Homegrown Lumiford has carved a niche for itself as a premium lifestyle brand focussed on building futuristic products with innovative new-age technology. Offering Bluetooth speakers, earphones, headphones and smart televisions, Lumiford caters to the young generation that believes in products designed for style, comfort and quality. Abhijit Bhattacharjee, CEO, Lumiford, speaks more about the company and its ambition to make it global, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:
How’s the brand Lumiford positioned itself in a hyper-competitive market like India?
Our goal is to create a unique impression in the customer’s mind so that the customer associates something specific and desirable with Lumiford that is distinct from the rest of the marketplace. Our unique and stylish products with premium quality have already started making deep inroads into the market. In the coming months, as the season starts, we are sure that our products will be present in thousands of more households providing a rich experience for all the customers.
Among the product categories that you offer, which one is the dominant vertical for Lumiford?
Lumiford speakers and televisions are our key products. The acceptance rate and reviews of these products are phenomenal. The market request for a repeat order is a clear identification of the positive perception that the products have generated.
How do you ensure the quality of your products? Any plan to expand your product portfolio?
To mitigate the quality risks and costs involved in sourcing, we follow certain actions that have proven successful in defining and maintaining quality on each product that has been launched to date.
The steps that we follow are:
- Scheduled and timely audit of all potential and existing suppliers
- Develop product criteria/specifications in line with the market requirements
- Test the products from the conception to the prototype stage to ensure that the performance of the product is in line with the product criteria.
- Inspect throughout production
- Always keep focusing on support and continuous improvement
Controlling quality by utilizing product inspections throughout the production cycle has helped us reduce sourcing risks and cost.
As far as expansion is concerned – yes, the roadmap has already been set for the new set of products that are to be introduced for the next two years.
How has been the response of your products so far, online as well as offline?
Today, customers expect relevant content anytime, anywhere, and in the format and on the device of their choosing. It is their journey that dictates your strategy. In order to keep up with this new kind of “always-connected” customer, the business must embrace technology to deliver an unmatched, seamless customer experience. Fortunately, putting the customer first is already at the center of Lumiford as a principle strategy.
Hence, the response has been exceptionally good with many products running out of stock within 3-4 months of launch. The response has been equally good on both the online and offline platforms.
Which are the areas from where maximum demand is coming for the Lumiford products in India?
We have seen higher number of sales in South and West India. In line with this demand, the organization has placed plans to develop the customer base zone-wise for slow and steady penetration.
What is your approach to the after-sales service which remains an issue for the majority of tech players?
There is no denying the fact that after-sales service is important to our business. The quality of after-sales service will either enhance or degrade customer loyalty to a brand and its business. With the economy in recession, customers have more alternatives than ever. The team at Lumiford focuses on timely delivery, installation of the product, issue of warranty, service quality, feedback, customer satisfaction, and customer relationship management.
Strategies and analyses are regularly carried out to check and improve Service Loyalty, Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, and Customer Relationship Management. The service team collects feedback from every customer to check for any challenges/grievances faced and to ensure that there is a positive perception of the brand in the mind of the customer which shall pave way for many more customers as well as for repeat purchases.
Please tell us something about R&D and innovation at Lumiford?
At Lumiford, we are aware that constantly capturing the attention of customers and to be above the competition by providing innovative products will be a continuous activity that has to be followed religiously. Backed by innovation and cutting-edge technology, the latest, trendiest and coolest designs can uniquely position Lumiford in both the market and consumers’ minds.
Research and Development plays a critical role in the innovation process. R&D embodies a long-term vision of Lumiford and its strategy when innovation operates more in a short-term economic model of the company. Currently, we have an inhouse expert R&D team both in India and China who work on new products and design.
What are your outreach and investment plans for India?
The Indian consumer durables and electronics industry is expected to grow at about 9% over the next 4 to 5 years. India’s overall retail opportunity is substantial and coupled with the demographic dividend (young population, rising standards of living, and upwardly mobile middle class) and rising Internet penetration, we are seeing a strong growth in the sector. The Indian government’s ambitious Make in India project is expected to boost the local manufacturing in the country. Lumiford also has major plans to establish its own manufacturing and testing establishments in Telangana to sell its patrons the most innovative products produced in the country. Having aware of the cost of setting up a manufacturing facility, Lumiford has prepared the necessary strategies to raise the necessary funds for this project.
|“The Indian government’s ambitious Make in India project is expected to boost the local manufacturing in the country. Lumiford also has major plans to establish its own manufacturing and testing establishments in Telangana to sell its patrons the most innovative products produced in the country”|
Can you please tell us about your international ambition and roadmap?
Lumiford desires to grow as a reputed international brand, meeting high international standards of technology, product quality, and consumer experience. We have geared to address both domestic and international on-line and off-line retailing.
Once the brand is established across the country, there are plans to start our sales and operations in Bangladesh, USA, and Canada and further expand to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Dubai, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Counterfeit products pose a major threat to electronics companies. How do you deal with them and what is your advice to the people to do away with those fake products?
Counterfeit products are not only harmful to a brand’s economy, but also to each individual as well. It is important that consumers understand the multi-faceted complexities of counterfeit markets: the economic impact on businesses, the enormity of counterfeit Internet sales, and the significance harm such counterfeit products can produce resulting in health and safety issues. Lumiford shall constantly keep its vigil and spread the word about the harm caused by counterfeit goods. The only way to put an end to the fast-growing market of counterfeit products is to make people stop purchasing these products. Without revenues or support, counterfeit sales will decrease and force the fraudulent criminals out of business.
The emergence of IoT has opened a new avenue of growth for many tech firms. Do you have any plans to leverage this trend?
With the emergence of IoT, the evolution of products into intelligent, connected devices that are increasingly embedded in broader systems and are radically reshaping companies and competition. Products continue to evolve long after entering service. The relationship a firm has with its products and with its customers is becoming continuous and open-ended.
Connected products are changing how companies work, supporting technology infrastructure, monitoring data and remote-control capability creates new opportunities for optimization. Products can now learn, adapt to the environment and user preferences, service themselves, and operate on their own.
Lumiford, too, has innovative in-built Alexa feature in the products. The products are technology-driven and have specifications and features that are unique, patented, and providing the best customer delight and experience.