London: Noida-based Havells India, a company specialised in the manufacture and sale of electrical and power distribution equipment with an annual global turnover of $1.2 billion, opened its new European headquarters in London today with a view to expand business prospects.
“We are very bullish about the future prospects of business here,” Havells India Ltd Joint Managing Director Anil Gupta told PTI.
“While most of the companies are trying to cut jobs in Europe, we are actually looking at expanding our base here. In the last one year, we have hired 60 to 70 people in sales,” Gupta said, adding the company has 1,850 employees in Europe, including 300 in the UK.
He said earlier, the European headquarters of the company was in Germany, but it has been shifted to London, “where a lot of innovation is being done”.
The company which took over Sylvania, a failing business in 2007 and turned it around, has spent £6 million on Research and Development in the UK, he said.
“Havells is one of the largest and fastest-growing manufacturers of electrical components and systems in India, with a global turnover in excess of $1.2 billion,” he said.
“When we acquired Sylvania in 2007, a failing business for $600million, it was a big move for us because it was one-and-a-half times our size.
“It was followed by global economic crisis for two years as 70 per cent of Sylvania’s sales were in Europe and 30% in Latin America. The company incurred losses for two years. Undeterred we entered into a major restructuring programme and successfully completed it last year. Now the company is back into profit,” Gupta said.
Meanwhile, Havells India continues to do very well in India. Gupta said Havells India was in the No. 1 position in the domestic switchgear and cable and wire segments and one of the top three in the lighting segment.
Havells has four plants in Europe, one in the UK, one in Belgium, one in France, one in Germany, two in Latin America and nine in India, he said.
“We are focusing on energy efficiency products,” he said, adding that Havells Sylvania retained the Best Interior Luminaire crown at the Lighting Design Awards last week.
Concord, a part of global lighting manufacturer Havells Sylvania, was honoured with the Best Interior Luminaire crown for the second year in succession at the Lighting Design Awards, the heart of the architectural lighting industry here.
Meanwhile, Gupta plans to invite 500 of the company’s wholesale customers from India for a conference to be held at Grosvenor House here on May 3.
“The wholesalers can see the best practices being used in producing the latest electrical equipments here, which will help them sell in India better,” he said.