With technological innovation and customer-centricity at its core, Havells India Limited, a leading manufacturer of consumer durables, lighting, home automation, switches & switchgear, and personal grooming products, has recently launched its Connected Lighting Solutions for consumers in India.
Lighting has evolved from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs to now LEDs. The latest development is Connected Lighting, which will increase the energy efficiency of LEDs further as it will determine the amount of lighting required at a place and time. The automation will deliver energy savings of up to 80%, thereby promoting a sustainable ecosystem.
Additionally, in a post-pandemic world, contactless technology such as connected lighting would be preferred over the traditional ones as it will safeguard us from the virus and many other ailments. To sum it up, Connected Lighting will allow consumers to take greater control of their homes. It will add to the convenience and energy efficiency of their homes.
For more information on this concept, we asked a few questions to Mr. Prag Bhatnagar, Senior Vice President, Havells India Ltd. He then responded to our questions over an email interview, the excerpts of which are here:
How has the COVID-19 outbreak impacted the business at Havells? Which segment has been affected the most, B2C or B2B?
The year 2020 has been a tough year for almost all businesses including the lighting industry. Though, we were able to achieve good growth in the B2C segment due to our focused approach around distribution and rural markets. Apart from this, the substantial increase in sales volume was due to Havells’ online presence, robust distribution, and channel network spread across the nook and corners of the nation. Although, the B2B segment was a concern area for us due to inadequate demand, price depreciation, and delayed projects.
With unlock guidelines; the market has already started picking up the pace. We are optimistic that the market will continue with its growth trajectory. We will continue to invest in innovations and new technologies to develop connected lighting solutions for B2B space and to build a sense of well-being for customers.
In challenging times, what is the brand’s comeback strategy?
The pandemic has changed the way we plan for businesses and also operate within the ecosystem. The crisis gave us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and come up with future-ready plans which match with the trend of ‘new normal’. This entails assessing cost structures, investing in technology, and creating more digital avenues for sales. This would also mean aligning our production as well as our logistics and IT capabilities to meet the needs of the post-pandemic world.
During the lockdown, Havells utilized the true potential of digitalization to address service-related issues. This will continue to be an important part of our aftersales experience going forward as well. Overall, our way of selling is also going through a paradigm shift from being traditional i.e. from physical to more virtual where technology plays a key role in our connection with our partners. In conjunction with this, we have invested in a steadfast app for retailers to place an order that is automatically connected to the dealer network and billing processes.
It all began with Lighting Portfolio at Havells. Please share more details.
Local manufacturing has always been a key attribute behind the success of our brand. With strong in-house research and development leading to newer innovations, we have been able to create our niche in the lighting industry. Havells paved its way in the lighting industry in 2003; it was a fiercely crowded space but backed by innovation and technological advancements we are among the top three players in the industry.
We have a diverse product portfolio ranging from consumer to professional lighting solutions. For instance – Smart, architectural, connected lighting, etc.
We commenced Connected lighting solutions in India with our products and services ranging from sensor-based lighting products to POE enabled and LitM, we are among the earliest movers in this market segment and have completed numerous housing, smart town, and indoor commercial projects.
According to you, what is the future of Connected Lighting in India?
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a tectonic shift in the ways we function. It has impacted business, lifestyle, and organizations’ way of working. There has been an inane desire to gauge alternative tools, to interact work and perform business that can be seamless. There is a shift in how we perceive social and work culture. Surprisingly, this new order is shaping and growing acceptance. Clients and users need and preferences with regards to lighting have undergone a phenomenal shift. Therefore, the role of lighting is set to evolve, and it will be able to establish a healthy, sustainable, and human-centric workplace.
Lightline Initiative is one of Havells lighting solutions to elevate Home Décor. What is the concept behind it & how the company came up with the idea?
Bringing a wealth of such experience to the consumer’s doorstep, and many more, Havells India Ltd has introduced an industry-first Light-line initiative. Today, while an average consumer may know about the importance of the right lighting, they often falter at the time of installation due to a lack of knowledge or expert advice. A brand agnostic platform, ‘Light-line’ is a team of seasoned experts who are just a click and call away to visit an aspiring buyer’s home, understand the different layouts, and share strategic inputs on the correct implementation of lighting in different rooms.
The core objective of this initiative is to synergize people’s preferences and values with the appearance of their homes. Even though the output is gratifying, the process consumes money, time, and energy. It is considered to be a general principle that lighting scheme sets the tone for overall home décor. Including clever solutions for an impeccable completion of the lighting scheme thus becomes quite imperative. Hence, the Lightline initiative by Havells is all about a clever lighting solution that can fit in seamlessly with a home remodel plans.
What are the brand’s initiatives in catering to the rural markets of the country? Any on-going plans or initiatives?
Havells has been actively working in the rural markets for the last two years to spread the network across the country. We see a strong demand coming from rural markets and smaller towns due to the electrification of these areas and the availability of affordable housing schemes.
The consumer lighting business in India has huge potential. With the situation returning to normalcy, we have recorded a significant increase in the queries from the smaller town. We believe that the next two to three months will be crucial.
How would you define the evolving consumer profile? Are any specific factors responsible for the same?
Consumers’ purchasing model has undergone a radical transformation since the time virus outbreak crises have ensued; therefore businesses across groups had to apply a new strategy to get the consumers back. There has been a huge shift towards mindful shopping, the boundaries between what was previously essential, non-essential, and discretionary items are masking.
To make products accessible and always keeping the consumer at priority, we launched an online to offline program; the program brings together the best of both worlds namely technology and execution at the local level. Because the consumers are unwilling to step out and staff is concerned about sales, this model offers a way out to both. The program makes it easier for consumers to find products online and paying from the comfort of home executing delivery at a fast pace by local channel partners at the consumer’s place of selection.
Please elaborate on Havells’s focus on ‘Make in India’
Havells India is a leading Fast-Moving Electrical Goods (FMEG) Company with an extremely strong global presence; this is because of our philosophy of Make in India, vast distribution network, and world-class quality. Havells has been ‘Making in India’ since 1976 when it established its first plant in Delhi. Today over 90% of our products are manufactured in-house in 13 states of the art manufacturing plants in the country.
Our most recent plant at Ghiloth, Rajasthan is South-East Asia’s most advanced and fully integrated AC manufacturing facility. It has the unique distinction of being the country’s first air-conditioner plant with machines, and processes integrated with artificial intelligence, IoT and use the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) compatible with industry 4.0. Not only this! Over 78% of our raw materials are sourced locally. Along with that, we have multiple in-house designs and R&D centers which give us the flexibility to constantly innovate and come up with new products and solutions.