Indo Blings India, which claims to be one of the leading OEMs in the appliances segment, has completed its one year in lighting segment. The company, without taking any chances, is sailing smoothly as per the plan by keeping its focus intact majorly on LED lighting. Similar to what it does with electronic appliances segment, the company constantly keeps developing and introducing new products, adding new & colourful designs to its portfolio, while standing true to its vision of being driven by innovation.
Slowly but steadily, the company is inching towards its set goal of expanding its footprint across the country in one year from now. Meanwhile, it also aims to become one of the leading solution providers in the country’s lighting space. In a candid conversation with LED World’s team, Prateek Sharma, Head – Commercial & Operations, Indo Blings India’s lighting division, spoke how the company is fairing in a market which is already flooded with numerous players. The edited excerpts are as follows:
It’s around a year now that Indo entered into lighting segment. How has been the response so far?
It’s amazing. In the last one year, we have successfully established our brand and earning remarkable accolades in the country’s northern and western regions. As of now, if I say in terms of multiplication of products, we have added quite a few ranges of products in terms of design other than standard ones. People appreciated all our products, especially the designer ones, which led us to experiment more in that direction. We have recently developed several new LED lighting designs, which are flexible to some extent. All these products are well received owing to their adaptability in the rapidly expanding modern architecture. We foresee a very good market coming up for these products. The good thing for us is its limited availability as none of the lighting giants are offering such products in India.
Is there any plan to include smart lighting in your portfolio?
As far as smart lighting is concerned, it is there in our plan of things. What we have observed from the current scenario is that the market is yet to reach up to that level. As of now, smart lighting is a luxury and therefore it is limited to niche clients with high net worth – be it for high-end hotels or individual bungalows. Since we are in the initial stage of our lighting business, we plan to continue and concentrate mainly on standard products, which can be sold through retail counters.
What about outdoor lighting?
We are exploring the potentials in outdoor lighting as well. Recently, we have started manufacturing streetlights. Soon, we are planning to enter into solar lighting. As this is an emerging segment, quite a few manufacturers are eying it considering the fact that solar would rule the roost in time to come, especially in outdoors. We at Indo Bling believe that the future belongs to solar as quite a few government projects have already been announced with clear specifications of solar. Accordingly, we are trying our best to develop new designs in solar lighting with enhanced lumen output to efficiently use the sunlight – a natural resource in which India is richer than many European countries.
How do you balance between fixture design and lumen output?
As far as design and output of our lighting are concerned, we are trying to bring forth the best combination of these two. If we are offering something very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing in terms of design, but the lumen output is not as expected, we would fail to convince our customers. Similarly, if we are offering something which is good at lumens but aesthetically not very appealing, the result would again be the same. In both the instances, we may lose the trust of our customers and hence the market.
How do you plan to expand Indo’s footprint?
In our efforts to expand the footprint, we are now exploring new geographies. We are only concentrating on expanding our footprint in those areas where we haven’t entered yet. We are now moving to regions like north east and south. We have opened our depot in Guwahati and Kochi. With all these, we are now aiming to develop our markets either by entering or enhancing our reach in cities like Patna, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore, etc. There is nothing that we are going to lose. So, anything that would come will only add to our bottom lines.
To what extent have you extended your reach till date?
We are now planning to make our presence in the unrepresented areas. So, we are exploring ways to expand our market reach. Recently, we have opened up our base at Kochi in Kerala and Nagpur in Maharashtra to cover the southern and western regions respectively. As of now, we are not present in East India wherein we are about to start with a depot in Guwahati where till date we are present through our distributors.
The depots are aimed at enhancing our reach to our distributors. As of now, we have three depots, one each in Kochi (Kerala), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and Bawana (Delhi). We try maintaining inventory of 60-days so that there is no blockade from supply side of the trade. Of these, the one in Delhi is our mother warehouse. As far as distribution network is concerned, we have 438 distributors to serve our 9000 retailers who take our products to the end customers.
What about rapidly escalating competition?
We are very well aware that the areas we are planning to move in are already flooded with our competitors. At the same time, we are also sure about our products, which are high on quality parameters but are priced competitively. This is because if you are going to a new market with high quality product but at a lower price than what is prevailing currently, then it will certainly pay you back.
How would you control the price? What’s there in the pipeline at Indo Bling?
We will be able to control the price through economies of scale as we are also planning to set up a plant for LED bulb for which we have made huge investment in acquiring land and machinery. The main objective behind setting up of the plant is to bring economies of scale and put a cap on the manufacturing cost. It will also help us control the cost in terms of manufacturer’s margin as the cost also gets escalated because of the margins that each stakeholder claims in the trading process.
Region-wise, how has been the reception so far?
We are doing relatively better in northern and western regions. We already have a very good market for our products in north because of it being our base, while we have recently open a depot in Nagpur for meeting the requirements of western region thereby maintaining smooth sailing of the supply side. As far as southern region is concerned, we have also added a depot there in Kochi. In south initially people were not so serious about lighting and its impact on lifestyle. But now things have changed and they have started accepting.
Similarly, the state of Punjab where initially we were not concentrating on our lighting business has eventually emerged as one of the fastest growing lighting markets for us. Further, cities like Sangrur and Chandigarh are showing us the growth path followed by Amravati in Himachal and a few places including Nagpur in Maharashtra. South is also going well now and we hope it would soon bring us expanded business.
What can we expect to see at Indo when we meet next?
We are moving at a reasonable speed in lighting segment. We hope to meet our aim. When we will be next, we will be present across the country. And I am sure, I will be speaking more on interior markets where people still are waiting for quality products at a bit lower price. With interior, I mean far deeper penetration into rural areas covering smaller cities and villages where villagers still consider that to own LED lights is a dream. People in these areas have developed a perception that LED lights are costly and would not fit into their pockets. We will try our best to change their perception by offering them a price they want to purchase at.