Bangalore-based firm specialises in electrified fencing systems for farms.
Ibex Gallagher Private limited is a Bangalore-based company having a joint venture with M/s. Gallagher Group Ltd., New Zealand specializing in electrified security power fencing systems having an international presence in over 130 countries. Ibex Gallagher Pvt. Ltd. has been involved in manufacturing and promotion of electric fences in the brand name of Power Fence™ systems for agricultural and industrial applications for more than ten years. The range of products the company deals in includes Security Fence, Securetop™ Fence, Animal Control Fence and Cardax Access Control. As far as agriculture is concerned power fencing is the only product the company deal in.
“As pioneers in the field of electrified perimeter security fencing systems we have installed over 15,000 animal control fences across the country apart from more than 55 high security Power Fence™ systems at key government of India, public sectors, and other private establishments,” avers Mr. Ramesh Babu Naidu, Senior Project Executive.
Some of its prominent clients include Cabinet Secretariat, Indian Space Research Organization, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Central Prisons (Bangalore, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Chitradurga etc.,) Gas Authority of India and India Government Mint, beside others.
In 1988-89 by Mr. Vishnu Narain, an agricultural postgraduate from Devangi, Thirthalli, Shimoga district, with a passion for wildlife conservation and an innate wish to prevent cruelty against animals, decided to start his own venture when he read about electric fencing for prevention of animal intrusion into farmlands.
“At around this time he heard that one Mr. Bill Gallagher from New Zealand, who was in the business of electric fencing was passing through India. Mr. Narain met and discussed with him at length regarding electric fencing. Mr. Gallagher suggested a tie up with his company in New Zealand to kick-start this product in India,” reveals Mr. Naidu. “The Gallagher Group, New Zealand, which had established an electric fence manufacturing firm in the 1930′s had grown over the decades and become the leading manufacturer of power fencing incorporating the latest available in electronic circuitry,” he adds.
In 1992, Mr. Vishnu Narain, established Ibex Electronics, with technical collaboration with Gallagher Group of New Zealand, with its base in Bangalore. “The technical collaboration helped him to have improved electronic devices (referred to as energizer) that would meet world standards of safety. This also meant being able to get the latest technology as and when introduced by the collaborator in that country and all over the world,” adds Mr. Naidu.
Ibex Gallagher operations are based at Bangalore with marketing and servicing activities supported through a network of dealers who are imparted extensive training by Ibex on all aspects of electric fence design, construction and upkeep. “We have a distributor network all over the country, with their associated dealers, agents and so on. Apart from this to coordinate the activities through the length and breadth of the country, we have a full-fledged marketing division with adequate staff to ensure market coverage. We also erect and maintain fences,” says Mr. Aidu, adding, “We have very good sales both in the Southern and Northern regions of the country.”
[hidepost] Quality Assurance
The company manufactures many of the components to exacting standards in India. “We also import several critical components from our principals in New Zealand,” says Mr. Naidu. “Our company is very stringent regarding quality of its product and services. The company is playing a leading role in assisting the Bureau of Indian Standards in preparing comprehensive safety standards for electrical fencing in India. It has an ISO 9001:2000 certification for all functional areas – design, manufacture, installation and service of power fences. We also comply with all the national and international safety standards prescribed for electric fences. Our fences have proven to be totally safe to all animals and human beings. There is absolutely no risk of any danger from our fences,” he adds.
Mr. Naidu further claims, “We have state of the art technology through our technical collaboration with Gallagher Group, New Zealand who happen to be the world leaders in power fencing. We have very stringent quality norms that are regularly audited by external, independent agencies. We have our products tested by CPRI and other national level laboratories.
In addition to which we have all our installations in the field tested, audited and then handed over to the customer with due training on maintenance. We regularly make efforts to improve the fence system based on customer feed back. This is to ensure total satisfaction to our valued customers.”
Cost of Fencing
When asked about the cost involved in power fencing, Mr. Naidu avers, “The fence and its components are designed for long life under field conditions. Fences typically last for over 15 years with need only for replacement of damaged components. The cost of our fence is dependent not on acreage per se but on perimeter length, number of corners, the field being level or not and other field conditions. Typically a kilometer length of fence (approx. 16 acres of a perfectly square field) with 8 strands and elephant protection would cost about Rs. 2,00,000 inclusive of installation cost. It would be solar powered and protected against stray lightning,” adding, “There will be hardly any operational cost, barring removal of vegetation growing along the fence line, cleaning of the solar panel on monthly basis, maintenance of the battery and replacement of any part of the fence physically damaged.”
The systems supplied by the company carries a one-year warranty against all manufacturing defects. “They could subsequently enter into yearly AMC with us or our distributors for maintaining the fence,” adds Mr. Naidu.
The agri division of the company recorded an annual business turnover of about Rs.7 crores during 2003 -04. Finally talking about the obstacles faced by the company in expanding its business, Mr. Naidu says, “We have many farmers connecting their conventional barbed wire fencing with live electric current that is endangering both animal and human lives.
This is causing unnecessary anxiety regarding the safety of our fences. Apart from this the dependency of farmers on rain fed cropping and adoption of subsistence farming practices, coupled with no price protection for agri products nor insurance cover against natural losses has made it unaffordable to small farmers who form the bulk of our farm population.”