Signify Innovations India Ltd (formerly Philips Lighting India Ltd) expects sales to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels by Q3 of 2021 (July-September 2021) backed by a recovery in demand both in B2B and B2C businesses. The company follows the calendar year for accounting purposes.

According to Sumit Joshi, CEO and Managing Director, Signify Innovations – South Asia, the business is equally split between B2B and B2C. Under B2B, the company has a significant share of government business including architectural lighting, smart cities etc.

“During the first and second wave we saw a big slowdown in B2B business as a majority of corporate were working from home and the government was focusing on addressing the pandemic. But now the government is spending money on building highways and we expect growth to pick up,” Joshi told BusinessLine .

The company works with municipal bodies to upgrade their lighting under the Smart Cities mission. It has worked on projects with NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation), Pune (along with TATA projects), Varanasi and Naya Raipur municipalities. It has also partnered with Central and State governments and urban development bodies on several facade lighting projects such as Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North and South Block, Parliament House and Qutub Minar.

Signify’s B2C business was impacted with consumers delaying renovation or buying of new houses during the pandemic. Even the rural markets were hit badly. However, things have started improving.

“May was bad, but June things came back and July looks good. Things are coming back to normal so we expect to be back to pre-pandemic levels in Q3. We had already come close to the pre pandemic levels (in terms of sales) in Q1 (Jan-March) but then the second wave hit,” he said.

Innovation, diversification

Despite disruptions, the pandemic has also thrown open a lot of opportunities. It has shifted emphasis on the need for innovative products and solutions, he said.

With this in mind, Signify recently launched EcoLink air purifier with UV-C technology. The product is designed to purify and disinfect air and is equipped with a HEPA filter and UV-C lamps that help purify the air by removing dust, pollen and other particulate matter and also inactivates airborne pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2.

While Philips is the market leader in the lighting segment in both B2B and B2C categories, EcoLink was launched by Signify as a value brand in 2019.

The company had, earlier this year, expanded the EcoLink portfolio by introducing a range of fans and is now looking to grow its footprint in the electrical goods segment by launching air purifier in the country.

“It (air purifier) is a new category but there is definitely a need not only at home but also in offices. The normal air purifier market in India is pegged at around ₹100-150 crore and we expect to get a sizeable share of the market,” he said.

The company aims to make EcoLink a ₹500-crore brand by 2023. It has already crossed ₹100-crore mark in the first year of launch.

“While Philips will continue to be our biggest brand, EcoLink will help contribute to growth in a big way,” he added.