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Articles September - October 2023

Capturing The True Essence Of Sound New!

From Lewitt Audio's Pure Tube Microphone to Sennheiser's Profile USB Microphone, these studio microphones offer precise audio quality to the users and deliver crisp, clear sound. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Photo Feature: Studio Showcase New!

From A.R. Rahman's studio in Mumbai to composer Raag Sethi's first Dolby-compliant studio in Gujarat, PALM Expo Magazine's Studio Showcase features the latest studios in India. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mastering The Art Of Sound With Donal Whelan New!

Whelan talks to the PALM Expo Magazine Team and discusses his foray into the world of mastering, his unique experience at the PALM Conference 2023, and more. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Nx Audio Celebrates Two Decades Of Pro Audio Journey New!

Nx Audio completes 20 years of delivering pro audio products for the Indian pro sound industry. Read about Nx Audio's journey over the last two decades. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mumbai Studio Explores New Verticals With Genelec Monitors New!

The combination of Genelec Smart Active Monitors and digital audio interface delivered an ideal monitoring solution for BOING Recording Studios. read more

Articles September - October 2023

IRAA Awards 2023: Jury Reflections New!

Read about IRAA Jury's perspective on the bigger questions in the music industry - AI for music production, the status of mega consoles, & emerging trends in sound recording & mixing. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Gray Spark Audio Opens New Studio For Academy Students New!

PALM Expo Magazine Team talks to Ronak Runwal to explore how the newly-designed Studio D is poised to become a recording haven for the academy students. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Firdaus Studio: Building A Sonic Paradise For Recording Artists New!

The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman stands as a beacon of innovation in the music production industry. PALM Expo Magazine explores the making of the musical maestro's magnus opus in the recording landscape. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Naveen Deshpande Elevates Stand-Up Comedy with Bespoke Lighting Designs New!

Naveen Deshpande, a renowned lighting designer, made heads turn through his recent collaboration with India's leading stand-up comedian, Zakir Khan, during the latter's international tour. read more

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11 Questions with Rasesh Parekh

Intelligent and discerning Rasesh Parekh of Integrated Entertainment Solutions, one of the pioneer trading companies in the field of intelligent lighting & sound, on the growth of the lighting market in India, factors fuelling further advancement of LEDs and the distributor-brand connect.

Integrated Entertainment Solutions, Rasesh Parekh

1. In which segments do you see major growth for the lighting industry?

The live market has grown and will continue to grow, but unfortunately does not command the quality that it should, because of cheap imports from China. However, somehow or the other, it is going to take a correction at some point or the other because you can buy a cheap product, but over the long run it is not going to last and that’s where we see the correction coming. Anybody who buys a non-branded Chinese fixture, makes do with it, but over a period of time realizes the difficulty - it breaks down, does not work and his investment has gone down the line. When we talk about the install markets, yes they are growing slowly and steadily and it’s only a question of the economy of scale.

2. So the market does not understand quality?

The market does understand quality, but unfortunately when it is too late. A rental product earns the owner money after it has recovered the cost of the product, and overheads such as power, salaries, labour, transport etc., but if the product does not last till then? On the other hand compare, say a Robe. If you ask some of my clients, who have been buying Robe from years, they will say the plastic body has now worn out but everything else still works like a charm. Clients who buy quality products recover their money over-time and then every time it goes out, it just brings back cash on the table. A large number of my clients have grown big due to such investments. If you say I need 300 lights, they say I got it, and that is mainly because they consistently invested into those branded lights which have lasted them through all these years. So in essence, ‘Investment in Quality’ products is for long terms companies.

3. What are the key factors fueling the further uptake of LED?

LEDs are the future because of the fact that they have a long life, low power consumption and they are rapidly available. Also their power is increasing while cost is going down. Ten years ago, when we had installed LEDs in Amby Valley, they were quarter watt LEDs, but today 1000 watt LEDs are available. There is a huge difference in what it was 10 years ago. At one point in time we were talking about lighting niches and corners, but now we are talking about LEDs being able to light up entire stadiums. LED has been a game changer in most of the ways because it has done much more than what you had thought it would.

4. Are there manufacturing units in India?

Not really. Very few, if I may say so. Most of it comes from manufacturers abroad and assembled here. IES got into LEDs 10-12 years ago, but we restricted ourselves to manufacturing power supplies and decoders. Basically the back-end and the controls systems that will go with the LEDs. We are not that kind of company that can get into manufacturing, but we are definitely that kind of company which knows the hardware and software to manufacture the backend of it without which it will not work, and even today we supply that to a lot of companies. We are also the first company in India to bring in dimming in LED.

