Philips, a brand that once was generic for high-quality electronic products, is getting its spark back. The Netherlands based company is getting its act together to capture a bigger share of the consumer healthcare, lighting and personal care products markets in India. Over the years, moving beyond tubelights and the incandescent light bulb, consumers in India have become interested in decorative lighting solutions. Infrastructure and industrial growth in India is another factor fueling the demand for efficient lighting, with the lighting industry growing at 17-18% annually to stand at $1.5 billion. And Philips is looking to capitalise on this new opportunity, setting up its Philips Light Lounges (exclusive experience centres) and Light Shoppes (shop-in-shops). Currently, there are 44 Philips Light Lounges and more than 400 Light Shoppes in India and the company plans to double the number in 2011, says Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Philips Electronics India. “We are doing good numbers in both home and commercial lighting segments. India is still poor in terms of focusing on energy efficient lighting like CFLs (compact fluorescent lamp) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). We, at Philips, have been leading this transition,” he says.
The company is undertaking aggressive retail expansion across metros and tier II cities through its Philips Light Lounges and Light Shoppes. A Light Lounge is an experience zone which gives customers a ‘see, touch and feel’ experience of a diverse range of world-class home decorative lighting concepts from Philips such as Ledino, Living Colors, Ecomoods, Kidsplace, Aquafit and Classic ranges. Also, consumers receive expert advice in choosing the right lighting design solutions to meet their unique requirements. The product range at the Philips Light Lounge starts from Rs 575 and extends up to Rs 40,000. The retail expansion plans will be supported by on-ground activation.
In a market cluttered with many lighting brands such as Havell's, Bajaj, Osram, Eveready besides many local brands, Philips claims that its strategy of venturing into newer territories has helped it to retain the top slot. The market for decorative lighting in India is currently inundated with unbranded cheap imports that do not always satisfy energy efficiency and safety norms. “Philips differentiates its offerings through innovation in design, energy efficiency and application of its global lighting application expertise,” says Sharma.
According to Sharma, another focus area for Philips is the personal care products business. Products such as hair dryers for women and personal grooming kits for