Orient Electric Limited, a one-stop provider of electrical lifestyle solutions, is an established market player, and its growth is characterized by its smart and timely leveraging of ongoing success for new launches and ventures. The brand presence of Orient is solidified by Mr. M.S. Dhoni being its brand ambassador. Adding to the series of expansions, the company ventured into the wires and cables segment in 2022. In conversation with Wire & Cable India, Mr. Puneet Dhawan, Executive Vice President & Business Head (Lighting, Switchgear & Wiring Accessories), highlights the company’s journey, and robust market and product strategy. He shares how the company adapts itself to changing times and customers’ needs and applies its networking and distribution channels toward the expansion of its market share and presence. In his words, OEL is the one-stop provider of electrical lifestyle solutions.
“Orient prioritizes mind-share gains over market-share gains. We have launched many integrated campaigns featuring our longstanding brand ambassador, Mr. M.S. Dhoni, to enhance our brand visibility and recall.”
Wire & Cable India: Walk us through Orient Electric, its history, achievements, and crucial milestones.
Mr. Puneet Dhawan: Orient Electric is a part of the diversified CK Birla Group, with a valuation of USD 2.8 billion. Orient Electric is a distinguished name in the consumer electrical space for more than 68 years and has established itself as a one-stop provider of fans, lighting, home appliances, switchgear, wires, and other electrical accessories. In the domestic market, we have a well-organized distribution network, reaching 1,25,000 retail outlets, and a strong service network, covering over 450 cities. Internationally, we have a strong marketing presence in more than 35 countries.
I am proud to share that we have successfully expanded our product offerings across categories over the years.
Leveraging on our strong brand identity for fans, which we developed over a long span of time, we forayed into the lighting business in 2008. As of today, we offer a diverse LED-centric portfolio covering diverse segments, such as home, office, retail, and industrial application. We have an established competence center, focusing on the electronics and design of drivers and PCB for LED products. In 2011, we ventured into the home appliances segment, offering a wide range of products including air coolers, water heaters, and other small kitchen appliances. In 2015, we stepped into the field of switchgear with a smart range of energy-efficient LV switchgear products, and in 2022, we forayed into the high-potential segment of wires and cables.
As a consumer-centric company, our focus is on bringing forward innovative products, which are healthier, safer, energy-efficient, and add convenience to everyday life. Our innovation spree is well demonstrated by first-to-market products, such as the EyeLuv series of health-centric lighting, energy-efficient fans & air coolers, silent Aeroseries fans, MCBs with SDB technology, Cloud 3 cooling fan with revolutionary Cloudchill technology, and Stella modular switches, among others.
We draw a sizable advantage from our proprietary production facilities at Noida, Faridabad, and Kolkata. At Orient Electric, business growth is consistently facilitated by R&D through developing new and upgraded products.
WCI: Can you elaborate on your existing market footprint for the wires and cables industry?
PD: We have an entrenched retail network in the country, and as we grow we continue to engage with last-mile selling points. For the wires business, we are aggressively working on establishing our channel in all the states and UTs across the country. We have our branch offices and local representatives in each state.
Our commitment to our retail partners lies in offering excellent service and competitive prices for our products.
WCI: What are the current market trends that are most beneficial to your expansion plans?
PD: The Indian wires and cables industry is estimated at about INR 65,000 crores, which is more than 40 percent of the whole Indian electrical industry. The industry is growing at a healthy pace, supported by expanding urbanization and strong infrastructure push by the Government, especially in Tier 2 & 3 cities. Moreover, consumers are becoming more involved in this category, and product quality and brand have become key considerations driving the growth of the organized segment.
The brand, Orient, is well respected and recognized across India, which will help us in driving growth in the wires and cables business. Furthermore, we develop our products with a focus on three defining aspects; safety, durability, and performance, and the response from our channel partners and customers have been encouraging.
WCI: Orient Electric has been recognized with awards like- ‘Most Trusted Brand of India 2023’ & ‘Prestigious Brands of Asia award’; MS Dhoni is your brand ambassador! How important is brand building for Orient Electric and what strategies do you adopt for staying ahead of the market curve?
PD: Every consumer company is built on its brand promise, a proxy to the value, reliability, and quality of the company’s products. At Orient, we have collectively resolved to prioritize mind-share gains over market-share gains, which places a huge emphasis on our marketing engine. Over the years, we have launched many integrated campaigns featuring our longstanding brand ambassador, Mr. M.S. Dhoni, to introduce and promote new products and enhance our brand visibility and recall. Our digital marketing component has also expanded over the years, which is in line with emerging consumer touch points. Our continued expenditure on digital mediums for brand building ensures us visibility and maintains brand salience.
We constantly work on integrating technology to enhance the consumer experience and present our products in innovative ways. We place a major emphasis on showcasing the right products and planograms at our retail counters, which allows customers to see, touch, and feel the product of their interest.
One approach that has been consistent in our advertising strategy is that we always connect a consumer benefit to a product feature, and present it in an engaging and relevant format to our customers. This serves our end goal; to create an emotional connection with our customers.
“I am proud to share that we have successfully expanded our product offerings across categories over the years. The addition of wires strengthens our switchgear & switches portfolio, consolidating our position as a one-stop provider of electrical lifestyle solutions to enhance our brand visibility and recall.”
WCI: What are your future plans for OEL’s wires business?
PD: The addition of wires strengthens our switchgear & switches portfolio, consolidating our position as a one-stop provider of electrical lifestyle solutions. Our plan is to scale up swiftly in this category, by introducing new products and channel expansion, backed by BTL and other marketing activities. We are regularly connecting and engaging with category influencers, including electricians and architects, as part of our ongoing efforts in channel strengthening. Given the increasing demand from real estate and other private sectors, OEL is looking at a good growth phase, going forward.