AFL, a maker of fibre-optic cable and accessories, is looking to manufacture products at its Bengaluru
facility for North American and other Asian markets. The company, which partnered with Citadel Intelligent Systems
for manufacturing in India, will primarily produce equipment designed for data centres for existing and new customers.
Jody Gallagher, President and chief executive officer, AFL, said fast-paced growth in the data centre market had attracted the company, a subsidiary of US-based Fujikura Ltd, to have an India presence for meeting the demand both from the local and global markets.
Gallagher and K K Shetty, chief executive officer, Citadel, said a rapid digitisation of customer services in India had resulted in a need for more hyperscale (scalable to accommodate large quantities of information) data centres.
“India has evolved as a digitally advanced market. The rising demand for high-speed broadband, increased investment in IT and telecommunications, accelerated by government’s ‘Make in India’, ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives, are scaling up exponential growth for the optical fibre solutions in the country,” said Gallagher.
He, however, added the company would initially bank on data centre customers and not serve the telecom market in India.
“Our initial focus is not government (projects), but multinational companies
that are building hyperscale data centres. (And) part of the products manufactured here will be used for North American market.”
Research firm Gartner says the optic fibre cable and equipment market is worth nearly $2.5 billion in India. AFL
aims to address one-fifth of this market — $500 million — with its data centre focus.
Gallagher said the data centre market for fibre optic cable solution providers would soon topple the traditional enterprise business such as cables for energy and telecom.
and Citadel have jointly hired 50 people at the Bengaluru
facility and the size would double by March next year, said Shetty.
“While we are looking at highly skilled people in optical fibre technology, we will also recruit diploma holders from places such as Hubballi, Mangaluru, Gulbaraga and train them on the on the job.”