Jaquar Lighting, the lighting vertical from Jaquar Group, showcased a range of complete LED lighting products at the Light India event held in New Delhi recently. In an interview with Subhajit Roy on the sidelines of the event, Jaquar Lighting’s Director Ranbir Mehra and Business Head (Lighting) Mohit Sharma highlight the company’s roadmap. They also inform that Jaquar is setting up ‘India’s biggest and most modern lighting unit’ at Bhiwadi with an investment of Rs 200 crore. Excerpts:
Mr Ranbir, what is your take on the market scenario?
Ranbir: We have been seeing a positive growth in the market for the last two and a half years now and that growth has helped us achieve our targets as well. This growth has prompted us for capacity expansion and we are coming up with a new factory in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. Our existing LED plant is located in Manesar.
What is your current capacity and how the new capacity addition is going to help you in strengthening market presence?
Ranbir: Currently, the trade products we manufacture in-house are close to 10 lakh bulbs a month and 2 lakh patterns. This production capacity will be more than doubled when we come up with our new plant.
We also have a driver manufacturing set-up in our existing plant at Manesar and will be setting up a similar facility even within the Bhiwadi plant.
How much have you invested in your new expansion plan?
Ranbir: We have invested around Rs 200 crore in the plant and machinery.
What is the deadline for the new plant to be operationalised?
Ranbir: Bhiwadi plant will be ready by next year end i.e. around Nov-Dec 2019.
What is the current status of the project?
Ranbir: It is in construction phase now.
With the new capacity addition, are you going to target export markets as well?
Ranbir: We will certainly target the export markets. Also, we need to obtain various certifications that are needed to enter international markets. Initially, we are planning to enter markets in Africa and UAE. In UAE, we will start with the decorative lighting and in the African market we will focus on commercial lighting.
What kind of revenue expectation you have with the enhancement of capacity?
Ranbir: The Jaquar Group has a target of achieving US$ 1 billion in 2022 and we are expecting the lighting division should be reaching a turnover of approximately Rs 2,000 crore in 2022.
How much is it doing as of now?
Ranbir: Last year we closed at around Rs 200 crore. This year we will cross Rs 300 crore.
What will contribute to such huge growth?
Ranbir: We were present in lighting for past many years but that was a very niche segment – only in chandelier and decorative. When I joined the business two and a half years back, Mr. Mohit joined as well and we expanded the portfolio. The first year we did around Rs 100 crore and the very next year we doubled to Rs 200 crore, and in this third year we will be closing at Rs 300 crore. The ‘complete lighting solutions’ portfolio helped in this expansion. We have got a lot of strengths within this category and are hoping to help the market grow as well.
Suddenly, how come Jaquar Lighting has become so aggressive in the market?
Mohit: We were probably the last corporate to enter in the Indian lighting market, there are already 75 players. We are growing at CAGR of 18 per cent in last many years.
To continue growing with this momentum, we need a strong back up. We recently took Deepika Padukone as our brand ambassador for Jaquar Lighting to create a powerful brand recognition in the market. Since then we increased almost doubled our manpower over the past 2 years. To support the manpower and branding we have our in-house production capacity which we talked about. Right now, we are working on 100 per cent capacity to take care of market requirement and even materials from outside. We are already in the process of starting a new unit which is in construction in Bhiwadi. It will be India’s biggest and most modern lighting unit, mostly things will be automated.
So, you have been successful in eating others’ market share as well…
Mohit: When you enter the market, you need someone’s market share to make your space in the market.
Where do you see Jaquar Lighting in 5 years? What are your plans?
Ranbir: It is difficult to comment on the position as India is a great and dynamic market to work in. But we are positive that we will continue to expand our presence in India and globally.
How do you see the acceptance of ‘Made in India’ products?
Ranbir: ‘Make in India’ has been very well accepted in the market and people are ready to pay premium if the product is of that quality. For Jaquar as a group, it is very important for us to maintain that quality because we have been servicing the market for almost 60 years in the bathroom segment. We have to carry forward that same legacy of Jaquar bathroom fittings in lighting too. So, we are proud to say that, our products are ‘Made in India for the world’.