Indian Emerson Process Management Executive Named New Association Head

The Indian economy seems to be looking up, says the new president of the Automation Industry Association of India, auguring well for automation suppliers in the country.

The Automation Industry Association of India (AIA), the forum representing industrial automation companies in India, has announced the appointment of Sunil Khanna, managing director, Emerson Process Management (I) Pvt. Ltd. as its new president for the term 20082010. Khanna succeeds J. P. Singh, chief executive, Electronics Sector, Larson & Toubro Ltd. (L&T), who has finished a successful stint as AIA President. Both Sunil and Singh have been associated with AIA since its inception and have helped in promoting AIA objectives in different segments of the industry.

“It is an honor to be the president of AIA at this critical juncture for the Industry. Since inception, AIA has been working toward the goals of increasing awareness and acceptability amongst users on cutting-edge automation technologies to help Indian industry leverage these for greater productivity, efficiency, quality, safety and consistency—parameters that form the key to global competitiveness today,” said Khanna.

Best practices

“The association has also taken initiatives to foster best practices within the automation industry by encouraging innovation to promote the cause of Indian industry,” he continued. “Overseeing the work of the Association is an onerous task, and I am confident of accomplishing the objectives.” Khanna, who has been associated with the automation industry for more than 25 years, was with ABB prior to joining Emerson in July 2004.

The new president said that AIA, as an apex body of all the leading automation companies in India, has been successful in increasing awareness among users about the benefits of automation. Various industry-specific seminars and user meetings have been conducted that evinced keen interest from new users who were previously skeptical about investing in automation, Khanna said. Khanna also noted that the economy in India seems to be looking up. “Many major projects have been cleared and it seems that we are back on gross domestic product growth rate of 8 percent,” he observed. “The lowering interest rates, high liquidity in the economy and an increased consumption, are surely creating a ‘feel good factor’ within the businesses.

“The question, however, remains of building new investments around cutting-edge technologies and getting the best to work for the automation industry in India,” Khanna continued. “In today’s world of global competitive existence, it is the quality and efficiency, which would differentiate one stream from the other. Going forward, we will explore with many other stakeholders to enhance mindshare for our industry.”

Next in line

The Association also elected Vimal Kapur, managing director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd., as the new vice president for the same term. He has over 19 years of professional experience in the automation and controls business, ranging from industrial automation, homes and buildings, security, software, and business applications.
While making the announcement the outgoing President Singh said, “We are pleased to have both Sunil and Vimal at the helm.” Talking about his tenure as President, Singh added, “The last year has seen AIA moving many steps closer to its objectives, and I wish both of them all the best in their efforts.”

About the author

Uday Lal Pai,, is a freelance journalist based in India.

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