We aim for revenue of Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000 cr in 2019-2020: Gurpreet Singh Bhatia, Livguard
Bhatia, CEO, Livguard Energy Technologies Pvt Ltd, shares the brand's growth strategy, expansion plans, association with actor Akshay Kumar and more
Founded in 2014, Livguard is a one-of-its-kind energy storage space in India. Today, it boasts of an impressive product portfolio including inverters/inverter batteries, automotive batteries, stabilizers and solar batteries.
Recently, the brand also raised over Rs 170 crores from ChrysCapital and Rs 50 crores from Ncubate Capital Partners (the investment arm of the SAR Group) to fuel its ambitious expansion in the month of April 2019.
We spoke to Gurpreet Singh Bhatia, CEO, Livguard Energy Technologies Pvt Ltd. about their growth strategy, expansion plans and more.
How has the company grown financially over the past few years and what are the expansion plans and growth projects for the coming years?
The company's revenue for the last financial year (2018-19) was around Rs 1,400 crore, a 60 per cent growth over the previous year. In 2019-20, we are clearly looking at revenue in a range between Rs 2,500 crore and Rs 3,000 crore, and then subsequently, further expanding business in years to come. The company has invested around Rs 400 crore in setting up five manufacturing facilities.
We are the fastest-growing company in reaching the landmark of thousand crore revenue in such a short span of time.
There are many big players in the fast-growing batteries market in India. How do you plan to stay relevant in such a market?
We are a new entrant in a market of strongly entrenched competitors. Our approach is different in terms of project innovation and technology, where we are committed to delivering extra value to consumers. For example, in the inverter batteries segment, the consumer looks for higher backup and extended life from the product. So we have developed in our inverters Artificial Intelligence-based fast charging capability to deliver higher backup and higher life. Our batteries deliver 25 per cent higher backup and 25 per cent faster charging compared to the competitors in the market. We are also providing extended warranty on battery life as compared to others. All of this makes innovation and technology very critical for us. Other key levers for us are strengthening distribution channels, sales management, building the brand and trade relations.
Tell us about the campaign that the brand has executed in the past and how Akshay Kumar as a brand ambassador matches Livguard's brand values.
We had done a 360-degree campaign called ‘Smart and Strong, Chale Life Long’ during the IPL and general elections time which garnered eyeballs. The creative route of the film was to present smartness of inverters and toughness of batteries through the personification of Einstein and Bruce Lee. These characters were represented by Akshay Kumar.
When we planned to get Akshay on board, we looked at the values that we stand for. Livguard is all about toughness, discipline, maturity and intelligence. When you look at these core values, we saw a good match of these values, with Akshay’s values.
Are you planning on increasing your marketing spends as digital marketing has taken an aggressive mode?
Digital is important for us, but in our mix, it's about 6% of our total budget. Now, when you look at Digital, it has two or three distinct areas of as we see it, we are clear that we will leverage digital for two areas. One is building the brand segments in general and the second is to facilitate the consumer in its path to purchase.
Recently, Livguard has bet on Lithium-Ion batteries for inverters and electric vehicles and according to a report the brand has raised Rs 220 crore from Chrys Capital and Ncubate Capital Partners. Can you tell us a little bit about this?
Our philosophy is to understand the application of technology in the Indian context, which is very different from what is available globally. In India, our target segment is the small electric vehicle mobility - e-rickshaw mobility and small commercial mobility including cargo and two-wheelers. Over the next years, the assembly units for the Lithium-Ion batteries are expected to be ready.
We are the only company in India that has a head start of about two years in R&D as far as the team is concerned. We now have a portfolio, we have a team setting up a manufacturing plant in that space, and we're looking at that space very keenly.
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