Spe­cial Fo­cus

Says Arun Gupta, MD, NTL Group in con­ver­sa­tion with R Srinivasan.

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS -

The light­ing in­dus­try in the coun­try is in a very in­ter­est­ing phase right now, says Arun Gupta, MD, NTL Group.

Your views on a report that do­mes­tic LED man­u­fac­tur­ing may reach 3.6 bil­lion USD by 2020.

In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ing has evolved over time start­ing from ini­tial in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion to the phase of global com­pet­i­tive­ness, Do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing in sev­eral ver­ti­cals are man­u­fac­tur­ing prod­ucts ac­cord­ing to global stan­dards and are com­pet­ing with the best in the seg­ment. To­day, LED light­ing seg­ment is open­ing up with a wide range of

op­por­tu­ni­ties for play­ers in In­dia, who are wit­ness­ing im­mense growth. The spurt in growth from en­ergy ef­fi­cient pro­gramme, in­creas­ing aware­ness lev­els and dif­fer­ent schemes to mo­ti­vate do­mes­tic play­ers are play­ing a key role in shap­ing the in­dus­try. The in­dus­try is bound to grow at 50% CAGR and will be the next big thing in the com­ing years. The con­sis­tent favourable pol­icy by the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia is one of the ma­jor fac­tors for rapid devel­op­ment of the light­ing in­dus­try in In­dia which in turn is in­stru­men­tal in mo­ti­vat­ing peo­ple to enter into man­u­fac­tur­ing which was un­til now a ne­glected area. The Make in In­dia is a very en­cour­ag­ing ini­tia­tive, launched by the Prime Min­is­ter to mo­ti­vate do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing, it is also play­ing an im­por­tant role in trans­form­ing In­dia into a global de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing hub,

What are the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for the LEDs and light­ing in­dus­try in In­dia?

The light­ing in­dus­try in the coun­try is in a very in­ter­est­ing phase right now. The ris­ing dis­pos­able in­comes, fo­cus of the gov­ern­ment on smart city projects, devel­op­ment of in­dus­trial cor­ri­dors and re­plac­ing tra­di­tional sources of light­ing with en­ergy ef­fi­cient LEDs, the op­por­tu­ni­ties are im­mense. The gov­ern­ment planned projects are fur­ther ex­pected to in­crease the fo­cus on ef­fi­cient source of light­ing in the coun­try. Favourable gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives and poli­cies such as state and na­tional level pro­grammes that of­fer LED light­ing prod­ucts at sub­sidised rates is con­tribut­ing in a huge way to­wards in­creas­ing adop­tion of LED in the coun­try. With in­creas­ing aware­ness, both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial sec­tor are adopt­ing this tech­nol­ogy.

Street lights is an­other seg­ment which throws im­mense op­por­tu­nity as both the Cen­tre and state are will­ing to go the ex­tra mile to re­place ex­ist­ing lights with LEDs.

The big­gest chal­lenge comes from the gov­ern­ment it­self in its EESL pro­gramme and the in­dus­try is hop­ing that the gov­ern­ment will even­tu­ally get out of di­rect dis­tri­bu­tion. The man­u­fac­tur­ers have been forced to lower prices due to huge vol­umes and cut-throat com­pe­ti­tion. Con­sumers know about the pric­ing for EESL and want the same price points from the tra­di­tional dis­tri­bu­tion model. This has led to an un­bal­anced sit­u­a­tion for man­u­fac­tur­ers. Mush­room­ing of low qual­ity production units, Chi­nese im­ports are an­other is­sue – more from the per­spec­tive of is­sues related to sub-stan­dard qual­ity and cost­ing rather than any­thing else.

We also need to re­duce our de­pen­dency on im­ported chips and mi­cro chips as they still have to be im­ported at high cost re­sult­ing in sev­eral con­straints in bring­ing the cost down.

Since NTL Lem­nis is a ma­jor part­ner to govt ini­tia­tives to make mass adop­tion of LED bulbs pos­si­ble, are the cur­rent aware­ness lev­els up to the mark?

We are very proud to be a part of this revo­lu­tion. We have till now sup­plied more than 15 mil­lion bulbs and are one of the lead­ing sup­plier to EESL. The tran­si­tion has been vir­tu­ally seam­less from CFL to LEDs due to re­turn on in­vest­ment, long life, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and with no en­vi­ron­ment hazard. The avail­abil­ity of LEDs and gov­ern­ment fo­cus to pro­mote it na­tion­ally has caught on fast and con­sumers are getting much more than they bar­gained for.

The aware­ness level seems to be high in the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion where peo­ple are ready to switch to a new tech­nol­ogy but it will take time to reach ev­ery nook and cor­ner of the coun­try, how­ever keep­ing EESL ef­fi­ciency in pro­mot­ing LEDs in farflung ar­eas of the coun­try, the tide has started to turn in the right di­rec­tion.

Does the sec­tor, like other power seg­ments face an is­sue with im­ported equip­ment?

In the LED lamps seg­ment, our big­gest is­sue is the low qual­ity of im­ported LED prod­ucts. Th­ese low qual­ity im­ported LED prod­ucts dam­age the con­sumer’s per­cep­tion of LED prod­ucts, as they fail to per­form on var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters, like prod­uct life, light out­put, etc.

The In­dian light­ing in­dus­try has been grow­ing at nearly 17-18% an­nu­ally over the past few years. Com­ment on the way ahead for the LEDs and light­ing sec­tor in In­dia.

The tech­nol­ogy which was ini­tially used to change in­can­des­cent bulbs is quickly re­plac­ing all kinds of sources of light. Cur­rently the LED light­ing mar­ket in In­dia is Rs 4000 crores and is ex­pected to reach Rs 21,000 crores by 2020. The in­dus­try is likely to grow at a CAGR of 50% in the next 5 years. The de­mand is likely to be in­creased ma­jorly in out­door (street and road) light­ing. Con­sumer seg­ment is also start­ing to gain mo­men­tum and con­sumer in gen­eral is getting aware of ben­e­fits that can ac­crue through adop­tion of this tech­nol­ogy. The in­creased fo­cus of the gov­ern­ment to pro­vide sus­tain­able light­ing so­lu­tions es­pe­cially in the lamp cat­e­gory are fur­ther ex­pected to fuel the adop­tion of LEDs at the grass-root level. Also, the in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing great de­mand in com­mer­cial projects and of­fices, which is fur­ther ex­pected to add to growth in the com­ing days.

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