Cost effectiveness, technology upgradation and automation are the focus in our expansion plans and the new segments will be in tandem.
With an Associate Degree in Interior Design from Nassau Community College, New York and specialisation in Architectural and Interior design, Sharmila Kumbhat, Director, K-Lite Industries has established the company as the specialist in outdoor lighting applications. Even as an interior designer by profession, the entrepreneurial bug bit her hard at the early age of eighteen. While at the helm of Metal Craft – a leading manufacturing company of gates and grills – she bagged the best women entrepreneur award from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Brief us about your journey with K-Lite.
I was an entrepreneur in USA for more than seven years and was exporting machineries around the world heading K-Lite’s USA operations. Following my return to India to be directly involved with K-Lite’s growth, I have been helping in identifying and opening new avenues for the K-Lite Luminaires. Through quality and continuous innovation, I have been working towards placing the company as one of the best in premier lighting brands at a global level.
Inspired by “Make in India”, I led the launch of new series of LED architectural lighting. This included facade lighting, street lighting, pathway lighting, in-ground luminaire, up-down lighting, billboard lighting, vertical light bars, wall washers, area lighting poles and above all, popular sleek polar lighting solutions. The fixtures are designed to provide value technology, ideally suited to Indian conditions. The outstanding item of the series viz., sleek polar lighting solutions is a contemporary design both timeless and unique in its impression. Compact without visible mounting equipment and optimised integration, polar lighting is in continuity with the geometric lines of the square column. These assemblies are ideal for surroundings of contemporary architectural constructions.
Would you like to tell us about your achievements?
I received the World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017-18 Award in Dubai. The 4th edition of the award event was part of the Indo-UAE Business & Social Forum 2018 organised by URS-AsiaOne Magazine and URS Media Consulting P.L and was presented in Dubai. This award coupled with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) award is a recognition to K-Lite’s contribution towards lighting industry in India and across the globe. Some of the prestigious bollard/post top luminaires from K-Lite, designed with my vision, such as Juno, Ajna and Vera were awarded India Design Mark Award.
Discuss about K-Lite’s most esteemed projects.
Some of the most prestigious lighting projects executed over the last three years include Heritage Lighting Systems in Varanasi (Drive Way Orna Lighting Poles with various heights and with Pelican Fort LED luminaire of different sizes ), Golden Temple and Hall Gate area in Amritsar – GMADA Project (Drive Way Orna Lighting Poles Double bracket with Pelican Fort LED luminaire with golden coloured decorative embellishments) and flood lighting of the shrines, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority – Highways Projects: (Dragon Model Lighting Poles with LED Street Lights), Amar Valley Road Project and Ram Niwas Garden in Jaipur: (Pelican Lighting Pole with LED Luminaire), Souriyan Kuppam Bridge, Pondy (Knotty Lighting Poles with luminaires).
Proximity of Indian Railway’s most prestigious Passenger Coach Building Unit, Integral Coach Factory, and K-Lite’s capability to manufacture and test the custom-built luminaires enabled K-Lite to be in the forefront of their developmental activities and cater to the luminaire requirements of prestigious Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, “Palace on Wheel” EMUs, Kolkata-Metro and above all the latest Delhi Metro (DMRC), Jaipur Metro, Bengaluru Metro and Sri Lankan Railway coaches.
Where are the trends in lighting headed?
Lighting is a trend which can be seen in outdoor lighting without boundary, all the more. From mere utility and functionality, to having bright light and being able to see, trends in lighting design have evolved. The trends have moved towards minimal, linear wall lighting and pendant lighting, which are easy ways to add a touch of cosmopolitanism without diluting existing aesthetic.
When it comes to lighting trends, there is no getting away from smart lighting. Smart lighting means controlling light in a whole new way, and customising it to specific tasks and moods. We are going to see more of smart lighting in future, and more of us will be integrating the same into our homes to some extent. The biggest trends in functional lighting include more comfort and flexibility. This means that going ahead, we will see an increased focus on customising light to particular situations and needs. We will see smarter, more flexible and less expensive solutions in the market.
As for the interior and façade lighting, trend that will characterise functional lighting in 2019 is the higher lumen output in built-in spotlights, which will allow for a sharper and stronger light. For outdoor lighting, the trending is expected to focus mainly on effects and flexibility, and the lamps will be more and more designed with the intention to create a variety of light and shadow effects. The flexibility area is addressed in the form of app-controlled lights and electricity-independent lamps.
Explain the process of converting a lighting design concept into completion
Being a one-stop solution for converting a lighting design concept into completion, we have our long-term association with the Integral Coach Factory. Whenever they have something new in lighting to be designed and converted into a complete sample, K-lite has been with them. When railways introduced the RDSO specification for LED luminaires, the salon lights and other fixtures were developed by K-Lite, tested to their spec and supplied in good quantities. Almost all metro coaches carry our luminaires only. This is possible due to the strong design team with the CEO, who is a mechanical engineer with forty years of hands on experience himself as the head of the team. This team has the backing of the entire manufacturing facility with nearly 750 employee
Going ahead, is K-Lite eyeing any new segment for expansion?
Yes. K-Lite’s mission is to be the number one manufacturer in India with their quality commitment. Considering this, we are expanding our manufacturing facilities in Chennai as well as in Bhopal units. We are keeping in mind the way scenarios changed as evident in the changeover to LED luminaires from the FTL / MV regime, and how it affected the original manufacturers and the domination of traders through cheap imports, resulting in the closure of many manufacturing units. Cost effectiveness, technology upgradation and automation are the focus in our expansion plans and the new segments will be in tandem with that.