Oscar Wilde said, “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone”, what Oscar Wilde did not say is that the wisdom never comes alone. It is often accompanied with wit, sarcasm and intelligence and Mr. V P Mahendru personifies this perfectly.
An 84-year-old veteran businessman with a ‘been there, done that’ attitude, Mr. Mahendru has witnessed the creation of ‘Brand India’ and has been a part of it since beginning. It was in the year 1958 that he incorporated Eon Electric Limited (EON), a group into manufacturing of a wide variety of Low Voltage Electrical Switchgear, Fusegear, Protection and Lighting Equipment. As the CEO and CMD of Eon Electric Limited, Mr. Mahendru has helped the group expand its footprints across India with manufacturing units at Jalandhar, Sonepat, Noida, and Parwanoo. A self-made man who survived the pain of partition and established himself and his family, Mr. Mahendru is a book in himself. Team RealtyMyths was privileged enough to meet him and understand the hurdles and solutions to lighting sector. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
How is the LED market doing currently? Do you think consumers are ready to move from CFL to LED?
As the NDA Government revs up its plans to create 100 smart cities, LED lighting systems could lead the way in developing these smart cities across India. LEDs are going to dominate the lighting industry in the forthcoming years owing to their eco-friendly nature and cost effectiveness. The year 2015 has already witnessed a number of government initiatives and consumer awareness programmes towards implementation of the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). The Government has prepared plans to replace the traditional power guzzler incandescent bulbs and CFLs with energy-efficient LED lamps. The next five years are expected to witness new innovative technologies for aggressively building up a wide base for the use of LED Lights in the residential and commercial segment under the Government Smart City project plans.
Though the government has started promoting LED usage among the masses, the cost of an LED bulb is still beyond the reach of the major segment of the society? What more, in your opinion, should be done to solve this issue?
Initially, because of the higher price of LED Lights, there was a general perception that CFLs were an efficient, affordable and more suitable source of light than LED Lights. However, with LED lighting revolution having taken place in our country as is obvious from the fact that over 10 crore LED Bulbs have already been organized by EESL for delivery to consumers at a price less than Rs. 100/- each, people’s confidence in LED Bulbs is now well established. People are now more aware of the higher efficiency, longer life of 50,000 hours and cost effectiveness of LED Lights in delivering more lumens of light per watt of electric power is well established. This is apart from the fact that LED Lights are environment-friendly compared to CFLs. Both the Centre and state governments are promoting the maximum usage of LED Lights across the spectrum and people at large are now changing over from CFLs to LED Lights. For individuals, apart from all the benefits as mentioned above, they are happier with LED lights as their own power consumption bills on account of lighting have gone down by over 70% compared to conventional lights. Above all, unlike CFLs, LEDs do not contain any mercury which can be harmful to the environment and the people who use them.
The Government’s vision was clear that by replacing billions of such inefficient incandescent bulbs and CFLs with LED Lights, they avoid pressing investment of thousands of crores of rupees to provide the public the additional power availability 24×7 for lighting purposes which they are now able to provide. .
Real estate sector is your major consumers. Do you think the sluggish property demand would impact your business?
Real Estate sector has been one which holds a great opportunity for use and deployment of LED lights both for indoor and outdoor use. It’s true that of late the demand for property has been sluggish, but despite this, the demand for LED lights for new property is not likely to go down. On the contrary, most builders are providing LED lights in their new and existing buildings to attract interested buyers as the benefits of LED lights are now well established. In fact, installing LED lights in buildings pushes up the class and value of such buildings to attract potential customers all the more. Thus, LED lights indoor as well as outdoor in new buildings are providing a further attraction to potential buyers.
What technological research and development you are doing to make LEDs more efficient and economical. Please enlighten us on the same.
EON’s USP is its consistent thrust on research and development of new and innovative electrical products which bring satisfaction and comfort to the consumers because of their energy efficiency, long life and the convenience with which they replace traditionally used electrical products. We have a strong R&D team at our plant at Haridwar who are working efficiently and effectively for the development of a variety of new and more efficient LED Lights with longer life span, more cost effective apart from manufacturing other types of LED Lights including LED Bulbs, LED Tubes and LED Street Lights.
The R&D activity of EON continues to further push many innovations in such lights including the prospects of dimming of the LED lights as required in residential houses with the help of smart-phones incorporating sensors in these LED lights so that if any outsider happens to come near the front door, the LED lights light up the entire area for easier detection near the gate where this LED light is installed. This feature can also be connected to a buzz or indicator inside the house so that it raises an alarm whenever any outsider comes near the LED light at the gate.LED lights have good potential of changing colour of light as per requirement.