Thursday, March 20, 2014: Philips Lumileds Lighting Company manufactures a wide range of illumination grade high-power/high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In a conversation with Srabani Sen of Electronics Bazaar, Amrith Prabhu, country head, Philips Lumileds and Sean Jhou, marketing communications manager, Philips Lumileds, highlighted the company’s strategy in India and its current position in the market. Those in the company expect significant growth in the Indian market over the next few years, in both commercial and off-grid applications.
EB: How important is the Indian market for Philips Lumileds?
India is an important market in Asia. Philips Lumileds is very focused on this market and we think it has a huge potential for LED products. We are optimistic about the Indian LED lighting market’s development, which is picking up pace. We are focused on major market segments like outdoor, office, home, industry, retrofit, architectural, retail and hospitality. There is a huge growth opportunity ahead for the entire industry, due to higher penetration of LEDs into traditional lighting applications.
EB: Despite the potential, why hasn’t the market grown the way it should have?
It is growing at the expected rate, which is 30-40 per cent, annually. But, of course, we want it to grow much more because there is potential, and many sectors have not been tapped yet.
EB: Which are the LED products that are most in demand?
Last year, there was a big demand from indoor commercial lights like downlights, LED tube lights. We also witnessed strong demand from streetlights and LED lamps.
EB: Which sectors are using these LED lights?
There has been a push from the government for the use of LED lights. Government offices are asking for LED downlights and tube lights. Apart from this, we are also getting demand from corporate houses and the IT companies. They are trying to get green certifications. Many LED streetlight projects are also coming up.
EB: What marketing strategy does Philips Lumileds follow?
We study the market’s demands, that is, the customers’ demands. Depending on this, we develop our products, which satisfy the requirements of various lighting applications. We make great efforts to research and innovate. The marketing environment is also a vital element, including market research and marketing information systems. Currently, customers have strong brand awareness regarding LED products. To win a share of the lower-end market, we have low priced LED products, but to win over the higher end of the market, we create brand value to give benefits to customers. Therefore, our top priority is to improve product quality and enhance our capacity for product innovation, not only to reduce distribution costs, but also to improve the efficiency of LED products.
EB: What will be your strategy for 2014?
We change our strategy based on the market’s needs. Last year, we entered the mid-power LED market. In response to the mid-power LED market’s demands, we added our Luxeon 3535 packaging component series to our lighting packages. At the same time, we also entered the low power market and promoted the Luxeon 4014 LED package components. While we continued to release new low power LED products, we will also have new releases in the array including CoB.
EB: What do you do to strengthen your position in the market?
Philips Lumileds has always been a technology leader and innovator in LEDs. In order to strengthen our position as an industry leader, we have embarked on several key steps. First, we have expanded the product portfolio to serve all lighting applications. This also meant developing and offering mid-power and low-power LEDs, CoB in addition to our leading high-power LED portfolio, and also expanding into flip-chip die sales. Second, we have increased investments in R&D to accelerate the number of products introduced to the market. Third, we drive world-class operational efficiency and cost improvements.
EB: Why would somebody choose Philips LED lights?
Philips Lumileds intends to be the best LED supplier for lighting products, and we will accomplish this by offering a comprehensive portfolio of LEDs for lighting applications with a wide product range. We offer the highest-efficacy LEDs such as the Luxeon series that are lm/W and /m/$ leaders. We develop specific LEDs optimised for each application such as outdoors, indoors, retail, etc. Most important is that we sell trust to our customers, not just the products. Philips Lumileds will continue to make investments to deliver the highest lm/W in the industry.
EB: What technological advancements can we expect in this domain?
We will see several new innovative applications such as colour tunability, intelligent controls, smart sensing and connected lighting.
EB: Where does Philips Lumileds see itself five years down the line?
We expect that the market will see significant growth due to the adoption of LEDs in lighting. Indeed, LED penetration will be greater than 50 per cent in several lighting segments such as streetlights and retrofit lamps, and growth will also continue in the flash and automotive segments. The entire LED industry will be much larger than it is today, and Philips Lumileds will continue to be one of the leading global suppliers of LEDs.
Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine