From making Diwali lights to a Rs 300 Cr turnover electricals company – the story of Vinay Electricals
At the age of 25 in 1968, Vinay Chheda made his way to Mumbai from Kutch in search of a better life. It was the time of festivals of lights, Diwali, when young Vinay reached the city of dreams.
While he was still searching for a business idea, the festive lights all around fascinated him a lot. He realised that the demand for the decorative lights was big in Mumbai. As he met many people in that period, someone suggested him to capitalise on the opportunity of Diwali lights/toran lights.
Talking to SMBStory, Dhiren Chheda, son of Vinay and a second-generation entrepreneur, says,
“My father didn’t take long to hit the possibility of making Diwali torans himself. He sourced a few raw materials locally and started manufacturing by investing capital of Rs 5,000 he got in his pocket when he left Kutch.”
Lady luck favoured Vinay and his business grew eventually. However, the business for decorative lights was seasonal and the cash flow was limited. To fulfil his big entrepreneurial dreams, Vinay had to venture into something new. Thus, he decided to enter into the electrical business and founded Vinay Electricals in 1975.
The journey from rags to riches
Vinay used to sell Diwali lights in the Loha market in Mumbai. After thinking of expanding his business, he set up a small shop in Marine Lines and started selling tube light chokes being manufactured in-house locally in a small manufacturing setup. Post its successful launch, the company subsequently expanded its horizon and launched light fittings, industrial fittings, and urea switches in 1981.
“My father had strong business acumen, and he knew that increasing the product portfolio by bringing innovation to the fore will help the business grow. Thus, in 1993, he launched one of India’s first double coloured polycarbonate switch range — Cozy Range,” Dhiren tells SMBStory.
Following Vinay’s footprints, Dhiren joined his father’s business at the age of 23 in 1997, and after two years, the father-son duo opened another manufacturing unit in Daman to initiate manufacturing of switches, wires, and cables.
Diversifying the product portfolio
The beginning of the 2000s ushered in plenty of change for the company. It launched ‘Corum Range’ of switches and plates by uniting a variety of new technologies in 2002, and a comprehensive range of modern light fittings and video door phones in 2005.
Over the past four decades, the company has expanded regularly into new spheres of business. One of the most prominent of these ventures was the launching of a glass plate and feather touch switch range in 2012.
Fueling the requisite to keep offering innovative products, the company in recent years has seen the valuable addition of quality switchgear products.
With smart homes gaining traction, Vinay Electricals successfully launched ‘Vibe Smart Homes’ earlier this year, which is designed and developed in India. Vinay Electricals have even tied up with real estate groups like the Ekta Group and the Hiranandani Group for their upcoming smart home projects.
With 6,000 dealers and 300 distributor network, Vinay Electricals also claims to have electrical fittings in Hyderabad and Belgaum airports. The company is even pitching for the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport. In fact, it has also installed switches in the rail coaches of the East Coast Railway.
“We have also started setting up our own cost and freight depots in different states across India to ensure smooth product delivery and better customer service to our customers. We have already set up such depots in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Kerala,” says Dhiren.
Vinay Electricals clocks over Rs 300 crore annual turnover.
Challenges and the competition
The quality and safety have been of utmost importance, which Vinay Electricals have strived to deliver relentlessly with its products, says Dhiren. He adds that the company does not consider any competition as it has been sustaining and growing steadily for the past 50 years while maintaining a strong market presence.
“We have always introduced products based on futuristic technologies, and we have always welcomed healthy competition, and we take competition as an opportunity to grow furthermore. It is just the unorganised sector that makes the situation challenging for the industry as a whole,” Dhiren says.
Vinay Electricals even came up with a programme ‘Sarathi,’ to empower the electrician community by helping them improve their skills and train them with the upcoming technology-based electrician work through Skill India Movement. To date, the company has organised 55 meets and has catered to 2,000 electricians.
The path ahead
Talking about the future goals, Dhiren says the company is keen to develop innovative technology and adding to the portfolio futuristic products with a proper blend of modern technology, and to adopt digital platforms as an effective business tool.
With smart homes being the next wave in the real estate sector, Vinay Electricals plans to expand and innovate its ‘Vibe Smart Home’ products. Further, it also plans to begin with the export by the end of this year, targeting the UAE and Bangladesh markets.
Edited by Suman Singh
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