Our Anti-Bac LED bulb helps consumers stay healthy: Mathew Job, Crompton

Mathew Job, CEO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electrical Limited and Vice President of Marketing, Rohit Malkani speak about the new product, taking on the competition, celebrity influencers and more

Mathewjob

Having launched revolutionary products such as the Anti-dust fan, in the fan category, leading consumer electrical company, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electrical Limited (CGCEL), on Thursday launched another revolutionary product in lighting segment, the 'Anti-Bac LED bulb’ which kills up to 85% germs within four hours of use.  

Known for being committed towards providing solutions through innovation and advanced technology to consumers, ‘Crompton Anti-Bac LED Bulb’ is first-of-its-kind launch to set to position Crompton as a pioneer in the industry within the LED segment, the Anti-Bac LED bulb was launched in Mumbai by celebrity, Soha Ali Khan and Mathew Job, CEO, CGCEL.

“There has been an increasing trend for general health and awareness among consumers. As a company, we have been looking at this trend and decided to launch innovative products to help consumers stay healthy and illuminated.”

Speaking about the challenges faced, Job said that Crompton thought about how the brand could provide affordability and a dual-purpose product to its consumers. “After research of year and a half, Crompton cracked the code where the product not only lights your house but also kills germs besides being pocket-friendly,” said Mathew Job, CEO, CGCEL.

The LED market is a highly competitive segment

Talking about how the company has been taking on the competition with new product launches, Vice President, Marketing, Rohit Malkani. said, “Competition is great as it helps you to become the better version of yourself. A large part of the competition has been getting the pricing down and offering a parity product. We have been looking at what we can offer in terms of differentiated solutions to the consumers. Within the last year, we have had five-star products which consume less electricity, and now we have Anti-Bac. We continuously drive towards working on the differentiation spectrum and not have an only 'vanilla' bulb.”

Malkani agrees that the lighting segment has been undergoing price erosion but believes that on the larger scale, more or less the price has bottomed down. For example, when LED bulbs were launched they were retailed at about Rs 400 to 500. Today, a 7-watt bulb is retailed at Rs 90 or Rs 100 in the market. So, the input cost has also come down. LED is cheaper than CFLs. Any consumer if asked would go for LED, hence the future is LED and there is no doubt about that.

He further added, “Crompton was the first company that slashed prices and we have benefitted from that lately. The reassuring thing is the volume growth of the LED for all the companies as the convention is going down. The other thing is, for LEDs, in terms of overall acceptance in the market, the Government of India has also played an imperative role. The penetration of LED bulbs in Uttar Pradesh has been tremendous. The consumption of LED in Uttar Pradesh is equivalent to that of Maharashtra. And, a large part of the successful penetration and growth of the LED market goes to the EESL that has helped us to get to the various touch points.”

When asked about how many conversions to LED has been seen in the lighting market, Malkani said that the conversion is massive in terms of numbers. Our conventional business has been growing at a great pace. The numbers have been robust in terms of LED conversion. But he accepts that there has been value-erosion because of the competition.

Post-de-merger Crompton is building its digital and social media outreach

The parent company Crompton Greaves was more focussed on the B2B segment. The company didn’t evolve and it followed the traditional method. However, post-de-merger, Crompton Greaves, now known as Crompton Greaves Consumer Electrical Limited (CGCEL), is building its social media team and expanding their digital outreach.

According to Malkani, the company is relatively new to the digital space and not active. “Currently, we are building our base there. On Facebook, we have just 100 to 1000 followers which around six months ago was zero.”

When quizzed about being late entrants into the digital world, Malakani reasoned that it has to do with the company’s evolution. “We were part of the parent company which was more focussed to the B2B segment. Since the de-merger, there has been a lot of vibrancy and one can see a lot of Crompton. On Oct 2015, when the company de-merged, and since, the focus on the consumer-led innovation had been more active and you would see a lot more things coming to light now.”

While according to Mathew Job,  CEO, CGCEL, Crompton had not really invested in the brand before the de-merger. Nonetheless, the company has realised the importance of the digital landscape and are now revamping the brand in terms of positioning itself in the lighting market.

With the fan category showing double-digit growth in the premium segment, Malkani explained how premiumisation has helped the company, “Premiumisation helps every company which means you are selling higher products. How many consumers are ready to pay it? And for this innovation, would they pay is what is important and that’s’ how we went about it. We did a survey with consumers in the ACCA and ACCB segment - where our target group is, and we took their feedback into consideration and this has helped us.”

When asked what makes the Anti-Bac led bulb different and how would it stand the competition with other key players, Malkani pointed out, “Primarily because of the proposition and because it is a first of its kind in the world, newly launched Anti-Bac would stand out in the competitive market. The bulb which not only gives you light but also disinfects your house. We understand that there would be slower acceptance for it but we will have the first mover advantage in the category and we will be able to make far better in-roads in respect to overall LED segment because of this.”

With the growing concept of influencer marketing in the advertising landscape, when asked about the difference between a celebrity endorser and an influencer marketer, Malkani explained, “I think, the consumer has evolved significantly. However, today the consumers are aware that there is a commercial consideration. Even if somebody endorses a product, they are not necessarily using it. The role of a celebrity endorser has shifted dramatically over the years. Celebrities help get you eye-balls. The recall value is high.”

He continued, “But, for the influencer to say that – yes this is a product to buy, does build preference if you go by a classical funnel, but I don’t think celebrities help build preference anymore.”

There have also been acquisitions in the consumer durables space, When asked whether Crompton is actively looking to buy, Job replied, “We want to do acquisitions or be present in spaces where we could have a significant market share. We want to be among the top 3-4 players or have at least 10 percent market share. Through this strategy, we may also look at adjacent categories than the ones that we are already present in”

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