Despite being one from the herd in an open market, this lighting solution company is slowly but steadily deriving its own way
Mumbai-based VIN Semiconductors Pvt. Ltd. is one of the early starters in the country’s LED technology. Founded in 2005, the company claims to be among the firsts to introduce LED lighting in India. Over the years, VIN has improved its products and services to suit Indian conditions and meet customer expectations. With such an elongated experience,the company today has LED lighting solutions for an entire range of functional lighting applications. Besides, it keeps on bringing innovations in its portfolio every now and then. The company has recently introduced Smart LED lighting solutions to give more energy savings to its customers. In an exclusive chat with LED World, Subhash Pawar, the company’s Managing Director discussed at length about what’s new on card at VIN, and what would be there in the future.
“Being one among the frontrunners, we keep adding products in our existing portfolio. In the recent time as you know conventional or rather I would say traditional form of LED lighting has become very common. This is because many people are making same kind of products.So, as a product differentiator, we are focusing on two particular models – one is automation in lighting and another is RGB dynamic lighting,” informs Pawar. In future,most of the lights would be intelligent with inbuilt-sensor that leads to additional 50-60% saving over and above the normal saving because of the use of LED. “With our Wi-Fi enabled automation range of products, we are not just catering only to the needs of residence and office complexes but also of big and expanded spaces like large industrial setup, government offices, hospitals, hotels, etc,” he adds.
Pawar informs that VIN has developed a special Wi-Fi in its automation range of products. “While ordinary set of Wi-Fi enabled products carry a range of up to a maximum of 50 meters, our proprietary Wi-Fi comes with an operational range of up to 1 kilometer,” he asserts adding that these products, if fitted in a large industrial area spread across acres of land where lots of lighting units are installed,all the lights can be intelligently controlled i.e. without cable. This not only eliminates the need of complex wiring, but also reduces infrastructure cost substantially. For this, we already have bagged orders from some of our regular customers.
Speaking about RGB Dynamic lighting, the other recent inclusion in theVIN’s existing product portfolio, Pawar explains, “See, the RGB Dynamic is colour-changing lighting. We have recently done two-three large projects with this. One of these is 1.25 km-long Prakasam Barrage project on Krishna River in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. The project eventually becomes the country’s longest bridge illuminated with DMX-controlled RGB lights. The one-of-its-kind project was on turnkey basis for which the time given was too short. We completed this project in a span of 40 days before handing it over in August 2016, when the event Pushkaralu – the festival of the river Krishna was celebrated. The main significance is that it occurs once in every 12 years.”
Notably, the company has also executed a project with the combination of its Wi-Fi range of products and RGB Dynamic. “Recently, we completed lighting works at the Masunda Lake in Thane, which isone of the most popular landmarksand tourist attraction in the region. We have illuminated a temple which is in the centre of the lake like a small island temple with an auditorium on the one side and Shivaji’s Statue on the other. We installed our Wi-Fi RGB at all these three places, and the lighting as well as illumination pattern is wirelessly controlled while the colour of lighting is also set to change simultaneously. All this is happening without being connected through any cable,” says Pawar adding that the whole system can even be controlled using a smart phone interface making the control system more easy and handy.
According to Pawar, as the leading Innovator in the LED lighting Industry, VIN has a proven track record of helping its customers realise the potential benefits of LED lighting technology by providing the most versatile, best-in-class and cost-effective LED lighting solutions for various applications.Going forward, the next step would be IoT in lighting from VIN banner. “Since, we already have introduced automation, the next big thing would be the IoT in lighting for which we are busy doing extensive research keeping in view that this would be the future at VIN,” he avers anticipating that it will take some more time to be functional at commercial and residential spaces. “In India, we have the IoT functional at some places in specific applications like Street lighting but to replicate the same in offices or factory/ industrial setup would take some more time. We do have Intranet of Things but not the Internet of Things. This is because for offices and factories, people don’t want any outsider to access thecontrol. However, like other things on web, it would also come with restriction based on user id and password.”
