The growth opportunities in the Indian LED market have influenced a lot of overseas firms to grow their business in the country. However, lack of proper information about government initiatives, policies and ongoing projects does pose a big challenge.
EB Bureau spoke to Tony Ding, international sales director, Shenzhen Sosen Electronics Co. Ltd, to understand the company’s local requirements, the obstacles it faces while operating in India, and to discuss the firm’s future plans and business opportunities.
EB: What is more important for you—domestic sales in China or exports? What per cent of your overall revenue last year, came from exports?
Currently, it is domestic sales in China. We have strategic partnerships with most of the Chinese lighting companies such as Unilumin, HP Winner, Hongli, etc. But we also consider exports as very important to us—40 per cent of our overall revenue last year, which is about US$ 20 million, came from exports. We have good business relationships with global lighting companies such as Sylvania, GE, Cooper, Acuity, etc.
EB: What are the top four to five countries you export to?
In order of priority, we export to the USA, Russia, India, Iran and Turkey. Of them, we consider India to be one of the markets with the highest potential.
EB: Do you think India is important for the future growth of your business?
Yes, India is one of the most important markets for our future growth. First, India is a big country and its economy is growing fast. Second, the Indian LED lighting market is a huge and booming sub-sector. Third, LED lighting will contribute a lot to saving electricity for India. Fourth, we already have good business relationships with Indian lighting companies such as Syska, Bajaj, Havells, GE India, HPL, Wipro, Schreder, Panasonic, etc.
In June 2016, the Sosen H series LED drivers (with a five-year warranty) were certified by BIS. And our C series UFO round-shaped industry lamp drivers are in the process of being certified by BIS. For the Indian market, we are developing new products like the V series, which has the following characteristics:
- Universal AC input, 90V-305V
- 12kV internal surge protection
- THD<5 per cent
- Warranty of seven years
- High efficiency up to 94 per cent
We expect that the Indian market will grow 50-100 per cent and contribute 20-30 per cent of Sosen’s overall overseas sales volume for 2016-2017 (the target for which has been set as US$ 30 million).
EB: Are you already doing some business with India?
Yes, we are. As mentioned earlier, we have good business relationships with many Indian lighting companies.
Currently, though Sosen supplies directly to these firms, we are looking for distributors/agents to develop the India market together.
EB: Have you ever visited India for business?
Yes, we have—we visited India in December 2015 and in May 2016 for some exhibitions, where we met with more than 500 professionals from local lighting firms, who had come from across India. They were very interested in our products and now, many local trading companies are willing to be our distributors/agents in India. We view India as a potential hub for our overseas business.
EB: What are the biggest challenges for you—to tap or grow your business in India?
The big challenge is that we are still not so familiar with the local LED industry and its leading players. We also need more information about the Indian government’s policies and the ongoing projects in India. Only with such information can we ensure that more local LED lighting companies get to know about us—about Sosen and its LED drivers.
EB: Are you looking for distributors/agents in India?
Yes, we have agents in China, USA, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Iran and now we are looking for some partners in India, to be our distributors or agents.
EB: What are the qualities you look for in your distributors/agents?
We would like our distributor/agent to have a good knowledge about the Indian LED lighting industry, have a strong relationship with the LED lighting companies and a good sales channel in India.
EB: In countries that you export to—how do you promote your products? What is your marketing strategy?
Sosen’s marketing strategy is to focus on the mid- and high-level LED lighting market, offering quality products at the best price to our customers and partners. This leads to a win-win co-operation in the market development process. Our strategies include:
- Participating in industry exhibitions
- Advertising in partenership with our distributors/agents
- Visiting key organisations of the LED lighting industry