EcoEarth boasts of having some of the brightest minds in the industry and has invested hundreds of man-hours to design and develop a new range of lighting products that truly harnesses the technology. The products are designed and manufactured indigenously by the group companies with the idea to be cost-effective and look aesthetically crafted.
The company claims to offer more light for less energy consumed, saving carbon and cost. Its lights are built to last a life span greater than 50,000 hrs. We, at LED World, spoke with Divyansh Batra, Director, EcoEarth Electric Pvt. Ltd., about the company’s current standing in the market and its focus on smart lighting segment.
Please share an insight into EcoEarth’s journey in LED lighting segment.
EcoEarth came into existence in 2015. Our main company is Brahma Auto Industries and we are an automobile ancillary to companies such as Hero Group, Bajaj, Maruti, etc. Till then, we were only making OEM components as per the design of the customers. Later, we thought of venturing into manufacturing of end products, and for that we shifted our focus to LEDs. That time the industry was completely driven by Chinese products, and everybody, including the bigger companies, sold whatever China was developing. We brought a change in this trend, wherein we started making new designs of products. We brought innovations in battens and launched different designs in downlighters, surface lights, etc. From 2015-2019, we have developed almost 570 products and have tried to cover the entire portfolio for domestic, commercial as well as industrial purposes.
What kind of innovations have you brought in your products?
We have many innovative products. We have developed a links-connected batten system, which is a replacement of profile lighting. Here, the battens are connected with each other in such a fashion that it can take any shape possible by joining several straight lines. When someone developed a straight batten, the whole industry started following that trend. Then I thought why a batten on a wall has to be straight? Accordingly, we developed connectors of different angles such as 45, 60 or 120 degrees so that a mathematical shape comes into being. A light should look beautiful on a wall and that was the idea. So, we brought in this particular concept and its selling really well.
With smart lighting emerging as the next big thing, how are you looking at this segment?
We ventured into smart lighting around two years back. We have been associated with Tuya and other IoT companies for this and we have developed the entire portfolio of smart products now. We use their firmware in our lights for connectivity, while the drivers are developed in-house. Currently, we have the biggest range in smart lighting in the country and all these products are manufactured by us here in India.
Is India ready for smart lighting?
I think it is. Today, every brand wants smart lighting in its product portfolio. People have started using Alexa devices and home automation devices like Google Home; making it evident that they want to use such technologies. Now Alexa has started working in Hindi, thereby removing a big barrier in the adoption of this technology in India. These things are going to drive the shift towards smart lighting too. Controlling through an app is still tough, but with voice commands, things have become really easy. The concept of smart has become more evolved after the invasion of artificial intelligence (AI).
How do you educate your customers on smart lighting?
For smart lighting, we have a back-up team for support. In India, we understand that people want a service where someone comes and explains to them about the light and its features, as well as install the system in their smart devices, and later train them on how to use it. That is what we are doing! The products are in the company warehouse and our people are in the showrooms to demonstrate the functionality. If any enquiry comes in, the dealer passes it on to us and we directly supply the material. We have to provide end-to-end solution to our customers.
Where is your manufacturing facility located? What is the daily production capacity?
There are two parts of lighting manufacturing that we do – one is the OEM business and the other is for our brand EcoEarth. Our parent company, Brahma Auto has also started ODM and OEM manufacturing for major brands. We have our manufacturing plants in Gurugram and Haridwar, where we make about 10,000 lights per day. We source bulbs and a few small components from vendors who are doing mass manufacturing because the whole game is about cost, and economies of scale can only be achieved with bulk production. About 25% of the total components are sourced from outside. Rest everything is manufactured by us in-house.
What all comprise your manufacturing strength?
Our focus is product design & development. For all this to move in tandem, we have a team of 350 highly experienced professionals. We have our own Design Center, backed by state-of-the-art CNC-equipped tool room, Injection Moulding and Profile Extrusion, SMT and EMS Lines, Metal Stamping, Deep Draw, Turning and Flow Forming Shop, along with 6 production lines to support final product assembly.
It is often said that India is not conducive for LED light manufacturing. What’s your opinion?
I don’t think it is correct. If we talk about the semiconductor, definitely China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are the market leaders. But as far as the product design is concerned, we do have that capability in India. We make drivers and everything else in our plants. Our own R&D centre takes care of the technology part. AS I mentioned, in our Gurugram plant, we have well-equipped facility housing injection moulding, product assembly, SMT, etc. So, Indian scenario is definitely changing for LED manufacturing.
What makes Eco-Earth different from its competitors?
Our core strength lies in product design & development, which keeps our brand and products unique. We keep bringing new products into the industry, both technology-wise and manufacturing-wise. We are fully equipped to make any kind of product be it plastic or metal. We have done backward integration in every domain that is required to make LED lights housings and our strong EMS backs the whole manufacturing process making our products sustainable and reliable.
From which region in India are you getting the maximum demand?
Our products are selling all across the country. We are present in every state and our reach is expanding continuously. Even in current times of slowdown, our sales are increasing because we are opening new markets for our products. Every week, new distributors are being added and new products are coming in. Recently, we have launched 17-18 products in smart lighting range. So, we are seeing good progress and are very confident about the prospects.
How big is your dealer network? What’s your network expansion plan?
We have a network of about 1200 dealers for our lighting products. They are managed by around 36 distributors. Every quarter we plan to add 100 dealers to our network.
How important is the power factor for you?
All our lights are on high power factor (HPF), that is, above 0.95. That is the core of EcoEarth. All our products have moved to 120-440 volts. So, as and when a technology is available, we adopt it.
What steps are you taking to control flickering?
We have recently launched eye-care technology and all our products now come with eye-care trademark under EcoEarth brand. Flickering in LEDs is mostly related to the frequency. To save on the cost, manufacturers usually opt for substandard components, which ultimately affect the quality of light or illumination.
What will be your focus in immediate future?
Our main focus in near future would continue to be on smart lighting. In coming times, most of our innovations will be in the smart lighting segment. Right now, we are concentrating on indoor illumination, but slowly moving into outdoor lights as well. These are controlled by IFTTT and Geo-tagging, wherein when someone enters a certain territory, the lights get on. The user or the occupant for that matter can even define a pre-setting that when he is just a km away from the house, lights should be switched on.
Is EcoEarth looking forward to explore International markets?
Yes, the company has opened its 1st Store in Muscat, Oman and shall be soon opening new territories in the entire GCC region. Also, company has started exploring European markets through its participation in Expos and trade Shows. We plan to expand sales activities to 4-5 countries by 2021.