Sticking up to the fight: To what extent will the industry innovate?

Vishal Kaul - Vice President – Lighting, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Limited speaks to the Lighting India content team on how the industry is likely to change concerning end-user demand, and services…

Talk to us about innovation, to what extent is the industry phased from the on-set of the COVID-19 virus?

The on-set of COVID-19 has impacted businesses and the industry, but in such a situation there are is also a positive impact through which various innovations are brought to light. As observed in the past, times like these have fueled the greatest innovations and we can expect quantum shifts in the future. Working and living at home have become the new normal and human-centric lighting, is, therefore, the need of the hour. While it is a buzzword in the lighting industry, it highlights how lighting affects a person and more importantly their productivity, wellbeing and comfort in the environment. Shortly, social distancing will be a semi-permanent reality adversely affecting work life. This will lead to irreversible changes in working styles including amplified work from home as a regular practice. Thus, the role of LEDs has become even more important in homes, not only providing soft ambient lighting at night for relaxing but also sharp and bright lighting during working hours for better focus. We also see Anti-Bac LED bulbs which is one of the latest innovation aimed at creating a better home environment. Leaving no stone unturned, these bulbs with advanced Envirosafe technology are an essential need as it kills up to 85% germs keeping everyone healthy. Its dual benefits are interesting as it not only delivers light but also kills germs. We also see lighting options where-in the person need not touch the switches. Keeping in mind such innovations, the Internet of Things (IoT) for lighting solutions have evolved going beyond their original functions. This present time will, therefore, be essential to have IoT control in the commercial sector as it will improve employee productivity and drive operational efficiency through remote controls without mandatory physical presence.

How would you assess the situation concerning the Chinese market, how affected was the Indian consumer?

While the world took a hit when China was on lockdown, the Indian consumer durables industry was also highly affected given that 45% of the components are imported from China. It is imperative for us, as an industry, to be more self-reliant in our electrical components. With the ‘Make in India’ initiative, we do have the potential to provide world-class infrastructure and facilities.

Assess the LED market concerning technology, energy efficiency and smart systems…

Technology helps combine smart features with energy efficiency lead to smart homes and commercial establishments. This further facilitates the growth of smart cities across the nation. The trend can be seen in organizations, communities and customers themselves. The changing times have brought down the cost and this will continue to be a priority for every industry as well as at home, eventually, it will lead to the rapid adoption of energy-efficient lighting and control systems. In the commercial B2B segment, there will be a shift towards energy efficiency in offices, IT parks and the infrastructure sector – including street lights, airports etc.

Innovation is, hence, the key to allowing organizations to remain relevant and consumers to lead a better quality of life. These varied set of innovations, that will be adopted to the changing lifestyle, can range from human-centric lighting to smart controls as well as ‘Anti-Bacterial light sources. In today’s day and age, crisis/calamities are unfortunate recurring incidents. However, to create an optimistic view, they can be used to drive innovation, efficiency and a better way of living and working. Any industry which leads the way in this will see itself coming out of the bad phase faster and better.