Anil Bhasin, Senior Vice President of Havells India
Anil Bhasin, Senior Vice President of Havells India speaks to Lighting India about the industry, company and its legacy that lives.
I believe ‘Havells India’ has been in the market for the longest period, we would like to know about the company evolution?
From a switch manufacturing company to our foray into various other segments such as cables, personal grooming, lighting, consumer durables and now water purifiers, Havells have come a long way.
As far as lighting business is concerned, our journey has been fulfilling. Since, our foray into the lighting business in 2004, we have emerged as one of the fastest growing lighting companies in India. With a turnover of close to INR 1200 crore, we hold about 14% market share in the overall lighting industry and the lighting segment has registered double-digit growth on a consistent basis. Ranging from consumer lighting to commercial lighting, we have products for every segment such as, area lighting, road lighting, HID lighting, industrial lighting, landscape lighting, down lighters & CFLs, LED’s etc.
Not just business wise, but socially also, our endeavour has been to follow our mantra of ‘making the change’ in real sense. We clearly understand the importance of our responsibility and making efforts toward energy conservation and reducing environmental hazards. This is testimony to our values and sincerity towards the environment that we strategically decided to stop manufacturing GLS (Global Light Source) tungsten fitted lamps and instead of it invested in energy saving manufacturing CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lamps.
Building upon the philosophy of continuously upgrading our products to serve discerning modern consumers, we introduced India’s first Green CFL lamps, which are more environment friendly than the CFL lamps available in the market then. The next phase came when Havells successfully introduced one of the widest range of LED lights to serve the purpose of all spaces like home, offices, showrooms, factories, street lights etc. We were also the pioneers to introduce energy efficient Tube Lights which saves up-to 40% of energy.
The year 2007 was a big turning point for us when we acquired world renowned Sylvania Global, which was one-and-a-half times bigger than Havells at the time of the acquisition. Sylvania put Havells in the global map for lighting industry. Strategically, after gaining the strength, we divested majority stake in Sylvania which was aimed at consolidating the position of Havells in the domestic market and utilise the funds for better growth prospects in future.In order to stay ahead of the market curve, we have been introducing intelligent products under lighting segment and our success can be attributed to the unique spectrum of energy efficient products which are far superior in terms of technology and user-friendliness. We are also the only company in the country to have a large scale lighting fixtures plant in the country situated at Neemrana, Rajasthan through which we are manufacturing innovative and globally acclaimed products. Going ahead, we expect lighting business to be the growth engine for Havells.
Could you tell us about the business before and after inheritance? Does the legacy continue further?
Havells is a fine example of transforming from being a family run business to a professionally run business. Yes, the legacy continues for the vision and standards that our founder has set for us. It is the vision that has helped the company to evolve into a global brand foraying into new product categories, stitching new partnerships and deepening of marketing and sales network. I, lead a team of motivated professionals who bring in the new age thought process and most importantly innovation for our products. This mix of talent and vision of our founders have been instrumental in transforming the business into a run global brand that is renowned for its technology, innovation, customer friendliness and product range. Professionals who are veterans in their own domain run the company’s business verticals. The whole set up is now professional and innovation driven and the company has adopted new structure of Strategic Business Units (SBUs), which has resulted in better governance with focus on growth.
What are your insights about the future of your business (lighting) into this market (current scenario)?
We are extremely optimistic about the future of our lighting business in this market on the back of the govt’s positive initiatives like UDAY, UJALA, Smart Cities and Power for All which have been undertaken to improve the power sector in India. We are also bullish on the government promoting the use of energy-efficient LED products and greener fuels. And, in order to tap the growth potential in the power sector in India, we have already enhanced our manufacturing capabilities from 5 lakh lamps to 25 lakh lamps per month, so that it not only assists the government’s plans for increased efficiencies in the power sector, but also puts Havells in a position to benefit the maximum from this. With a dedicated state-of-the-art in-house huge production facility for fixture manufacturing, we at Havells are all set to support Government’s initiatives. We have also started the process of phasing out the CFL’s and focussing on the manufacturing of LED lights which have huge growth potential and currently contribute 75% to our lighting division’s turnover.
Apart from this, we are launching innovative lighting solutions such as Power of Ethernet (POE), Smart Street Lighting Led Solutions & Indoor Light Automation which will bring new era of efficiencies and savings in lighting usage and consumption. We have also launched two affordable lighting products for retail consumers ‘Tyrica’ and ‘Quadra Glow’. Also, we have recently bagged large scale projects from government entities and are also making a big foray with private sector conglomerates. We are operating in segments like- Government, Industry, Commercial Spaces, Retail, building façade, etc. and creating milestone with latest state-of-the-art technologies.
How has the lighting market changed over the period of time since the company’s inception?
The lighting market in India is evolving rapidly moving from conventional products to LEDs. This transition is driven by an increasing number of government initiatives for energy conservation, rising consumer awareness about energy-efficient products and innovative products and solutions offered by the companies that are in sync with the overall trend of technology and digitisation. The lighting market is expected to grow tremendously even in the long run on account of the demand for a smart, connected lifestyle and for energy-efficient products. Lighting was earlier being used only for illumination purpose. But with evolving lifestyle changes and consumer preferences, lighting has now become an integral part of the home décor. People, nowadays prefer more elegant, decorative and aesthetically appealing lights and lighting fixtures which harmonises with the interiors of the house or commercial places. Lighting systems today add to the aesthetics of the wall, curtains, and other interiors and add to the beautification of a property be it a domestic house or a commercial space in a city or a town. People are now ready to spend lavishly on home décor.
Any piece of advice that you would like to give to the current entrepreneurs in the industry?
Businesses today are going through a vibrant phase and situations are multi-dimensional. So, the current entrepreneurs should be vibrant, inspirational and must be able to build a stronger team and enable them to perform. I would like to advice the budding entrepreneurs to open their vistas, have a clear vision and take risk because success comes to those who are willing to try and risk and fail and stand up to do it all over again. Most important is to recognise that innovation and change in technology are the two things to keep you in the competitive mode. So never compromise on changing with times and allow new ideas to bring in change.