5. So there is a market for intelligent lighting in India?

Absolutely! In fact we are one of the countries where intelligent lighting is the need of the day because we have so much natural sunlight. Why are we using artificial lights? Why are buildings not designed in a way where you use maximum intelligent lights? It is the need, not only in terms of power saving, but also other aspects. The wavelength of daylight is far more conducive for your bio rhythms. Places which have very little sunlight have to resort to a lot artificial light, but in India we have all that naturally. So whatever we are saying is not just driven by commerce, it’s also driven by fundamentals like the need of the human being.

6. Is it important for IES to have so many brands to deliver to the Indian market?

Yes we have many brands - Robe, Avolites, Martin Audio, Lumenradio and more, but the entire product line is complementary to each other, and each company we have in our portfolio is a world leader in the technology that it provides. It’s not the cheapest, but they are top notch and win awards every year. These brands complement each other and allow IES to offer complete solution in the domain of Prolight and ProSound. IES stands for - Excellence. We have been around for nearly 20 years and we have always stuck to quality products with highest safety standards and norms.

7. When you say complementary, what exactly do you mean?

There just cannot be any area of conflict. For instance, let’s consider sound. We have Martin Audio and Electrovoice (regional dealer), and we have Penton speakers for public place announcements. Penton finds application at airports, railway stations, hotels etc. Since it’s a mass product, quality has to be good, but at a reasonable price. Where that range ends, is where Martin Audio begins. Similarly, Electrovoice has a active speakers options which is not offered by our other companies. IES deals in high end products, without compromising on quality and still we are able to offer them a solution.

8. When distributorship of products change hands, doesn’t it affect the brand as well?

The distributor is the brand custodian, but the brand owner is the company itself and the company has to understand whether that change is good for it or not. A company may have a compelling number of reasons for changing. Reasons from low sales or higher targets, change in company management/ ownership etc. Indian economy is growing and they want a bigger share of it but they don’t know really if the Prolight and Pro-sound markets in the high quality bracket are growing in that direction or not. When you read the papers, the market is buoyant, but when you go down to the ground reality and talk to the market it may not be there or is not willing to pay for quality products and services. Basically, there are market forces and each company does its best and decides who the distributor will be. Similarly the distributor also decides which product is really going to sell in the market. We have always enjoyed our relationship with the companies we represent and IES stands for not only excellence, but also integrity. All quality brands can suffer from counterfeits and fakes but with IES the company at least knows that the brand is safe and is being correctly represented to the right clients.

9. India being a price sensitive market, what is the demand for these international brands vis-à-vis the local India brands?

There is no Indian brand in intelligent lighting, from what I know of. If there is, there are one or two companies who manufacture the lower end of products, but there is no Indian manufacturer for the high end equipment. In terms of technology, there is nobody here. For instance, look at the wireless DMX from Lumen Radios. It comes from Sweden. There is not one single manufacturer of wireless DMX in India. Look at Avolites, but not a single large DMX console manufacturer in India. Literally across the list, the industry is not home grown. There is no manufacturer here and unfortunately there will be none because of the open policy with China where anything and everything is manufactured at a low cost.

10. But wouldn’t locally manufactured quality products be good for the consumers, who would then get them at cheaper rates?

That’s a question – would it be a cheaper rate? Because right now your competition is from China. Your competition is no longer from companies from Europe or USA, and if you can beat a product at a Chinese cost then you are talking. But the way our infrastructure, labor laws and demand and supply is set up, it’s not feasible. China is also able to offer cheap rates because of various factors like government intervention and China’s growth comes not only out of domestic consumption, it comes from exports. Their environment is conducive to it. So a. you need technology that is homegrown, b. the infrastructure for it should be present and c. R&D to the extent that we are actually able to beat other technologies. But we are far away from that. For any manufacturer to get into that area they have to see that kind of potential. Today even if any company in India says that they will start their own brand name, they will still probably buy it from China and maybe assemble it over here. Technology is a very fast driven product cycle race and I don’t think India is geared up for that kind of race, unless a similar scenario develops here.

11. What strategies is IES adopting to market your brands?

Pure excellence - service, support and giving the right products to the right projects. Solutions and not just Trading. We have a full fledged service center with all the spares. People who have been with us since a long time continue to stay with us because they know they can call Rasesh, Kekul and team IES at anytime. We have answered to our clients needs at very odd hours and provided support. There is a value to all of that. The ethos of our country is such that the client will call and say I want it tomorrow morning, and this is where support of our principal companies like Robe, Martin etc. comes in, where we too can reach them at odd hours and are offered support immediately. Having been here for nearly 20 years, our experience, market knowledge and trust that people have on us is our biggest assets.


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