—Anil Bhasin, Senior Vice President – Lighting
Business, Havells India Ltd
said to be the future of lighting. How do you see prospects for the industry
and for Havells as a leading LED lighting brand?
Yes, LED is the future of lighting. Two years
ago, most of the companies did not view LED as a serious threat to the
industry. However, in the recent past, the government has also taken
initiatives to promote LED lightings – in both the lamp and the street light
government through bulk purchases through Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL)
has actually resulted in mass manufacturing of LED lighting. Has this resulted
in LED lighting prices falling?
Yes, prices have come down mainly due to large
volumes. The cost is directly proportional to the scale of operations. LED
lighting, two years ago, did not pick up but when the government intervened
through bulk purchases—streetlights and lamps—the cost has come down. Two years
ago, LED was an expensive technology but today there is massive scale of
operation resulting in manufacturing costs coming down. It has helped the
CFL has its own challenges in terms of mercury
content. The government wants CFL to be out and LED to be in. There is also no
side-effect of LED lighting. They have long life and high lumen output per watt
of electricity consumed. These two qualities have been picked up by the
customer very fast.
also supplying to the government through EESL?
Yes, we have an order of close to around Rs.74
crore for Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
would be EESL as a demand driver to the LED lighting industry?
EESL is basically a startup. It is not likely to
execute such kind of projects in the long-term. They are there to germinate the
seed. One good thing about EESL is that the corruption level is zero! If all
this municipal corporation business and distribution of lamps to the household
is without “involvement of money,” manufacturers can confidently quote their
rock-bottom prices. That has been the solid advantage of EESL.
procurement of LED lamps by EESL has touched about 6 lakh lamps per day. What
is your view?
Around 45 per cent of India is still today not
electrified. It comes as a shock to people like me. This only means that I have
not travelled extensively into the deeper reaches of India to see an
unelectrified village! By using LED what we are actually doing is we are
reducing the cost of investment into power generation. Secondly, we are giving
a chance of lighting the villages in the shortest possible time. Even in our houses, our lighting levels have
increased. But if we have LED lighting, we can actually double our lumens at
the same energy cost.
How has been
the growth of Havells’ LED business?
Today, almost 70 per cent of the sales of our
lighting division comes from LED lighting. Consumers also don’t have the hassle
of frequently replacing lamps as the assured life of LED lamps is around ten
years. Besides, the cost of LED lights at this point in time is not very high.
One must remember that the cost of even replacing lamps in tall structures like
warehouses is very significant.
important is the government as a customer given that it accounts for 20 per
cent of India’s total lighting consumption?
Government is a big customer. One good thing
about the present government is that it is very transparent. We (the industry)
would definitely like to deal with a customer that is clean, pays on time, and
is looking for a quality product.
LED business, what is your capex plan?
We have two factories manufacturing LEDs; one is
in Noida and the other is at Neemrana in Rajasthan. We already had our
production lines that are being converted from CFL and incandescent lamps into
LED lighting. There is therefore no additional capital expenditure involved as
said to be dependent on imports for LED drivers. What is the level of
All the drivers are manufactured by us in our own
factory. But the components are sourced from outside.
We have the competency but the scale of
operation that (say) China has, we don’t—at least at this point in time.
its positive aspects, how do you see the future of LED lighting?
The future is bright, at least for the next
decade. But the challenge would come after that. (laughs)
be the challenge after that?
Once you install an LED fixture, it is going to
last for 15 years. Then what do you do? (laughs). You cannot go to the client
once again. Today, we can go to any client – old building or new
construction—for replacing old lighting with LED or fixing new LED lighting.
After ten years, the growth will be slower but India is a vast country with growing