The Sup­plier’s view

Open­ing up of global trade, en­try of global sup­pli­ers in In­dia and the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties have in­flu­enced a healthy dou­ble-digit growth per an­num over the last five years of the Light­ing In­dus­try.

VM&RD - - SPECIAL FEATURE - LIGHTING - A bright fu­ture Chanda P Kumar

Light­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers are fo­cus­ing on pro­vid­ing smart and en­ergy ef­fi­cient, cost-ef­fec­tive and aes­thet­i­cally de­signed light­ing so­lu­tions for the re­tail in­dus­try. “The over­all light­ing in­dus­try saw a sig­nif­i­cant re­vival in the past year, with var­i­ous sec­tors back in growth mode. Amongst them, the re­tail, realty and in­fra­struc­ture sec­tors were the prom­i­nent ones. Our busi­ness was good reg­is­ter­ing an im­pres­sive 29% growth over the pre­vi­ous year,” says K.Srid­ha­ran- Vice Pres­i­dent-Mar­ket­ing & Sales-Re­tail, Re­tail Light Tech­niques. Philips, which has 30% mar­ket share in the light­ing sec­tor, be­lieves that the growth in the light­ing in­dus­try is mainly driven by the rapid adop­tion of LED tech­nol­ogy across both pro­fes­sional and home seg­ment. “We are look­ing at ex­pand­ing our re­tail reach be­yond the cur­rent reach of over 1 mil­lion out­lets. For Home Dec­o­ra­tive Light­ing, we have now about 85 Philips Light Lounges and over 1000 light shoppes in In­dia,” says Ji­ten­dra Agar­wal, National Sales Man­ager, Pro­fes­sional Chan­nel, Philips Light­ing In­dia. An­other leader in the do­mes­tic light­ing in­dus­try, Wipro Light­ing has in­creased mar­ket share in in­door light­ing last year de­spite t ough mar­ket con­di­tions. “The com­pany’s clear fo­cus is on in­no­va­tion, de­sign and tech­nol­ogy. LEDs have been key area where a lot of work has hap­pened last year and we have grown busi­ness in LEDs by 45%,” Shailesh Tokekar, Sales Con­troller - Re­tail Light­ing, Wipro Light­ing.

LED leads with re­duced en­ergy con­sump­tion, cost ef­fec­tive­ness, ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­ment-friendly light­ing sys­tems.

Giv­ing all this and more, LED tech­nol­ogy is gain­ing mo­men­tum and now reck­oned as

the fu­ture of light­ing. “LED tech­nol­ogy had a slug­gish foot-hold due to its high in­vest­ment costs and also lack of stan­dard­iza­tion and un­der­stand­ing of the var­i­ous as­so­ci­ated as­pects. This is some­what sta­bi­lized now and most of the man­u­fac­tur­ers are align­ing to stream­line the range and spec­i­fi­ca­tions. The brands are tak­ing a lot of ef­forts in ed­u­cat­ing var­i­ous as­pects of LED tech­nol­ogy to all the stake hold­ers in the chain – in­clud­ing the end con­sumer. The lat­est in the light­ing con­cept is op­ti­miz­ing on the elec­tri­cal load per square foot while cre­at­ing a bal­ance in the light­ing lev­els as well,” ex­plains K.Srid­ha­ran of Asian Re­tail. Ac­cord­ing to An­sorg, LED tech­nol­ogy is the de­ci­sive and dom­i­nant tech­ni­cal fac­tor at the mo­ment. The LED tech­nol­ogy in­flu­ences the light­ing de­sign con­cern­ing light char­ac­ter­is­tic. Con­cepts be­come even more con­trast­ing. The in­flu­ence of LED tech­nol­ogy can also be seen in the shape of lu­mi­naires, where new and small shapes are pos­si­ble. To­day, the in­dus­try is in­creas­ingly wit­ness­ing that cus­tomers are forth­com­ing in try­ing out new tech­nolo­gies that de­liver on high en­ergy sav­ings. The mar­ket has also shown a dis­tinct shift from the con­ven­tional light sources to­wards the new en­ergy ef­fi­cient light sources. “LED-based lu­mi­naires have al­ready been in­tro­duced in a wide range of lu­mi­naires for re­tail ap­pli­ca­tions and with each day the pos­si­bil­i­ties are in­creas­ing. On one side, LEDs con­sume very low en­ergy and have long ser­vice life, while on the other hand with no mer­cury con­tent, they are quite a green way of light­ing,” says Shailesh from Wipro. The hero in light­ing tech­nol­ogy to­day, LEDs, has im­proved in terms of ef­fi­ciency (Lm/W), where high power and high light out­put LEDs are now avail­able for ap­pli­ca­tions such as re­tail which re­quire higher il­lu­mi­na­tion lev­els and de­signed aes­thet­i­cally. Qual­ity of light – colour con­sis­tency and Colour Ren­der­ing In­dex (CRI) from LEDs has also im­proved. New gen­er­a­tion LEDs have bet­ter ther­mal per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics and last longer.

