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'We Are Looking At Domestic Trade Of 3-10 Million Per Month In LED Business'

In an interaction BW Businessworld, Raju Bista, MD, Surya Roshni shares the company’s journey in the LED market, its transition from CFL to LED and its growing thrust on R&D

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Surya Roshni, one of the leading lighting brands in India is planning to increase sales not only in India but also grow export volumes abroad. In an interaction BW Businessworld, Raju Bista, MD, Surya Roshni shares the company’s journey in the LED market, its transition from CFL to LED and its growing thrust on R&D.

Excerpts:


How has and how much has the business flared since the coming of the government initiatives like UJALA/DELP?
Yes, these schemes have contributed hugely to our business. The numbers were quite big as the Government took a target to replace all 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED lamps. So far, the Government has distributed close to 23 crore LED lamps of 7W/9W across India popularising the LED lamps in such a short span of 2 years. An e-bidding process brought very tough competition among the major players in the lighting industry, setting up of a huge production capacity in India. Even the higher quantities are sold through the marketing channels of all the leading lighting companies in India in the same period of time.

How is the overall market doing in today in terms of demand? Is the Indian industry self-sufficient when it comes to LED?

Presently, around 40 per cent of the business in lighting companies is coming from LED products. This includes LED lamps, LED tube lights, LED downlighters and LED street lights. Lighting in the current perspective has evolved from conventional lighting to LED, where LED products are taking over the market while the conventional light sources are roving through the diminishing growth especially CFLs. The Indian lighting industry has put huge production capacities for assembling the LED products. However, LED chips & electronic components are imported and there is no shortage as such.

How was your transition from CFL to LED? How much percentage does CFL hold in your business?

Once 40 per cent business was from the CFL in lighting, now it is almost taken over by LED products. Though CFL remains at 15 per cent to 20 per cent what it was two years ago.

Were you faced with initial challenges in this business, especially cost?

Yes, there were two challenges on quality and cost front. Indian conditions vary from European conditions in terms of voltage spikes and surges. LED products were to be tailored made for Indian conditions. The second challenge was about the cost to meet the poor quality imports. We created the R&D centre, Surya Technology and Innovation Centre (STIC) at Noida which caters to photometric, electrical, mechanical, environmental, and endurance test requirements for development of latest generation energy-saving luminaires.

How much investment did the company make to accelerate the LED business?
We made over Rs 50 crore investment. The LED lamps assembly process is equipped with automatic head assembly machines at Gwalior Plant. These machines are developed in-house by competent team members with an innovative approach. It is the most production-friendly and delivers the best quality of products.

What is the future outlook of your business?
We want to make full utilisation of our resources and brand value. For example, 3.5 Cr LED street lights across India will be installed through EESL projects in the next six years of worth Rs 10, 500 crore. We are looking forward to doing street light projects of considerable value in next 5 to 6 years and also domestic trade from three million to 10 million per month.

On the LED exports front, we started exporting of LED products to few countries and in this financial year, we will try to increase the sales volume and exporting of LED products to more countries. Special emphasis on the export of LED Street lights/panels will be given during this financial year. We will soon be exporting LED Filament Lamps and LED Tube Lights in Glass to European and US Markets.


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LEDs Raju Bista interview