Havells India, an electrical goods manufacturing major, plans to stay ahead in the race with its latest PoE technology that enables integration of lighting as well as HVAC, building automation and fire-fighting systems. In an interview with Subhajit Roy, Havells India’s President Anil Bhasin shares his thoughts on this advanced technology and how Havells is gearing up for it. Edited excerpts:

Mr Bhasin, could you brief us on your recent performance vis-à-vis overall industry performance?

Today our focus is on energy savings in lighting. So, for us, whether the industry demands picks or not, we have a huge scope of changing the performance of conventional products. When a person comes to know that his operating cost is going to be reduced by 30 per cent, he prefers energy-efficient lights. That is the advantage with us.

Our lighting segment recorded a double-digit growth during the first 6 months of the current fiscal though other product segments faced problems. However, we anticipate more challenges ahead as the country is going to witness general election in 2019 and no one can predict the results now.

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Also, there is the growing awareness and acceptance of advanced automation technologies powered by automation. This will drive the growth in future.

Is CFL bulb a thing of the past for Havells?

Yes, CFL bulb is a thing of the past as far as Havells is concerned. We have already discontinued the production of conventional and CFL lighting products. We are completely focused on LED lights now and have a very strong hold in this segment. Also, we have been very successful in converting our existing CFL users to LED lighting products.

Today, Connected Lighting and Internet of Things are talk of the town. What are the developments at Havells in this front?

With our commitment to research and development (R&D), we are leveraging on futuristic technologies. Our product innovations in Connected Lighting enable integration of all lighting amenities with other facilities such as telephony, Internet, electricity, HVAC, fire-fighting and building automation using Power over Ethernet (POE).

We also offer a centrally-controlled monitoring system (CCMS) which enables remote-monitoring and scheduled operations of the lights, energy analysis, fault monitoring etc. This can again be integrated to water, sewage and other facility services. In the outdoor lighting segment, our smart street lighting LED solutions help save thousands of watts.

What kind of technology innovations can we see in lighting?

Apart from strengthening our footprint in smart lighting segment, we are working extensively on Connected Lighting. In this case, a single Ethernet cable will be used for connecting all amenities which will do away with hassles of multiple dangling wires.

Further, we are introducing mood-centric lighting. We also offer outdoor or industrial lighting controls through the iPad.

Havells is promoting its lighting business aggressively…

Yes, we have been there one step ahead. In fans also, we are the pioneers in decorative and good-looking fans that makes our ceiling beautiful. In a room, our concentration is very much restricted to the four walls whereas the fifth wall which is the roof is also important.

Also, in water purification, we have come up with latest technology. That has been the forte of Havells that we add value for our customers.

So far, how much Havells has invested in the lighting business?

As I said earlier, lighting is in the centre stage of our business strategy. We have invested more than Rs 60 crore in our manufacturing facility few years back and the capacity is still underutilised. We do not want to spend more on that. But having said that we are spending more on innovations for which we are planning to have a R&D centre in Bangalore.

Where is the growth going to come from? Retail or commercial?

Both sides are almost similar. Both these segments are giving us good double-digit growth.

Where do you position yourself in the lighting segment?

We are next to the leaders but the kind of pace we are moving, we aim to be a leader within couple of years. That is our vision.

Apart from R&D, what makes you different from your competitors?

The main differentiation factors are the innovation and talent because we believe one cannot push the old technology to the market for a long period. Further, the distribution channel has always been always been close to our heart. We have a good relationship with clients.