Tech­nol­ogy is call­ing the shots in the de­vel­op­ment of Light­ing Sys­tems and Prod­ucts

With in­creased aware­ness about en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and cost sav­ings with ref­er­ence to cap­i­tal as well as op­er­a­tional cost, the con­cept light­ing de­sign for re­tail is cre­ated in­no­va­tively keep­ing in mind all th­ese fac­tors, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the ex­cep­tional am­bi­ence which as­sists the Brand re­tain its cus­tomers. “With the ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, the lu­mi­naires and the lamps used now are much more ef­fi­cient and im­proved with re­spect to per­for­mance tech­ni­cally. Our de­vel­op­ment process is be­ing car­ried out by spe­cial­ists and ex­perts in the in­dus­try. More than 50% of the com­pany’s rev­enue is be­ing ear­marked for R&D of new tech­nol­ogy. The in­tent is to match pace with the global play­ers and com­pe­ti­tion,” says San­tosh Prasad, National – Head Re­tail, Fo­cus Light­ing & Fix­tures. “With sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in R&D, Wipro has strong in-house team which fo­cuses on in­no­va­tion, de­sign and tech­nol­ogy. Wipro’s de­sign team is fo­cused on styling and has an eye for aes­thet­ics. Our real strength lies in in­te­grat­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy on lamp, re­flec­tor and con­trol gear. Wipro is unique on its prod­uct of­fer­ing by work­ing closely with in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers which bring in do­main ex­per­tise,” com­ments Shailesh. Ac­cord­ing to Asian Re­tail Light­ing, one of the most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments in LED fix­tures is the mea­sure­ment of lu­men out­put. Speak­ing on the lat­est in­no­va­tions in the in­dus­try K. Srid­ha­ran says, “A sci­en­tific method­ol­ogy is cre­ated whereby the light out­put from an LED fix­ture, is looked at from hu­man vi­sion per­spec­tive and not merely lux me­ter mea­sure­ments. This is a huge change and has a large im­pact in de­sign and cost­ing of light­ing. The other change is to­wards im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of the lu­mi­naires with ad­vanced re­flec­tor tech­nol­ogy, and a more so­phis­ti­cated de­sign­ing of the fix­ture unit. On the con­ven­tional light­ing side, the em­pha­sis is on achiev­ing the same light­ing level with re­duced lamp wattages, through im­prove­ments in the fix­ture de­sign and con­cepts.” Cur­rently, Re­tail Light Tech­niques –RLT, has a full-fledged de­sign unit for both ap­pli­ca­tions and the prod­ucts. On the prod­uct de­vel­op­ment front, the com­pany uses var­i­ous core in­puts from tech­nol­ogy part­ners, who are gi­ants in their re­spec­tive fields – viz. LEDs, Driv­ers or Heat-sinks on the LED do­main, or lamps and bal­lasts on the con­ven­tional seg­ment. Giv­ing sig­nif­i­cant im­por­tance for re­search and in­no­va­tion, Philips In­dia in­au­gu­rated its first de­sign and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter for light­ing in 2008 in Noida, which works on de­vel­op­ment of prod­ucts and so­lu­tions which are more suit­able for In­dian op­er­at­ing con­di­tions and stan­dards. “One of the pri­mary re­search ar­eas for the Noida cen­tre is to de­velop prod­ucts that

can tackle high volt­age fluc­tu­a­tions, ex­treme weather con­di­tions, power fail­ures, etc. Some of the in­no­va­tions from the cen­tre in­clude the first in­dige­nously de­vel­oped con­sumer LED bulb for In­dia, the GreenLED LED light­ing so­lu­tion for of­fices, the GreenLine Smart LED street light­ing so­lu­tion and the first-of-it­skind street light­ing so­lu­tion that com­bines LED with so­lar en­ergy to of­fer a so­lu­tion with high pay­back,” says Ji­ten­dra Agar­wal.

Ven­tur­ing alone or join­ing hands?

Ac­cord­ing to Philips, retailers need light­ing so­lu­tions that re­spect and en­hance the na­ture of the prod­ucts it sells. There­fore, it is es­sen­tial that the light­ing of­fers an ar­ray of so­lu­tions, from dif­fer­ent shades of white, to color chang­ing and am­bi­ent light­ing. Retailers need so­lu­tions that are durable, eas­ily con­trol­lable and sim­ple to main­tain, in or­der to en­sure in­store op­er­a­tions run smoothly. And to of­fer the best re­tail light­ing sys­tems and tech­nol­ogy, In­dian Light­ing Man­u­fac­tur­ers be­lieve that they should part­ner with lead­ing tech­nol­ogy providers across the globe, while also fo­cus­ing on prod­uct de­vel­op­ment in In­dia too. “It is not nec­es­sary that you rein­vent the wheel all over, when part­ner­ships/joint ven­tures help you get the tech­nol­ogy avail­able across the globe. At the same time, keep­ing in view of the long term growth and sus­tain­abil­ity, it is im­por­tant that In­dian Light­ing Man­u­fac­tur­ers also in­vest sig­nif­i­cantly in de­vel­op­ing the pro­duc­tion and de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously fo­cus should also be in im­prov­ing the knowl­edge and com­pe­tency in ap­pli­ca­tions and con­cepts,”

