FULHAM: MAKING INDIA A GLOBAL MANUFACTURING HUB

Going forward we are poised to see a significant growth in our sales to international territories such as the USA and Europe out of our manufacturing facility in Pune.Gautam Malkani, Managing Director, Fulham (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Over the years, Fulham has emerged as a global supplier of cutting-edge technologies including LED components and various lighting solutions. Now, with the advent of digital technology, Fulham is adding intelligence to LED lighting. In an interview with Lighting India, Fulham India’s Managing Director Gautam Malkani gives an overview of the company’s recent advancements in the lighting business.

What’s your take on the recent status of LED lighting industry in India?

The Indian LED lighting market which stood at approximately Rs. 6,000 crore (US$ 850 million) in 2016 is poised to cross Rs. 25,000 crore (US$ 3.6 billion) mark by 2022. These are definitely very exciting times for the industry as a whole. LEDs have virtually replaced all kinds of conventional lighting products in the past few years. The introduction of the CRS (Compulsory Registration Scheme) by MeitY in 2015 has ensured that the industry is moving towards establishing regulated design and quality practices in the market. Increased sophistication of manufacturing processes in the industry is also leading to improved quality standards of Indian manufactured lighting products. Overall the industry is maturing to eventually come to terms with globally accepted standards in product quality.

What are some of your recent advancements in this segment?

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Fulham as a company is focused on developing “Clever” products which can provide users with several value-added functions. Going forward there will be an increasing need for connected and demand driven lighting which at the same time also provides users with historical data regarding use of the products. For example, all our Programmable DALI and Analog drivers record thermal data of the driver during the lifetime use of the product thus providing engineers and designers critical data which can be used for failure analysis, future luminaire design for thermal management etc. Fulham in the recent past has also developed a range of versatile, reliable and robust outdoor drivers to meet the challenging power conditions in India specially for streetlight applications.

How do you gauge the opportunities for India LED
business beyond 2020?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has opened new opportunities for device management. Smart cities in particular will benefit, but creating smarter cities means we need smarter integration strategies. Community and citizen services are going to need a stable, scalable IoT infrastructure that extends beyond historical control systems. Integrating wireless IoT controls in LED drivers for outdoor lighting will likely be the first step. Companies in the know-how of building wired and wireless communicable luminaires and “System Integrators” will stand to benefit from the opportunities that will be available with the increased penetration of IoT in our daily lives.

Fulham India aims to be the global manufacturing
hub for exports. Where does it stand today?

Over the years Fulham India has been the pioneer in exporting Indian-made electronic ballasts, LED drivers and light engines across the globe. We currently service the U.S., Europe and Middle East market from our manufacturing facility in Pune. It will be interesting to note that we have also done exports of Light Engines into China in the recent past which speaks about our capabilities and India’s global cost competitiveness. Going forward we are poised to see a significant growth in our sales to international territories such as the USA and Europe out of our manufacturing facility in Pune.

Smart lighting business is gaining traction in India.
How do you look at the scope for your business in this segment?

Lighting provides the perfect skeleton for an IoT infrastructure, especially streetlighting which can be extended to monitor and manage other devices. Streetlights being spaced at regular intervals throughout the city provide the much-needed connectivity to wirelessly monitor traffic patterns, or to measure air quality or rainfall. Adding IoT capability to streetlight LED drivers also makes it easier to monitor and troubleshoot the lights themselves. At Fulham we are working with various integration and technology partners to provide smart radioenabled LED drivers using GSM, LORA, NBIoT and other such communication platforms for use in streetlights and other outdoor applications. With the GoI pushing to implement its “100 Smart City Programme” across the country, we see a substantial scope for an increased penetration in the segment of smart outdoor lighting in the near future.

Fulham has recently launched advanced LED Retrofit Kits and Bluetooth lighting controllers. Are these products available in India?

Fulham’s new linear high output LED retrofit kits are available in India and are being sold in specialty lighting applications such as signages, billboards and other similar applications. The 22-inch and 44-inch boards are mounted in aluminium extrusions to eliminate the need for additional heatsinking, with pre-installed magnets to simplify alignment and installation. The Bluetooth enabled devices are being introduced in India and will be available starting January 2020. They can be controlled using simple web and iOS apps. Users can easily customise lighting control parameters in accordance with site-specific needs and building energy codes.

Let us know more about your participation in LED Expo Delhi 2019.

Fulham has been participating at the LED Expo India since the past 5 years and we consider this show to be one of key events held in India to showcase the capabilities of the Indian lighting industry. The show this year will be memorable for all of us at Fulham as we will be having our founder, Mr Brian Wald back on center stage with us once again. This year we are also celebrating our 25 Years Anniversary of servicing the needs of the lighting industry. At Fulham we consider the show to be an integral part of our annual marketing agenda as we get to exhibit our new technologies, meet with our trusted customers and interact with captains of the industry. Over the years we have seen this show successfully grow to become the pivotal show for lighting components in India.

What will be the key attractions at your stall?

During this year’s show we will be focusing on displaying our capabilities in the area of “Emergency Lighting Systems”. On display will be our revolutionary HotSpot Plus LED Driver and Emergency System which combines the functions of a dimmable, programmable LED driver, emergency LED driver, and replaceable backup battery in a single compact and easy to use unit.

In addition, we will also be displaying the recently launched WorkHorse LED Connected Driver which is a programmable constant current dimming driver with the unique ability to add Bluetooth mesh connectivity by attaching a plug-and-play Bluetooth antenna. Fulham’s eliteBlue commissioning software provides an intuitive set of tools for commissioning and monitoring qualified Bluetooth mesh lighting devices. Compatible with third-party sensors, wall switches, and other devices, the Connected Driver serves as the core component for powerful, easy-to-expand connected systems.