Interview with Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric & Power Ltd
HPL has a largest market share in the market for electricity energy meters in the country, with one of the widest portfolios of meters and the fifth largest market share for LED lamps. The company is also the oldest manufacturer of LV switchgears in India. It has an established presence in the market for CFLs, with increasing focus
on manufacture and supply of LED lamps, and wires and cables. Lighting India in conversation with Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric & Power Ltd...
According to you, how is the domestic LED lighting market flourishing and what are its drivers?
The LED lighting market is witnessing an aggressive growth as the new technology has become more widely accepted in the market, supported by energy cost savings and CO2 concerns and driven by legislative changes. The deteriorating power situation across the country and limited budget allocation for starting power projects have directed the Government’s focus towards ‘energy conservation and efficiency’ and LED lighting can play an important role in achieving this objective. There has also been a significant development of replacement products for traditional bulbs / lamps, where the LED replacement product has been specifically designed to fit the original luminaire, thereby broadening the scope for LED market growth. Moreover, rising government support and introduction of innovative LED lighting products by manufacturers has resulted in reduction in prices of these products, thereby offering consumers with more options to choose from, according to their needs and preferences.
Adding to this, the growing interest in intelligent and smart lighting is expected to change market dynamics with the announcement for the establishment of smart cities, which will increase demand for LED lighting, based on intelligent and connected infrastructure. Further, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, 100% foreign investment under the automatic route has been permitted in construction, operation, and maintenance in specified rail infrastructure projects, which is expected to fuel demand for LED products for local consumption.
How does your R&D centres contribute in bringing out LED drivers?
Our company is one of the few manufacturers in the country that has pretty much backward integrated state-of-the-art manufacturing. We have two manufacturing facilities in Gurgaon, and one each in Kundli, Sonepat, Jabli and Gharaunda. Our company has R&D centres in Gurgaon and Kundli, which are approved by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology. These have in-house tool rooms and testing facilities and are manned by 105 engineers. We have become very strong in electronics manufacturing due to our 20-year experience in meter manufacturing. This has become our backbone to bring out LED drivers, PCBs and the entire electronics that go into lighting.
How will the government’s flagship Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) and Street Light National Programme (SLNP), increase LEDs in the coming years?
With relatively low LED light penetration and huge untapped opportunity, India has become an attractive market for both domestic as well as international LED players. The market has witnessed a phenomenal growth over the past few years and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years. Government initiatives are playing an extremely vital role in increasing LED adoption across the country. Under its Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), the government procures LED bulbs through competitive bidding and provides those to consumers at much competitive rates. Such schemes are expected to hugely increase LED adoption in the coming years. Prices of LED bulbs have reduced by more than 75 per cent in the last 6-8 months due to the various programmes of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a public sector entity under the Ministry of Power. The national programme is expected to stimulate the market further and push retail prices below Rs 150.
Currently, what is the proportion of LED and CFL? What was the scenario last year?
The GDP in India is forecasted to be 7.62% between 2016 and 2020, driving economic growth and improving spending capacity of consumers. The growing interest in newer technologies and solutions, increasing awareness created by LED suppliers through product promotion and advertising is expected to increase adoption of LEDs. The Indian LED lighting market is expected to reach ` 31,010 crores in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 62% between 2016 and 2020. The Government of India’s increased interest in converting existing street lights into LED is expected to further increase demand for LEDs in coming years. The CFL market in India was estimated at ` 3,500 crores during fiscal 2015. The market witnessed a growth in the rate of approximately 6% as compared to fiscal 2014. A widespread increase in adoption of LED across various lighting applications has brought down growth prospects of CFLs in India.
Can you mention your prime customers?
We sell our products to institutional, non-institutional and corporate customers, including to developers of residential, commercial and industrial building projects, panel builders and OEMs. We believe that we have an established relationship with several institutional customers and we supply our products to various Governmental Agencies also.
What opportunities do you see for the company in the Lighting industry this year?
Usage of energy efficient products such as LED lighting products is expected to grow in the coming years. The global LED lighting market is expected to cross revenues of ` 150,000 crores in fiscal year 2015 with a market penetration of over 30% in the overall general lighting market space. The global LED lighting market is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 40% until 2020. The trend is replicating in India, with the Indian LED lighting market expected to reach ` 31,010 crores in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 62% between 2016 and 2020.
Considering the strong growth potential, the market for LED lighting products holds immense potential in India and a key focus area for us at HPL. We have a ready range of high-quality LED lighting solutions with a strong focus on energy savings, be it commercial or domestic requirement. We command a good hold in the market for LED products and hope to continue this trend in future as well, supported by innovative products and latest technology.
Do you have any plans to expand your lighting portfolio anytime soon?
Be it commercial or domestic requirement, HPL has a ready range of high-quality LED lighting solutions with a strong focus on energy savings. The product range is divided into four groups that include Consumer Lighting, Commercial, Industrial Lighting and Outdoor Lighting, with each group boasting of a wide range of innovative products to choose from. Each one of these products has been designed for reliability, safety and high optical efficiencies—HPL range of LED Luminaires uses well-designed heat sinks to enable longer life with proper heat dissipation. Considering the fact that LED is an advanced light source, HPL has designed and developed these products with different combination of wattages which can be used to enhance the decor of the interior along with energy savings in homes, commercial complexes, offices, shopping plazas, conference rooms amongst other areas.
Can you tell us about your pan-India distribution network?
We sell our products to institutional, non-institutional and corporate customers, including to developers of residential, commercial and industrial building projects, panel builders and OEMs, primarily through a network of over 2,700 authorised dealers or distributors, from their warehouses located in 21 states and union territories in India that are managed by their carrying and forwarding agents. HPL authorised dealers or distributors further sell their products to over 18,000 retailers in India. Further, we have over 90 branch offices and representative offices across India, as on March 31, 2016, which carry out marketing activities.