With the advent of smart speakers such as Alexa-powered Amazon Echo and Google Assistant-based Home series, the smart home gadgets are steadily getting traction in India. One of the primary reasons is the convenience they offer, as the devices can be controlled with voice commands via smart speakers and even activate or switch off an AC, lights in the home with a mobile app sitting in the office.
While MNCs such as Philips, Xiaomi and others start to bring their products, our own indigenous brand Wipro has already created a quite a big portfolio in smart light and switches segment. It will not stop here, as the company plans to bring innovative smart security solutions for homes in coming months. In an interaction with DH, Sanjay Gupta, Senior Vice President & Business Head -Consumer Lighting & Switches, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, explains the company’s new strategy. Edited excerpts:
DH: Can you tell us which product has the highest demand among your smart home portfolio?
Sanjay Gupta: Our smart lighting range has seen an encouraging and positive response. The smart home category is nascent in India and the consumers are in an experimental phase. Hence there is more demand for LED smart bulbs which are easy to install & use. It has become the entry-level product to make homes smart. Wipro is the company in India to launch smart LED Tube fixture and the demand for this is increasing.
DH: What is your current market share in India and what is your target for 2020?
Gupta: This category is still in the nascent stage with high potential for growth. It is too early for any player to comment on market shares. Wipro Lighting has stayed invested in the home segment for a long period of time. We believe the smart home market will grow exponentially. Our vision is to be the leader in this category and delight our customers with our product quality and performance.
DH: India is a price-sensitive market, how’s the reception to Wipro’s smart lighting and switches?
Gupta: Currently, the pricing of Smart bulbs is around 8-10 times higher of a regular bulb. The response has been so far very encouraging for our smart range of products. Wipro disrupted the pricing for smart bulbs last year by introducing a 7W smart bulb at 50% lower than the average market price. This made the product accessible to many consumers. Although 95% of our sales are being driven through smart bulbs; we feel that the demand for other products such as Battens, Panels, and Sockets, etc. will continue to increase in the coming months.
DH: Any demand for Wipro smart light solutions in tier-2, 3 cities, rural areas other than metros?
Gupta: We are currently seeing good traction in all the metro markets. We are also seeing good demand from Tier 2 cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore, and Jaipur.
DH: With the availability of numerous Chinese smart lighting devices, why should consumer go for Wipro brand?
Gupta: Wipro is a trusted and household brand in India. Wipro Lighting is in existence for more than three decades. Our strength lies in combining technology and innovation to provide solutions to all our customer’s needs. We at Wipro ensure that all our products adhere to the highest quality standards. We have our own quality norms and all the products are tested in – house to ensure the customer gets best in class products. We periodically launch consumer-friendly and innovative products. For instance, our smart bulbs come with the additional feature of white tunable that can change the shade from Warm to cool day white – a feature not available with most smart bulbs. Another highlight is our WiFi Enabled Smart LED Bulb 16 Million Colors that come in Warm White, Neutral White and White and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
DH: How many products are there in Wipro’s smart lighting and switches portfolio?
Wipro: We are currently having Smart LED Bulbs in 7W/9W and 12 W; We are the only company to have smart Batten 20W. We have also newly launched Smart socket 10 A, 16 A – Smart socket can make any of your current devices (like Geyser/ AC / TV, etc ) into smart which can be controlled through your mobile app or voice control. The above socket also comes with energy monitoring feature which helps the consumer to be aware of the energy consumed.
DH: Can you share little info on Wipro’s any upcoming product, which the consumers can look forward to?
Gupta: The response so far has been very encouraging for our smart range. Based on the consumer feedback we have planned an exciting range of new products. We are set to launch 10-12 new products in this category in the next 6 months.
DH: Besides smart light and switches, what other IoT products does Wipro offer?
Gupta: We are currently exploring options in home security and plan to launch a series of innovative products which can help in making homes secure and safe.