it serves approximately 3,500 utilities customers around the globe and is involved in the world’s largest smart metering and smart grid projects. In Japan, Landis+Gyr is providing communication networks for 27 million metering points; in Brazil the company is deploying South America’s largest Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution. British Gas has chosen Landis+Gyr for delivering more than 10 million multi fuel gas and electricity meters, and in the US and in Canada the company has completed several of the biggest Smart Metering roll-outs.
Since 2011 Landis+Gyr has been jointly owned by Toshiba and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ). The business is managed as an independent growth platform of Toshiba Corporation.
Rajiv Sawhney, Managing Director of its operations in the Middle East, was present at the foundation of the company’s growth into the Middle East and has been responsible for developing the business into an organization matching the particularities of the Gulf market in line with Landis+Gyr’s global norms. Before his Directorship at Landis, he was involved in setting up two other technology startups in the Middle East over the last 15 years.
The power of Landis+Gyr:
The company provides a variety of technological solutions to utilities and it is notable for its innovative smart metering systems that formed the basis for its reputation as an industry leader. Landis+Gyr AG Middle East also provides advanced metering and pioneers end-to-end (AMI/AMR) smart metering solutions, in addition to load management, and smart grid enabled technology.
Landis+Gyr launched its activities with a portfolio around electromechanical and high accuracy electronic meters for the transmission sector and district cooling ‘cold’ meters back in 2007.
Since then, the company has supplied close to 2 Million electromechanical meters to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, half a million meters to Iraq and 200,000 meters to Bahrain’s distribution segment. Landis+Gyr rules the transmission metering segments in the UAE and Qatar with a 60 percent market share. The cold meters supporting the district cooling applications on sub-metering have also been a major success with continuously growing market share on par with the region’s infrastructural development.
Leading the way with its introduction of smart devices through local adaptation into the residential market, Landis+Gyr has been a key meter supplier to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), UAE’s Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), Bahrain’s Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) Kahramaa, Qatar, and the MEW of Iraq. Key alliances and partnerships in the region have led to successfully implemented projects that have bolstered its reputation around its core values of Customer Focus, being a Trusted Partner, having an Innovative Spirit and Commitment to Quality.
After developing its software, sales and support capabilities in the region using a strongly developed back office and project management team, Landis+Gyr moved into end-to-end solutions, offering businesses state-of-the-art electricity and district cooling applications.
Its largest software assignments outside Saudi Arabia include work for the UAE armed forces, substation solutions in Kurdistan, a Regulatory and Supervisory Board in Abu Dhabi, and residential complexes for ADNOC, alongside multiple housing projects in Bahrain. The world-famous man-made archipelago at Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE also uses Landis+Gyr technology in the form of cold meters which use Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). Other successfully implemented projects include the Shams Gate Towers in Abu Dhabi, Discovery Gardens in Dubai, Barwa City and Commercial Avenue, Qatar, as well as the Clock Tower and Makkah and Headquarters Business Park in Saudi Arabia.
Teamwork powering the company:
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Landis+Gyr’s operations in the area is the crucial role played by its regional headquarters in Dubai serving the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and beyond, namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Its small but competent team of eight oversees pre and post-sales support, pre-sales business management, and logistics, as well as the first level of project management for its clients.
Rajiv Sawhney said: “We formulated the structure of the organization to focus on the right implementation, so we don’t have over enthusiastic sales guys picking up every project and then getting into a mess when it comes to implementation. In addition we have selected the right partners – the best in the region - and inculcated the same ideology by closely networking and supporting them.”
Having a small team tasked with such a broad remit requires an innovative approach to operations, Sawhney said: “We do not create corridors within our organization and say ‘this is my responsibility and that is not’- there is always interaction between our employees which makes work very exciting.”
He reinforced the notion that his team were more like a family in its holistic dedication to the success of Landis+Gyr and to their wellbeing as a unit. Not only do they share the workload, they enjoy joint remuneration benefits through innovative but challenging KPIs.
Moving forward on the road to success, the company not only invests in technology and new products but also in people. The company provides appropriate employee training in house, alongside intensive partner training programs; it does however recognize the importance of the latest managerial and productivity insights, providing outsourced training to keep its team up to speed with the conditions of the market as well as changing customer requirements.
Being part of a company with a global reach has enabled the team in Dubai to dip into a seemingly bottomless talent pool which allows management to cherry pick the right person for the job, giving the company a unique edge over its local competition. Rajiv said, “We get great support – legal, management, project implementation from Landis+Gyr global – from the US, Czech, UK and headquarter resources in Switzerland.”
This strategic approach of selecting the most workable project is part of a broad initiative by the firm focusing on building a strong reputation and partnerships in the Gulf. The small and medium-sized projects that Landis+Gyr has been working on now anticipate strongly growing demand, as the GCC countries increasingly realise the crucial importance of rolling out smart metering solutions across its utilities and distribution networks. Rajiv added, with no small measure of pride: “It’s about being very clear when choosing which projects we want to do and we have been very successful. Today I would say that we have a very clean slate, perhaps the only metering company in the region that has a major list of successful projects.”
Leading the way with superior technology:
Being part of a company that has set the trend in electrical metering from the start has enabled Landis+Gyr to remain one step ahead of its competition, and none more so than in the Middle East. Rajiv said: “We always keep our customers up to date with our latest developments and industry trends. We are proud of the industry’s largest R&D forces – over 1,100 engineers – and our significant R&D investments – close to 10 percent of the company’s turnover. This explains why we believe that we provide technology that is at least one communication generation ahead of what our competition has.”
This technological advantage combined with its bespoke partnership process has enabled the company to rollout the latest technology into its target market. By forming a partnership with Ericsson (a world leader in communication technology) Landis+Gyr can support utilities across the region by providing key data to enable utilities to foster relationships with end-consumers. This allows for the creation of data-managed smart energy networks which enable efficient grid and energy consumption management, as well as integration of micro-generated, renewable energy.
Landis+Gyr has proven itself through its unceasing attention to quality, strong partnerships, innovation, and through its dedication to the needs and nuances of its Middle Eastern customers. It is becoming increasingly clear why it holds such large market shares across many of its territories. Furthermore, the fastidious groundwork the company is laying down provides a resounding reason as to why this company will certainly be one to watch in the Middle East in coming decades.