Company Description: Philips
Electronics India Limited is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Royal
Philips Electronics. Philips has been operating in India for over 75 years and
employs over 4,500 employees around the country. Philips Automotive Lighting, a business unit
of Royal Philips Electronics, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of lamps
to the automotive industry and aftermarket. Combining technical innovation with
a genuine concern for the safety and driving comfort of those drivers who
benefit from our products, Philips is a top tier supplier to all major set
Your mission here at
Philips is to increase the adoption of LED and HID lighting in the automotive
space, how is that progressing?
The way we approach the market is to work closely with
OEMS that include car manufacturers and two-wheeler manufacturers in the
country. We also approach customers directly in the aftermarket segment. In the
OEM segment for over a year now we have been holding a lot of educational
seminars. We have gone to campuses of Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto
etc wherein we held half-a-day as well as day-long training sessions on the
benefits of new technologies like LEDs and HIDs. In the OEM space these
technologies are still in the early stages because we have to educate them on
these new technologies. In the aftermarket space things are progressing much
faster, where we have recently launched Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). Daytime
running lights as you know are mandatory in Europe from this year. Since it is
not mandatory here and we have the technology, we have packaged the technology
in a plug and play manner so that the customers can use it. We have launched the
product in India. We are pushing the adoption of technology along two different
axes. One, among OEM’s to understand the benefits of the technology for longer
term as that they ship cars and two-wheelers with LED’s embedded in them. In
the meantime we are also making consumers aware that with certain applications
they can make use of the technology today. They can retrofit the bulbs and LED
bulbs in the car for signaling and interior lighting applications. For DRL we
have launched a kit which essentially is an add-on kit for your car . You don’t
need to change any wiring in the car and you don’t void the warranty of your
Do these add-ons fit
perfectly when they are retrofitted?
Yes, it fits in the front bumper of the car and one of
the tools that we have also made available to our distributors is that there is
a website where you can upload the picture of your car and that website will
show you how this DRL will look in the front of your car. There are lots of
software tools that we are making available to people and there are videos
online which show what the car would look like after these lights are fitted.
Are OEMs very receptive to
absorbing the new technologies?
Yes, OEMs are also receptive to this. More so, the global
OEMs like VW and BMW because we have worked with them globally and actually
developed products specifically for their car models. These are add-on products
that a customer buys at the time of purchasing the car or later on. But these
are specifically for VW or BMW vehicle and we are working with other
manufacturers to expand the same kind of models with them. So I’d say that
global OEMs already know the benefits of the technology and are much further
along in adopting it. The Indian OEMs are still in the phase of understanding
the benefits and value propositions and there is a lot of interest we are
seeing from them, although
I cannot comment on the specifics on what we are working along with them but
the adoption rate is still in early stage.
Can these can be fitted to
any car, irrespective of the model?
Daytime running lights can be fitted to a large number of
cars, although I won’t say any car. We like to test every model just to make
sure there is no electrical incompatibility. Of the cars available in India
around 90-95 per cent of them have already been tested and we have a list
available on compatibility. Then our LED retrofits can be fitted onto any car.
So you can change your incandescent bulb with an LED retrofit and it’s designed
to go into the existing software. It is very similar to the approach we have
taken in general lighting where you have an existing socket in aluminium and
instead of putting an incandescent lamp there you put an LED lamp.
Do these products also fit
in LCV and two-wheelers?
There are going to be products for two-wheelers and heavy
commercial vehicles as well. As for LCVs, we have launched the products which
will include SUVs also. For HCV vehicles because they use 24 volt instead of 12
volt electrical systems, we are in the process of expanding our range there.
Likewise the two-wheelers use different kinds of bulbs for signaling and we are
in process of coming out with retrofits for them also.
How many new models have
We have three different versions of daytime running
lights---we have a 4-LED version, 5-LED version and recently an 8-LED version.
The 8-LED version is the most premium version we have; it is a daytime running
light but is also on at night. We dim it at night and customers who have
invested in this and want the ultimate in styling option, want the light to
also show at night. For them there is the 8-LED version that gives them that
option. The retrofits we have launched in 3 different versions at this time and
that is just the start and we will be expanding that range significantly.
Does the company also make car
air purification systems?
Yes, that is part of our portfolio as well. We call
ourselves an automotive lighting company and now we are into non-lighting also.
This year we have launched the mobility strategy and what that strategy is
based on is the realisation that people are spending more and more time in
their vehicles. We then took a look at Philip’s core strengths and capabilities
and realised that we are a very innovative company and a technology driven
company. So there are a lot of things we can do for customers as more and more
people are spending more time in their cars as well as on their two-wheelers.
We have a three pillar strategy-----the first pillar is styling. Lighting in
cars is used pretty aggressively by car makers and designers in car design.
Whenever people look at a car, they look the headlights in the front and
taillights in the back. Lighting is a style statement in cars.
The other pillar that
we have is of safety, making the lighting better in the car not just for the
driver, but for other users on the road whether they are drivers or
pedestrians. Daytime running lights also help in safety for the customer and
other road users. Also for the same application we are pushing LED’s in cars as
they have long life. Actually LED lamps outlive the vehicle and you do not need
to change them. As a driver you are secure that my signaling and headlights are
not going to fail and are much safer. LED lights also turn on much faster and
as a result you signal much faster to other road users thus increasing safety.
The third pillar we are
focusing on is environmental friendliness, as there are more and more vehicles
coming in everyday and fuel saving is important. We are working on technology
that will reduce fuel consumption yet not affect lighting performance. LEDs use
significantly less energy. For example, retrofit LEDs use 1 watt of electrical
consumption while replacing a bulb which uses a 5-6 watt, thereby reducing
consumption by 1/5th. LED DRL uses 5-8 watts. So there is very little
electrical consumption thus resulting in better fuel economy.
The air purification
system is our first non-lighting product. It is part of our mobility strategy
and focuses on environmental awareness. People spend a lot of time in their
cars and breathe in polluted air, and we have done a study that dust stays in
the air for about 10 days, so if there is dust in your car it will stay there
for about 10 days. So we have come up with this car air purification system,
which is very unique because it has three filters in it. We have a pre–filter
which gets rid of heavy particles like human hair and pet hair. We have
hepa-filter that removes pollen and dust from air. The third one is Hesa-filter
which removes harmful chemicals in the air in the cabin of your car. There are
many options where you can mount it on the dashboard, behind the driver or
passenger seat. It is a small device and comes with an air quality indicator
and it does not require any additional wiring as it is just plug-and-play.
Philips talks about sense and simplicity in their products, these are very
simple to use products.
Where are these products
Automotive products are imported from Europe and China.
We are investing a lot in plants in China where we have two new plants. We also
do partnership where we come up with the design and the partner manufactures it
as per our specifications.
Are you setting up any
green-field facility in India?
We have nothing
concrete as of now.
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