The year 2020 is promising for the lighting sector in India. Industry representatives believe that the lighting sector has evolved, and today, smart lighting technology is the future of the industry. System integration paired with automation and networked building-systems are helping businesses evolve.

With an uptake for energy-efficient products, the LED and the lighting industry is bound to grow as it rides on initiatives that encourage the use of LED lighting systems. With the many shifts within the industry, Praveen Madaan, India Country Head and South East Asia, Sales and Marketing Advisor, Juki, said that the need of the hour is to innovate. He said: “Growth is sustained through innovation and as far as Juki is concerned, we are not facing any issues with regard to functioning within the market.” Sighting a challenge, Madaan mentioned that there is an issue with cash flow. “Cash flow is tight and customers are very often unable to get bank loans easily,” he asserted.

Hoping that the overall scenario will change by next year, Madaan also said that the role of automation and technology cannot be denied. “Technology and automation are key within the scope of LED. We see a lot of new products coming up which use Chip-On-Board (COB). Components such as this improve the manufacturing cycle time and also the overall life of the product,” he said. Dehn added and said that the LED market is almost synonymous with the lighting market. He said: “The LED market has come a long way and has changed over the past five-years; it has grown from being a market where manufacturing was not competitive to being a competitive market.” The uptake for LED solutions has made it competitive and then again, this poses as an opportunity for Indian manufacturers to step-up. “On a government policy level, the sustainable drive continues to influence the market. From the macro-economic perspective, we see a trend wherein there exists a trade war between the US and China,” he added. Over time, he said, the demand from international buyers looking into India as a manufacturing country will gradually increase.

Sanjay Choudhary, CEO, Crescent Opto, also provided insight into the LED market. He said: “Approximately 90 per cent of the lighting industry belongs to the LED sector. I won’t hesitate to say that the market size is huge. There are various factors within the industry that is leading to a higher value.” He pointed to factors such as the urgency for energy-efficient solutions, the availability of government distributed bulbs at a lower cost, and the awareness to the consumers. The factors have a crucial role in helping the industry grow.

Concerning government policy, he said: “The government is helping us and are supporting us. I hope the government supports us by reducing tax, this will help the industry boost itself while enabling us to compete with the Chinese on the same front.”

Denh too added and said: “Government policy and regulation has a big part to play in a competitive market. India is a price-sensitive market, and if you have to export a particular product, it must be manufactured as per requirements.” Over the years, he added, the Indian market has been getting involved in smart lighting, IoT. “I think there is still a chance for these systems to be included in every household, and these generally plug and play products.”

While giving insight into what Crescent was doing over the years, Choudhary said: “We have developed our product categories and our manufacturing base in a huge way. We manufacture components. We have focused on pricing our products reasonably just to prove that we are tough competition.” Besides, he said, the company has also launched an automation division where lighting automation technology is being developed. Also, we see shifts that are causing waves within the industry. In an attempt to create waves of positive change within the LED and the lighting sector, Messe Frankfurt India, the organisers of LED Expo and Light India have merged the Delhi editions of the two biggest lighting trade shows, titled “Light + LED Expo India 2020”. The move is aimed at enhancing business and the organisers hope that it will boost networking and industry connect.

Speaking about the merger, Michael Dehn, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Messe Frankfurt, said: “At Messe Frankfurt, we are already represented in India for the past 20-years. The shows have grown strong over time and each represents an area from the industry.” The thought behind the move was to provide a 360-degree view of the lighting market, and now this has become a reality for the year 2020. “An industry showcase under one roof will uplift the lighting industry in India and since we provide a platform for international visitors, the show tends to create a greater impact,” Dehn added.

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