Rujul Angadia on Lighting Solutions through his Green Enterprise “Angadia”
Angadia Enterprise is a manifestation of the hard work and determination of a budding engineer. Rujal Angadia, when he was hardly into his third year of engineering at NIT Surat, came up with a breakthrough technology in the field of lighting. He came up with highly efficient lighting solutions and made waves in the local media. Having the entrepreneurial Gujarati blood in him, this lad hailing from Surat was soon to pounce upon the opportunity and opened up a company providing lighting solutions. To shed more light on this start up, yourstory caught up with Rujal and here are the excerpts:When was Angadia Enterprise started?
Officially we launched Angadia Enterprise on 14th Mar'10 on the first day of an international industrial expo named UDYOG'10 where we exhibited our offerings as part of initial test marketing activities
Why did you start Angadia Enterprise?
This field has a lot of potential to tap and I did not want to miss the opportunity. I was mid-way through the third year of Electronics Engineering when we set out with the offerings of LED based lighting solutions and I did not want to leave it at that.
Tell us about Angadia Enterprise in detail.
Well, it’s a start-up engaged into manufacturing of LED based lighting solutions for Commercial, Industrial, Roadway & Residential segments. It can customize the solution as per specifications due to in-house manufacturing. It recently completed its first operating year with revenues in excess of INR9L.
How do you plan to gain/maintain traction?
We have numerous competitive edges in the lighting industry. Today with the advent of technology the number of possibilities has enormously increased. Hence we target those applications which can be best accomplished if tailor made. And customers are willing to pay that extra premium to manufacturers for reliability and soundness of the solutions they offer which we certainly do.
Give us an idea of the size of the market that you are targeting? What portion of it are you looking at capturing and by when?
Indian lighting industry is presently estimated at nearly INR 6000Cr out of which LED represents 15% of the total market size which comes to be INR 900Cr. We are planning to capture 1% of this size within next 3 operating years tentatively. Again our main focus is to grab as much market share as we can even if our profit margins are under pressure. We aspire to be one of leading lighting solution provider in India at par with Philips,Osram & GE in future.
What is your outreach model?
We wish to utilize the already existing distribution channel of giants for promotion of our products to the customer base. Initially we would offer lucrative selling margins; much higher than that by other players to the dealers. We would also cut our margins for initial period to grab good market share. This would also give us an edge on the pricing factor and make our proposition stronger. Gradually with sales moving up and brand getting more and more recognized, the selling discounts would be reduced with reduction in dealer margins. We would also use exhibition, trade show and seminars for better outreach to the target customers.
While designing a particular luminaire, one needs manufacturing expertise with engineering know-how from Optical, Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics field. We also need to consult architectural experts that can guide us for better aesthetics. After consulting these experts, we need to check the economic viability of the complete manufacturing process used for mass production of the design. So the biggest challenge we faced was lack of experience in the lighting industry. Also we worked hard to get the taste of Architects and Interior Designers for various lighting applications. Other challenges that we met were common to all start-ups i.e brand credibility. It was difficult to compete with established lighting barons such as Bajaj, Crompton Greaves, Havells, etc solely on price basis. At one stage we were not even considered by ordinary dealers and traders of low cost light fittings.
Did you fundraise to startup? If not, are you looking at now?
I was able to successfully convince a private investor for seed funding of INR 15Lacs which we used from marketing to manufacturing. We build some prototypes of fixtures so as to gain expertise in the field. After the completion of first sample building we used to test market it through different channels for our better understanding of business dynamics of the industry. We also received working capital on being awarded with manufacturing contracts by our clients. We are now looking to enter new segments with full-fledged backing of capital. For that we need to pump in more investments into the start-up and are looking for the same from well-known venture firm or equity partner.
If you boot-strapped, how much capital was required to startup?
We tried to bootstrap but failed due to high initial R&D expenses.
How big is your team? Where are you based? Are you looking at hiring?
Currently, we are a team of 3 individuals from diverse backgrounds all of whom have been instrumental in the success till date. We had many colleagues working part time for us during the initial phase. We have hired staff on the project basis model which makes it flexible for both employees and employer to manage the ongoing works. We do not believe in hiring on time basis which may harm productivity and resources.
We will be looking to hire Commerce graduates, ITI / Diploma graduates and more in the near future.
Tell us about the strategic partnerships that helped you scale.
We are into strategic partnership with one of luminaire distributor that helped us to purchase components at low cost. We still look forward to exploit the potential of this tie-up with the dealer which may take months. We think that we need to achieve an appropriate class in the market for entering into JVs with bigger players.
Let us know your expansion plans.
We would be driving the vertical integration of our business structures by mid-2012 where we will have in house manufacturing of key parts of the luminaire. This would require immense capital and will also enable us to compete on pricing with the industry peers. We plan to foray into major lighting segments by 2012. Our sales would be driven by appointment of dealers in major cities across the nation. After successful accomplishment of targets we will diversify into Green Energy and Services provider. We also look to set-up Consultancy arm which would assist our clients in designing spaces from all categories.
What kind of support are you looking at from YourStory.in readers?
Improvement never ceases and that is what we look from the readers in the form of their valuable suggestions. Again we expect generation of leads from publicity of the article through word of mouth. We would be glad to assist if any of the reader would show interest in doing business with us. We fill up the web space at www.angadiaenterprise.com and my email id is firstname.lastname@example.org.