He further delineates that to begin with,VIN has already started putting its efforts in that direction. “We are asking our customers to first automate their lights. Once the automation of lighting is done, then we will use their existing lighting network to automate their office also. Then after, it can be connected through internet which can be accessed and controlled from anywhere. That will be the subsequent step as the R&D is going on.We would be introducing the solutions in the next six to eight months,” announces Pawar informing that there is an in-house R&D Centre approved by DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research), Govt. of India and a complete factory set-up to produce products from concept to execution.
VIN boasts of its strong infrastructure comprising a manufacturing facility spread across 30,000 sqft with a capacity to produce 8 to 10 lakh pieces a months. “We have a very intensive testing procedure before any launch. Whenever we design a product, we test it rigorously especially for Indian weather condition which changes from coldest to the hottest followed by frequent voltage fluctuations. Unless we are confident of the quality of the product, we don’t introduce it to the market,” he underscores. The company has an extensive product portfolio of over 400 products to cater to a wide variety of application areas.. “We are using LED chips from Seoul Semiconductor, Osram, Cree etc. depending upon their respective segments’ prerogative. This is all to maintain the best-in-class quality standards to offer our customers high quality energy-efficient LED lighting solutions.”
Strolling on to fast paced trajectory with lightening speed, when asked if the market is readily adopting the change, Pawar opines that for all these changes or rather transformation, the market is not ready as of now. “However, the same problem was there when the lighting was shifting to LEDs from those of conventional ones because many people were scared of using LEDs considering that it’s a different technology. They actually want the product to get established first and then they would opt for it. But there are a few customers who believe in taking initiative and showed their intent to save on theguzzling energy consumption, which eventually makes LEDs the necessity for the balance sheet of an enterprise, and not only for the environment,” he explains.
However, when it comes to creating liking for LEDs, he evinces cautious approach. “If we are able to convince the customers that LEDs have a payback period of two years or less, people are willing to do it as it makes sense for them financially and then they look at it seriously. Butthe moment,someone says that the payback period is 5 or 10 years, people start thinking and calculating. It is actually viable for large setup – be it manufacturing or commercial, where there are quite a few number of light-points and their consumption cost is visibly impacting their balance sheet,” he shares adding that in the next step, automation will come in to every house in India as the government has already started talking about smart lighting following smart appliances.
In the meantime, while giving a thought over counterfeiting and duplicity, he says, “Both these are major bottlenecks that the industry is facing at the moment. Besides, there are a lot of cheap products pushing for substandard quality. If we look at the market, the bottom of the pyramid always has these kinds of players. But I think these are getting reduced because of the initiatives taken by the government recently like mandated BIS certifications for any lighting or electrical products to be sold in the India. Also, there are a couple of other steps on taxation front that are going to help the domestic industry to grow. This will also bring a level-playing field for us. It will put a cap on under-invoicing from where the home-grown quality products will get some impetus for sure.”
Coming on to the positioning of products and the potential markets, he says, “Initially, we were focused on metro cities only. Subsequently, we moved to the tier 2 cities and now trying to plank in tier 3 cities with no further delay. As far as rural India is concerned, there only the bulbs are being sold that too are mainly promoted through the government. Nevertheless, the government will soon be out of this phenomenon as it has already set a platform from where the market can take care of itself.” Pawar feels that to this extent, VIN may not be able to cater because it is yet to spread its wings across the country.
“Based in Mumbai, we have strong presence in south and west while now vying for pan India. As of now, we have 200 dealers and we need to increase this number to augment our representation to further proliferate in the deeper geographies,” he states firming that there is plan to add another 100 channel partners within this fiscal itself to end up with 50% growth in network expansion. Pawar believes that for all this many more the credit goes to the level of awareness, which has actually gone up. “Earlier, we were only selling to specific segment like industrial. But now the LED has entered every house. Thanks to the government for its in-time initiatives that has brought the products to the mainstream level which sometime back was considered as the products meant only for premium markets,” he signs off.