Havells Makes a Smart Switch
‘CrabTree’ is the home automation brand of Havells India. Vivek Yadav, Senior Vice President, Havells India talking to Shubhra Saini shared the company’s strategy of using distribution strength of channel partners from across the country to proliferate the brand further.
Why home automation in India is not used extensively by the builders and home owners?
Home automation is a very interesting market. Technology that is intuitive and easy to use will proliferate much faster, so any automation technology targeted towards mass consumption should have such qualities. For example Smartphones, a 6 year old child or a 60 year old man/woman, they all are using it. Smartphones are self-explanatory, no one has to teach them and likewise same has to happen to home automation. The user interface should be such that a common person can use it without facing any difficulties. Today most home owners have doubts on home automation usability, value for money, ease of use etc. The other common doubts are – mode of installation, cost of installation & maintenance and equipment upgrade. All these questions need to be addressed in order to make home automation systems popular.
What are the latest product innovations?
Havells aim is to create solutions, relevant to both new and old constructions. In new constructions, the wired network can be put in place, right at the design stage, whereas for older constructions the wireless technology is more apt. Till 2016, Havells only catered wired systems, which were mainly for new constructions. A year later we came with wireless systems for existing buildings.
We will soon be launching another in quarter 4 of this financial year, which will be aesthetically more appealing and can be used on existing switch plates and all the gadgets, circuits installed on it can be controlled from the touch panel or a smartphone or any other smart devices. By using Havells Home Automation systems, one will be able to make any non-intelligent device, intelligent.
We are also in the final testing phase of technologies where functions can be preset like geyser switch on at 6.30 in the morning and auto switch off in 2 hours. Google Homes or Apple home control app and Amazon Echo and Alexa are already creating an environment of home automation. We too are making sure that all our devices have voice control functionality.
What is the company market outreach program?
The company sales team is constantly in touch with builders and developers suggesting them products as per their projects from mid-segments to luxury. But in luxury segment we have noticed that the market is not picking up that well. Most property sales is happening in affordable /mid segment housing. Therefore, Havells has devised good line of products for this segment. IoT is a big area of growth for Havells. In future, our product portfolio will have around 50 percent products that will be IoT enabled, from fans and lights to appliances.
For end users, wireless technology is best. We have our channel partners and dealers, who educate the home buyers. Additionally, the experience centers at dealer stores give a touch and feel experience to the customers.
What are the future prospects for home automation market in India?
There is a sizable population in India which is ready to spend on home automation, they need smarter homes as they are exposed to global phenomena and also they have deep pockets to spend on home automation systems. We are trying to tap this target group of customers. The trend for home automation is growing; the market is also getting intensified. The awareness is spreading and manufacturers are innovating good products and influencers are influencing the discreet customers in a right way and all this together is helping the market for home automation grow further.
The organized market for home automation in the country is approximately 500 crore. At present, Havells is not a very big player but in coming time we aim to be occupying a sizable chunk of this market. We are present pan India, and have channel partners in most micro markets. We have noticed that in top 15 cities the trend for home automation is on upswing, the market there is growing and intensifying in smaller cities as well where people aspire for lifestyle amenities and are embracing smarter homes.