“Indian LED lighting market offers more business opportunities than other global markets”

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GlacialTech, a diversified company that offers PC enclosures, power supplies and cooling solutions for consumer and industrial applications, has been operating in India for the past eight years. Its subsidiary, GlacialLight, has introduced its LED lighting products and LED drivers into the Indian market. In a conversation with Richa Chakravarty of Electronics Bazaar, Nikhil Malhotra, country manager, India, GlacialTech, reveals the business opportunities that the Indian LED market holds, as well as the challenges it poses.

EB: How has the Indian LED market been for GlacialTech?

The Indian LED market is at a nascent stage but there is immense business potential brewing in the market. The power crunch and high electricity costs are two major factors for the LED lighting market to pick up in India. We enjoy a good share in the Indian LED lighting market because of the quality of our products.

EB: Have you launched any new products this year?

GlacialLight, a subsidiary of GlacialTech, has launched a range of downlights this year—8W (10.16 cm or 4 in), 12 W (15.24 cm) and 18 W (20.32 cm), which are also available in dimmable versions. Besides, the new highbay series of 110 W and 220 W LEDs introduced have been designed with the Philips Lumileds LED chip, using our thermal module technique. Apart from this, we have introduced highly efficient new T8 tubes of 10 W (60.96 cm) and 20 W (121.82 cm).

EB: Which of your products are most in demand in India and what could be the reasons for their popularity?

Our downlights (the DL series), panel lights (the PL series) and the MR16 are more in demand due to their high quality, stability and reliability. Since the power supply is the weakest link in an LED lamp, the driver should be solid and reliable. And our LED drivers ensure these qualities. Hence, these are also popular in the Indian market.

EB: What are the technological innovations initiated by GlacialLight?

With our expertise in three core technologies—electrical design (LED drivers), mechanical design (cooling devices) and optical design (lamp holders), we started manufacturing LED lights under the brand name GlacialLight. We have developed the technology for thermal modules; therefore, our LED lighting products are more efficient (illuminate/W) and have a long life (MTBF). The LED drivers manufactured by us measure up to high test quality standards and have the best quality of materials, thus providing the highest brightness, for both low and high powered LED lighting solutions—for indoor, outdoor and other customised applications.

EB: How important is the Indian market for you in comparison to other markets?

Being the second fastest growing economy in the world, India holds immense business opportunities for GlacialTech. The rest of the world is still facing the economic slowdown, and European opportunities have been completely wiped out. With nil or negative growth in most economies, a number of which are projected to witness an economic breakdown, India and the Asia Pacific markets still hold good potential.

With a GDP growth of above 8 per cent, India has a big enough domestic market that is somewhat decoupled from the rest of the world. Hence, there are great investment opportunities in India and GlacialTech is ready for this big market with its wide range of high quality products.

EB: How do you reach out to your clients in India?

First, it is necessary to create awareness about the products you offer and have a sound knowledge of what exactly it is that your clients want. We actively participate in the lighting exhibitions in India and other countries where we meet potential buyers and understand from their perspective, how they select a brand, their requirements, etc. Also, we meet our clients personally to know more about their requirements. We also get a lot of enquiries from across the world and we ensure that we attend to each one, as any enquiry could be from a prospective customer.

EB: What are the major challenges you faced while establishing yourself in the market?

There are numerous challenges that all LED players in India face. One of them is the price difference between LED lights and CFLs or incandescent lights. The current price of LED lights in India is on the higher side, which is why customers are not switching to the new technology. Indian customers are very price conscious, and they always look for products that fall within their price range without considering the energy saved and the low maintenance factors. Many of them end up buying low quality LED products, and due to an initial bitter experience refrain from opting for LED products subsequently.

Lack of awareness among Indian consumers is posing yet another challenge. Due to the absence of standardisation, manufacturers are coming up with their own light sources within their own range, which are mostly incompatible with other manufacturers’ light sources. This poses another challenge when building trust and confidence among buyers. Awareness is required not only at the buyers’ end but also among the manufacturers. Only then can the technology have a mass appeal.

EB: Can you share your expansion plans, in terms of new products and businesses?

Our goal is to increase the efficiency of our LED lighting products to incorporate all possible aspects and dimensions. We plan to develop a more diversified LED product application field while simultaneously thinking about how to increase efficiency in future lighting products. Just as we have introduced a few new products this year, we plan to introduce more innovative LED lighting products next year as well.

—By Richa Chakravarty

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