Schneider Makes Global Lighting Debut with LEDs in India

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Delhi: The Paris-based maker of electrical equipment, Schneider Electric SA, is looking to tap the growing Rs5,000 crore luminaire segment in India with its maiden venture into the LED (light emitting diode) lamps market. The launch by Schneider Electric India (SEI) will also mark the 174-year-old company’s global entry into luminaires.

“One of the reasons why it would be launched here first is because it has been imagined, designed, engineered and produced here in India,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, president and chief executive officer, Schneider Electric, who was in Delhi for the launch.

SEI is tapping the rural market first, undeterred by the initial high cost of the product and the less-than-modest success of the category in urban markets. Branded In-Diya, it will retail at prices ranging from Rs550 to Rs4,500.

Tricoire says the first thing people want when they have access to energy is lighting. “We decided to go with disruptive innovation and to use latest available technology because at the end of the day, the ratio between the function you get and cost it represents is better than the previous solutions and we have got many people working on it. This function is new, this solution is innovative, but it’s also not expensive with respect to what it brings to the people,” he said.

Tricoire’s argument has its sceptics.

“It’s an expensive technology, especially if you want to start at the bottom of the pyramid,” said S. Venkataramani, vice-president, board of administration, of the Vienna-based International Commission on Illumination and former head of Lighting Business at Philips India.

Source: Live Mint (link opens in a new window)