com­ments K. Srid­ha­ran from Asian Re­tail Light­ing. To of­fer the best to their cus­tomers, Philips be­lieves in mak­ing the most of their lo­cal cus­tomer in­sights as well as global tech­nol­ogy ex­per­tise at Philips R&D cen­ters across the globe in­clud­ing In­dia. Wipro for its part be­lieves that part­ner­ing with lead­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion providers helps in short­en­ing the prod­uct in­tro­duc­tion cy­cle and of­fer in­dus­try lead­ing in­no­va­tion at mar­ket ac­cept­able price points. Giv­ing more in­sight about part­ner­ship or joint ven­tures with lead­ing global tech­nol­ogy providers, San­tosh from Fo­cus Light­ing says, “It de­pends on a com­pany’s pref­er­ence and pre­rog­a­tive; we’ve been work­ing with lead­ing prod­uct de­sign­ers glob­ally which have made us stay at par with the global play­ers. Things are def­i­nitely im­prov­ing in In­dia in terms of qual­ity but we feel that we still have a way to go to match with the qual­ity which the global play­ers have been of­fer­ing.”

Light­ing Mother Earth re­spon­si­bly ….

Re­duc­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion and of­fer­ing en­ergy ef­fi­cient light­ing sys­tems is the mantra of most light­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to­day. From de­vel­op­ing en­ergy sav­ing light bulbs to us­ing re­cy­clable raw ma­te­ri­als, the in­dus­try is much fo­cused to re­duce its im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Speak­ing more on the same, K Srid­ha­ran says, “We are closely as­so­ci­ated with the IGBC (In­dia Green Build­ing Coun­cil) and con­tin­u­ously par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous ini­tia­tives and drives to­wards en­vi­ron­ment sus­tain­abil­ity. We have im­ple­mented var­i­ous con­trols and mea­sures in our fac­tory and of­fices that are aligned to­wards en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion guide­lines, viz. us­age and dis­posal of toxic or haz­ardous sub­stances, en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, re­cy­cling/ re­use tech­niques, etc. So­cially too, we ex­tend our be­lief in en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion. Our re­cent as­so­ci­a­tion with In­fosys co­in­cid­ing with World En­vi­ron­ment day, where we had of­fered our LED lamps to their large num­ber of em­ploy­ees, is an ex­am­ple.” Philips of­fers an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of en­ergy sav­ing light bulbs as com­pared to the tra­di­tional light bulbs, where the Philips CFLs use very lit­tle amount of mer­cury and are com­pletely safe to use.

“We of­fer a num­ber of al­ter­na­tives that help re­duce both CO2 emis­sions and re­duce the en­ergy con­sump­tions. All our prod­ucts go through an EcoDe­sign process, which iden­ti­fies its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact in terms of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, haz­ardous sub­stances, take-back and re­cy­cling, weight and life­time re­li­a­bil­ity. Philips’ pro­cesses on Green Prod­uct sales are ver­i­fied an­nu­ally by an in­de­pen­dent third party.”

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dus­try, there is tremen­dous amount of in­ter­est for green prod­ucts in the mar­ket to­day. “Cus­tomers are ex­tremely open to new tech­nolo­gies that are green – in­clud­ing the use of LED-based lu­mi­naires for pri­mary light­ing ap­pli­ca­tions like our ‘IrisLED down­lighters’ that can eas­ily re­place con­ven­tional CFL-based lu­mi­naires in re­tail spa­ces while re­duc­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion. Adding to this, there is also de­mand for ‘Green-by-de­sign’ lu­mi­naires which use re­cy­clable and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment. For e.g., Wipro Light­ing’s Cres LED which is a 2ft by 2ft LED-based lu­mi­naire that con­tains 90% re­cy­clable and 33% re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als,” Shailesh ex­plains. Armed with LED tech­nol­ogy, the light­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers see sig­nif­i­cant growth and sus­tain­abil­ity for this seg­ment in the fu­ture. Meet­ing the pre­car­i­ous power sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try and easy on the en­vi­ron­ment, light­ing com­pa­nies be­lieve that LEDs will rev­o­lu­tion­ize the In­dian light­ing land­scape. Ac­cord­ing to Frost & Sul­li­van re­port, the In­dian mar­ket for LED light­ing is ex­pected to grow to $400 mil­lion by 2015 (at a rate of 53 per cent per an­num), mak­ing it one of the fastest grow­ing sec­tors. With con­tin­u­ous de­vel­op­ment in LEDtech­nol­ogy, the in­dus­try sees no rea­son why LEDs will soon not be used for al­most all kinds of func­tional light­ing ap­pli­ca­tions

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