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REMCO - making India self-reliant in electrical & electronics technology

After successfully laying the foundation for the aircraft industry in India (by establishing HAL) in the early 1940s, Sir M Visvesvaraya set his eyes upon another emerging high-tech industry which was taking the world by storm. It was the field of electrical & electronics. In fact, India was also waking up to this new revolution, not as a producer but as a consumer, by relying heavily on imports of radio & electrical equipment from US & Europe.


With the intention of making India self-reliant in this new technology, Sir MV established "Radio & Electricals Manufacturing Co Ltd" (REMCO) in 1946. For the initial knowledge & know-how, he finalized on a partnership with an emerging Japanese company called Toshiba, as he had found that Japanese were highly efficient & hardworking. One of the reasons Sir MV was so eager about building this company was because it was one of the earliest electronics companies of India, and he knew that if it succeeded, then it would automatically attract many more subsidiary industries related to electronics.


Right from the beginning, the organization turned out to be a boon for the Indian economy, as it prevented precious forex from going out of the nation (since such high-end products were made in India by REMCO). By the end of the decade, REMCO had already become a household name, with products ranging from Radios to Electric meters, and also played a significant role in Indian Military by supplying highly reliable communication systems which could withstand wide range of altitudes, varying pressures and sub-zero temperatures.


Over the next few decades, REMCO became one of the pioneers in the electronics industry, and had several "Firsts" to its credit. For example, REMCO was the first company in India to produce multi-band radios. It produced India’s first electrolytic capacitors, India's first electronic watt meters, India's first water meters, India's first electronic bandswitches, and many more.


Meanwhile, such pioneering efforts had helped it gain significant admiration from the engineering community, and had thus managed to attract some of the best talent from all parts of India. Over time, such bright Indian minds at REMCO went on to prove to the world that India could also produce its own electronic products. In fact, one of the popular slogans used in its advertisements was "India can make it on its own - and make it better."


As envisioned by Sir MV, the success of REMCO indeed attracted many more electronic companies and also got the attention of Indian Govt's planning committees, which chose to setup several electronics & electrical industries including the legendary Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (In fact, REMCO became BHEL later), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) , and many more high-tech electronics institutions which were setup within Bengaluru, in order to utilize the scientific spirit & existing talent, thus adding another feather into the cap of the city, as the Electronics capital of India.

Story by
Guru Prasad

Guruprasad (or “GP” in short) is a Chief Engineer & Technology Mentor by profession and spends a...

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