Consumer goods firm Wipro Consumer Care is eyeing a larger play in the smart lighting segment.
In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Sanjay Gupta, Senior Vice President & Business Head-Consumer Lighting and Switches, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, said from less than 5 percent of their LED business, smart lighting will move to 20-25 percent of the business in two years.
In India, the LED lighting segment is estimated to be around Rs 14,900 crore of which smart lighting constitutes less than 10 percent of the overall business. While this is a growing segment, prices of smart LEDs are a reason why the uptake has been lower.
“Overall, there has been a reduction in prices. We launched our smart lighting range in October 2018. The smart LED bulb was then priced at Rs 1,200. We realised that it had to be made more affordable for consumers. We have been able to bring down the pricing for smart bulb and now it is available for Rs 600,” he added.
Tough market in 2019
Gupta admitted that 2019 has been a tough year as far as LED business is concerned. The industry saw a big drop in rates and price erosion has been a cause of concern for the lighting players.
“It has been a tough year because real estate has not been doing well and the rural economy is under some stress. But we have been able to manage a high single-digit growth,” added Gupta.
The lighting business is closely linked to real estate business because only when new homes are built is there higher volumes of products sold.
“LED prices have dropped close to 7-8 percent. It may drop further by another 5-6 percent. But smart LED is a category which is growing and we will be focussing on this,” said Gupta.
As far as products are concerned, apart from LED batten and downlights. Wipro Consumer Care is also present in the smart sockets and smart doorbells space. Gupta explained that the company is the largest player in the consumer smart lighting segment with more than 40 percent market share.
Wipro Consumer Care said that they will be launching more products in smart lighting and smart home space. However, Gupta said that volume and value drivers will still be the basic LED products.
“Our competitive advantage has been distribution and LED as a product has become much more affordable as a product to everyone. The rural market has been a key focus and will continue to be so,” said Gupta.
With a rise in volumes, Gupta said that product prices will fall in the smart lighting by 20-25 percent. However, he added that since 90 percent of the company’s smart lighting sale is on e-commerce the focus will be to shift to offline.
Here the initial focus will be on the metro cities followed by the 10 lakh-plus population towns.