Shobhit Bhasin, VP, MLS India, ET RealEstate

June 24, 2023

NEW DELHI: MLS India, which started as a component supplier in the year 2015 is betting big on the Indian lighting industry. The company did a business of $4.5 million in 2016 while in 2018 it closed around $17 million.

In conversation with Ankit Sharma of ETRealty, Shobhit Bhasin, vice president of the company said that in the next 2-3 years, he sees the industry growing more rapidly and they expect to reach around $20-25 million dollars. Edited excerpts:

How has been your growth in last one year?

We started as a component supplier in the year 2015 then in 2016 we did about the business of $4.5 million. Last year, we closed around $17 million. So that’s a very good expansion for us. In the next 2-3 years, we see the industry growing more rapidly and maybe we will reach around $20-25 million dollars.

How can Indian manufacturers compete at international level?

The only thing our country is lacking is basically the research and development (R&D) level. Mostly they try to emulate what is available in other countries and then try to make sort of a mixture of their own.

So that’s where we need to work rest everything is okay. The potential is right there and it’s increasing day by day.

What’s your take on the Indian lighting industry?

India has more potential than other countries as compared to Turkey, Middle East, Dubai etc because they have that kind of brand thing. If anything comes from Europe, they need something which is of Europe vendor or something. India does not have that limitation. Here anybody can come and anybody can go.

Has the lighting industry seen a slowdown?

Definitely that thing has affected our economy and lighting industry as well. From June 2019 we are seeing a lot of our customers are having inventories with them. They’re not able to sell into the market. So that has resulted into a little bit slow down that’s about 15-20% of the market right now.

We see that maybe by March or April 2020, right after Chinese New Year and our financial year closing we might see the revival of the market. They are also trying to move things. It’s not that they’re only stuck to residential but it is the major factor which pushes this lighting industry.

Right now, they are also trying for other infrastructure. But again, the government agencies are paying slow. Even the biggest company called EESL which was into tendering business they have also slowed down.

So that’s kind of a factor which is also affecting the overall growth in India because earlier until last year EESL was very aggressive, market was very good. Now EESL has slowed down that’s why the whole cycle is sort of stopped in-between.

Do you agree that Chinese products are cheaper than Indian products?

From a government point of view, this is what right but from a finish point of view, this is correct because our LED component is definitely cheaper in India than in China, but if you talk about the whole picture and other components, they are cheaper in China.

Basically, the finished product is cheaper in China even with the duties because they get a duty drawback that is VAT. If they give the same drawback to our customers in India, then the whole price goes down. The finished product is cheaper but the components are expensive.

Do you think government regulation is required for a level playing field?

Basically, I won’t be in favor of jumping right now because first we have to make our own supply chain for the same. If we are not having any raw materials for ourselves, how can we just put a stop to the country which is supplying.

I understand it is a very big setback but we need to make our own supply chain regular first. If we have all components then only the government can say lets put anti-dumping duty.

If we don’t have the backbone then how are we going to survive that’s the main thing but I don’t find any solution right now because only manufacturers have to come forward. They have to invest and even the government has to support to make the infrastructure here for industry to survive.

  • Published On Dec 5, 2019 at 10:00 AM IST

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