Lighting industry focused on LEDs, contributing in driving energy efficiency, eco-friendliness: Nirupam Sahay

‘Surya had very good growth in the festive season, and we expect that momentum to continue in the coming months.’

LED Lighting leads to major energy saving versus conventional lighting, and is eco-friendly.

Growing awareness, easier access, and changing lifestyles have been the key growth drivers for the consumer market in recent years. The pandemic and the consequent restrictions to stay at home forced the consumers to reassess their home setup and environment. It also forced brands in the lighting and home appliances segment to think beyond the traditional means of marketing and innovation and adapt to the evolving times post the lockdown. In an exclusive conversation with The Financial Express Online, Nirupam Sahay, ED & CEO, Lighting & Consumer Durables of Surya Roshni, highlights the shift in consumers’ preferences due to lifestyle change and brand’s strategies to maintain the sustainability in new normal. Excerpts:

LEDs gained a stronghold in the market for lightbulbs and now smart lights are in trend. How well are consumers taking such innovations by lighting brands?

The Lighting market has completely transformed over the last 8 years, from being a predominantly conventional lighting market to being a >85% LED lighting market. A more recent trend is towards Smart Lighting products. Given the trend towards Smart products across industries, I believe that the share of Smart Lighting will also go up dramatically in the next 5 years. Consumer awareness is growing all the time, and so is acceptance of new technologies.

We also witnessed a significant rise in demand for nature-based or environment (eco) friendly products in recent years. Do you see such inventions in the lighting & consumer durables segment and how sustainable are they with changing times and preferences?

LED Lighting leads to major energy saving versus conventional lighting, and is eco-friendly. The entire Lighting industry is focused on LEDs, so we are contributing in a big way to driving energy efficiency and eco-friendliness in the country.

Surya Roshni also attempted to refresh the mood of its Smart Downlighters users. How far have you succeeded in doing so?

We ran very successful advertising campaigns for our Smart Downlighters and Low Noise Mixer Grinders over the last few months. Both the ads feature Shankar Mahadevan, and focus on how Surya products bring the family together. As the tagline for the campaign says ‘Surya … Sabko Mood Mein Le Aaye’.

How competitive is the market for lighting & consumer durables currently and how do you maintain the sustainability to be amongst the leaders of the category?

Both the Lighting and Consumer Durables markets are extremely competitive. Surya is a clear No. 2 in Consumer Lighting, and in the Consumer Durables space we are focused on Fans and Domestic Appliances like Water Heaters, Room Heaters, Air Coolers, Mixer Grinders, Induction Cooktops and Irons. Surya is seeing high growth in Consumer Durables too.

Do you see any shift in choice of products pre and post-pandemic due to a change in people’s lifestyle? You may describe in a couple of examples

We see consumers buying more products that make life simpler for them. Examples are Smart products that are controlled by remotes, apps, or voice commands.

How much focus do you put in the marketing and advertising budget of Surya Roshni? Brand also launched a series of new ad campaigns featuring Shankar Mahadevan recently. Can you talk more about it?

Surya will more than double its Advertising and Promotion Spends in FY 2021-22 vs. FY 2020-21. Surya is a very strong, trusted brand, and we are focused on building it further. The recent campaigns that we launched for Smart Lighting and Low-Noise Mixer Grinders featuring Shankar Mahadevan focus on the theme of ‘Surya … Sabko Mood Mein Le Aaye’. There will be more ads on the same theme for other product categories in the near future.

How important are tier 2 & 3 markets for the company? Which category of products has major demand in these cities? Any change in the strategy to cater to an obvious difference from tier 1 cities?

Surya is extremely strong in Tier 2 & 3 markets. We have over 2500 distributors, and sell through over 250,000 retailers across the length and breadth of the country. We are seeing high growth in LED lamps, battens, and downlighters in Tier 2 & 3 markets, as well as in Fans and Domestic Appliances.

Festive season ended on a positive note for various sectors. How has been the festive season for the brand? Which segments performed well and which witnessed lesser demand and possibly why?

Surya had very good growth in the festive season, and we expect that momentum to continue in the coming months. We saw high growth in LED Lighting, as well as in Domestic Appliances. The Fans market growth has been lower than expected, but we expect it to pick up substantially in the key Feb-April period.

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