Orient Electric: Setting New Standards in Energy Efficiency

Puneet Dhawan, Sr. VP & Business Head (Lighting Business), Orient Electric explains to Clean Future how the company is leading the way with its new portfolio of energy efficient products in keeping with the government’s focus on clean energy. 

Give us an overview of your energy-efficient product portfolio spanning the home appliances, fans, and lighting categories.

Orient Electric is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fans from India with more than 60 percent share in exports. In line with changing consumer preferences and the government’s push for energy efficiency, we have introduced a complete range of fans with BLDC (Brush less direct current) motor, which offer more than 50 percent energy savings in comparison to ordinary ceiling fans.

One of our latest offering in this range is the Orient Ecogale ceiling fan which consumes just 32 watts of power in comparison to the normal induction fan which expends 70-75 watts.

In the lighting category, we carry a diverse LED centric portfolio covering the home, office, retail and industrial segment and have emerged as third largest manufacturer of LED bulbs in India.

We have recently expanded our portfolio with a new range of LED battens which offer high lumen efficacy with huge energy & cost savings, come without any choke or starter and resolve the age-old problem of flickering tube lights.

In the home appliances category, we have an extensive range of products including energy efficient water heaters, air coolers and small kitchen appliances.

Pl elaborate on the USPs of your BEE-rated LED bulb range in terms of their product reliability, energy-saving and cost efficiency?

We are the first lighting brand in India to have been awarded BEE 3-star rating for its 5W, 7W and 9W LED bulbs. This means that these LED bulbs will deliver more than 100 Lumens per watt in comparison to other bulbs in same wattage available in the market which deliver around 70-85 Lumens per watt.

Orient Electric’s LED products are designed to withstand power supply variations more efficiently, which ensures maintenance-free longer product lifespan. We are constantly engaging with our OEM’s so that our electronics drivers are able to provide maximum possible efficiency and assured life for the LEDs being used in the bulbs and luminaires.

What has been Orient’s scale of investment in technology and R&D to ensure a superior range of energy efficient products across categories? 

We have been pioneers in investing and bringing out technologically elevated products. The core of our businesses is our Competence Centres, R&D and our manufacturing abilities. Starting from PSPO fans to Orient LED Battens to SDB technology, technology has been in the forefront of differentiation and we plan to continue investing in these key areas.

Over the last 3 years, most of our investments have been directed towards new product development, quality enhancement & automation, indigenizing components and expanding production capacities. It is our high level of technological competence that has enabled us to gain the competitive advantage.

What can you tell us about your recent campaign to push for the expansion of the LED Batten segment in India?  

It all started with our quest to find what’s next after LED Bulbs. The second biggest consumer lighting product even today is the conventional tube light with its choke, starter and its usual flickering issues, as we all know.

We realised that our communication around LED Batten ‘No Choke, No Starter and No Flicker’, could be a potential game changer. The 360-degree campaign featuring our long-standing brand ambassador M.S. Dhoni aims to increase awareness and trigger replacement of traditional tube light with LED Batten.

We had partnered the revolution of LED bulbs and within just 2 years the results are visible, similarly we are betting big on LED battens which will bolster the growth in the segment by replacement of conventional tube lights.

What are the key benefits across parameters offered by LED battens vis-a-vis conventional FTLs?

LED Battens are far superior in terms of light output and quality, savings, aesthetics, durability and further helps in contributing towards the nation and environment.

For example, if all 24.8 crore households in India use two LED battens for a year, there will be annual cost saving of approx. INR. 24,000 crore and yield an annual energy saving of about 4000 crore kWh.

Combining energy efficiency and reliability with an attractive slim design and ease of installation, Orient LED Battens are an ideal replacement for conventional tube lights (T12/T8/T5) in both residential as well as commercial spaces.

We have increased production capacities and have also made significant investments in R&D with a view to meet the anticipated high demand and emerge as a frontrunner in this category.

Pl elaborate on your expansion plans in the field of LED street lighting projects and professional Luminaires segment?

Apart from continuous growth in consumer business, we have plans for substantial growth in the field of LED street lighting and professional Luminaires segment. We have recently stepped into the street lighting segment with automated streetlights which are equipped with smart controls.

The strategic move will help us get into the EPC business of LED street lighting on a major scale. We also have sizeable order bookings for street lighting projects undertaken by EESL banner.

What has been your company’s strategy to compete with Chinese players in the LED exports segment? How exactly has it helped Orient make inroads in the exports market?

The present cost of Indian lighting manufacturers is very competitive with landed cost of imported products whose quality and reliability has always been under the scanner. Our competence centre has helped us to improve on product reliability and cost efficiency and every day we are working towards indigenizing the components.

We have been manufacturing in India and exporting globally for many years. I feel proud to say that today our LED bulb cost is globally competitive and we are able to compete with Chinese players in exports. We have recently bagged orders from Singapore and UAE which has bolstered our confidence.

Lastly, what has been the extent of your company’s participation in the government’s UJALA programme? What have been the key takeaways from this experience?

The impetus for the burgeoning LED lighting market in India comes largely from government-backed initiatives especially EESL’s UJALA scheme. We have supplied more than 12.5 million LED bulbs under the government’s UJALA programme.

We have also ventured into the field of street lighting and consequently we have been able to bag good orders for 2017-18. We have made timely investments in R&D and production capacities to benefit from the Government’s LED drive.

The policy push has largely motivated players like us to expand the existing capacities. From the consumer perspective, these programmes have helped to create awareness and also provided a price which is even lower than the conventional CFL lamp, thus enabling faster transition from CFL to LED.