This Chinese Company Has a Smart Strategy to Succeed in an Overcrowded Indian Market

For Yeelight, India is a very promising market as it has the second largest population in the world

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By Nidhi Singh

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China is home to some of the biggest lighting companies which are capitalizing on this large and fast-growing market. According to 2018 data from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Research, as China's economy continues to grow and living standards rise, mainland market demand for lighting products is also expanding.

In the past 20 years, China's lighting industry has been developing rapidly and the country has become the world's leading lighting producer and consumer. Some Chinese companies have also been extending their outreach to Indian consumers in recent years.

Taking a cue from this, Xiaomi-backed smart lighting company, Yeelight entered the Indian market last year. For Yeelight founder and chief executive officer Eric Jiang, India is a very promising market as it has the second largest population in the world. Jiang had always been fascinated with the idea of smart lights and used to think of ways to make it more interesting and accessible for everyone. After in-depth R&D, he decided to foray into this space and that's how he got his idea for Yeelight in 2012.

"I started with mapping the lighting industry and realized that the pace at which consumer's lifestyle is changing, there will be a huge demand for smart-lighting in future. At Yeelight, we aim to deliver a world-class lighting experience to the consumers at value price points," Jiang shared.

Finding Your USP

Today, for any startup standing out in a crowded market is tough. Jiang is not denying that he faces zero competition from international brands. He believes what differentiates his company from other brands is the products which are equipped with cutting-edge technology, certification, after sales service and most importantly price points.

"We always keep our consumers in the forefront and make tailor-made solutions for each market. Our internal research shows that a lot of consumers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region see Yeelight as a better alternative to their existing smart lighting products from well-established brands," he said. Yeelight has both WiFi and BLE (Bluetooth) lighting product package, and the WiFi products supports majority AI devices and IoT platforms in the world, such as IFTTT, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Naver, Clova, etc.

Understand Your Target Market

Every business has its own set of standard challenges. For Jiang, the biggest challenge he often faces is to cater to the needs of the locals.

"The regional players have a deep understanding of the needs and tastes of the locals and thus, pose a challenge for global brands like us. For instance, for the same smart led bulbs, the Indian market may need B22 series, while the US market may use BR30 more frequently and Europe users tend to use GU10," emphasized Jiang.

He realized that the only way to overcome this challenge and get a foothold in new market is to design the products in a manner that they suit the localized demands.

"We have strengthened our marketing research in the local markets and speeded up our new product development process," he added.

Smart Home Market Set to Grow

Many urban cities are picking up the concept of smart lighting. A Statista research finds that the revenue in the Smart Home market amounts to $ 869 million in 2018 in India, with an expected annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 61.4 per cent, resulting in a market volume of $ 5,901 million by 2022.

Though the current household penetration is 0.8 per cent in 2018, it's expected to reach 7.2 per cent by 2022.

According to Jiang, if you look at the application of smart hardware in the smart home system, lighting turns out to be the most widely and frequently used hardware in the smart home system.

"We cannot neglect the fact that smart home will to come to us, and for the end users, if they want to take some initial trail for smart home, smart lighting is always a good and simple start. So we're not just simply cultivating the market, but also trying to do this at a good timing," he said.

Yeelight products are currently shipped to over 100 countries and regions in the world and the company is continuously expanding its global distributor footprint. "This year our primary focus is on the APAC region, and for the next year, we expect to find more reliable local partners in Europe and US," Jiang concluded.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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