Kolkata: India’s top dry cell battery maker Eveready Industries India Ltd sees bulbs, lamps and flashlights as key growth drivers, its top executive said.
The firm said it sells at least one billion batteries a year, making it world’s third largest dry cell battery manufacturer. “But going forward, battery sales are likely to be flat,” executive vice-chairman and managing director Deepak Khaitan said on Tuesday. The firm would, therefore, focus on selling flashlights, compact fluorescent lamps and incandescent bulbs. Eveready Industries expects revenues from sale of portable lights and lighting devices in the current fiscal to 31 March to be Rs170-180 crore, compared with Rs650 crore in revenues from batteries.
Power brand: Eveready Industries vice-chairman Deepak Khaitan. Subhankar Chakraborty / Hindustan Times
“Because most of these devices run on batteries, they could spur demand for our batteries, too,” Khaitan said.
Kolkata-based Khaitan family bought the battery business of Union Carbide India Ltd in 1994 and renamed it Eveready Industries.
They got rights to use the Eveready brand only in India; in the rest of the world, the brand is owned by US-based Energizer Holdings Inc.
To sell batteries abroad, Eveready Industries launched its own Lava brand, which hasn’t done too well. It still exports some of its products because it contract-manufactures for companies such as Toshiba Corp., but “batteries manufactured outside Japan don’t sell in the more lucrative Japanese market,” Khaitan said.
The company, which says it is the biggest maker of flashlights in South Asia, has in the meanwhile launched a number of other variants of portable lights for sale in rural areas. “These are doing very well,” Khaitan said. “We have also launched CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) and (electric) bulbs for the urban market...these, too,?are?doing well.”
The company currently outsources manufacture of some components of its portable lights to Chinese makers but Khaitan wants to make all of it locally. “It’s going to be cheaper... in some cases, our margin could double,” he said. In nine months to December, Eveready’s net revenue was Rs653 crore, almost the same compared with the same period in the previous fiscal year.