In his current role, Jasmeet Bhatia, Strategy Marketing Leader, Buildings, Honeywell Building Technologies India, leads a team of 20 experienced Marketers in a high growth region of India/South Asia, owns Revenue & Gross Margin of a large SBU and manages 15+ Brands. Within Honeywell, Jasmeet has managed multiple roles involving all aspects of marketing including product marketing, channel marketing, strategic marketing and pricing. Excerpts of an interaction with him:
- What can you tell us about the launch of voice alarming system?
Honeywell is multi-billion dollar American company; we are into multiple businesses like aerospace, refineries and building technology. All the CCTV systems, fire alarm systems and public address system, the speakers there on the ceiling and the fire detector, those come from Honeywell. We are very well entrenched into the building ecosystem which includes hotels, commercial offices, stadiums or any type of building. And within that we are one of the leaders in all the categories and since we are already doing well into the building ecosystem, we wanted to expand our business portfolio.
There is one portfolio of Public Address Voice Alarming System called PAVA. So that essentially goes along with our largest suite of Safety and Security offerings. But we wanted to expand and go beyond that and do the professional audio world. We already have all the ingredients to succeed there. We just wanted to enter there with the right portfolio. We used our Global Engineering Centre and we have come out with this portfolio Pro Sound. Pro Sound is essentially the Professional Audio market. Behind the fire detecting, there is a speaker installed. So these are all connected, speakers help in making announcements to evacuate. So we are in the audio sector for almost thirty-forty years. We’re now entering the GSM market of professional audio. We are entering into a space which includes equipment for DJs to stadiums and big concerts.
- Are you manufacturing these equipments on your own?
Yes, the technology is owned by us.
- What are the industry segments you are targeting?
We have three product range in the series:
- ProZeta which is more useful for travelling, for the people who want to carry the sound with them and perform for a 50-100 audience.They are easy to install and play as well.
- ProAlpha series is meant for nightclubs with loud thumping music or conference rooms, where there is smaller audience.
- ProZoe series caters to high directivity requirements such as a 3000-4000 capacity auditorium and stadium zone. These speakers provide much better sound quality.
- What is the customers’ feedback?
We received an extremely positive feedback for the products and have already got a lot of orders. Even before we made this official announcement today we received some active leads through our diverse network of channel partners. The feedback has been very positive throughout all the verticals mentioned. We are just waiting for them to install and use the products, post that we will start building the case studies around them.
- What is the kind of competition and what is the growth you project in this segment?
It’s true that there are multiple established players in the market currently. However, at Honeywell, we pride ourselves on our customer intimacy, channel reach and quality of products that we launch. Our ProSound portfolio is receiving great response. Some of the products have already been implemented at some of the leading clubs, educational and commercial establishments in India. We are confident that the speaker range will prove to be a premium offering for our discerning customers and its cutting-edge innovation, superior quality, uncompromising safety, and extraordinary sound performance, will resonate well with the industry. The Honeywell Building Technologies team will also give expert engineering support to our partners for large projects to ensure that it differentiates itself from competition.
- Who are your main competitors?
We do not believe that we have any direct competitors in the market. This is because there is no other company which has such diverse portfolio and the kind of channels, reach and sales. Our strategy of reaching out to the customers is very different from the other players present in the market. As we are already there in the building ecosystem and the customers are already experiencing Honeywell’s quality products, this is just an extension of that.
- Have you been operating in India before?
In this category, we’ve been in India for almost 20-30 years. We started as TATA Honeywell and then we expanded into multiple business lines. We have our own manufacturing facility and R&D in India. We have more than 5 factories here. We’ve been in India for eight decades. We know DNA of the buildings inside and out.
- How have you been evolving your technology to match needs of today?
The consumers are getting smarter. And that’s why you see that increasingly all the systems are getting connected and that’s why we are also making a portfolio which is connected to each other. For example where there is a multi-building project, they want one central command station where they’re able to manage the fire safety, CCTV, Access Control as well as the audio. For that to happen, all your systems need to be connected and that is what Honeywell is providing.
- What is the scope for Smart technology and Artificial Intelligence systems in this sector?
AI is a big actor when it comes to security. We are using the new technology of cloud-based solutions. That helps in better connectivity and cheaper products. We are in the forefront, as we have got very active products which are connected. Most of the major buildings where they’re already there we have a wealth of data resting on our cloud systems. We know how is the inside of a building, what kind of technologies they’re using. That has been done in the past, the history of that data on how it’s being implemented. We’re actually coming up with a portfolio which is intelligent. We can even predict what’s going to happen in the future. We are coming out with predictive analytics as well.
- Can you name some of the innovative technologies that you are coming up with?
Our ProSound range has three distinctive features – superior engineering, exceptional Honeywell quality and the channel presence. We have all the facilities available which can serve all the changes and needs required by the customers.One of the major feature is line away technology. It helps the people sitting in the front and the back row listen and hear the voice same.
Secondly, you do not require amplifiers separately in this. It has in-built amplifier. External processes or controllers are not required. The product is very highly sophisticated. We have also software integration for one of our series which helps to tune the software internally.
- Do you market your products only through channel partners or you sell directly as well?
Honeywell is a pure B2B company. One is our traditional installation. For example, if a 5-Star hotel wants to install products in their building they reach out to Honeywell and then we engage with the installer who does the entire process. So we don’t directly sell to any end users. Because we are purely B2B, so we always have a channel partner in between.
So the same end users are also talking to these channel partners. We will sell our professional digital solutions and we will sell the products to the channel partners. They will then install that in a big project. This is the installation game.
The second model that is there is the rental market. In events like Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Pooja, Diwali season, marriage season, there are big events happening. All of these events also require DJs and speakers. So those event companies do not buy the hardware, they rent it out from a distributor. So we will be doing both the models. We have channel partners for both installation and for rental.
- What is the geographical spread of the sales?
We are spread into 16 cities directly and more than 45 cities through the channel partners. We have a very strong technical support regionally.
- Do you have an online presence as well?
We have a B2B online presence, which is how our business model is.
- Do you have presence outside India or are you planning to expand?
Being an American company, Honeywell is present all over the world. But specific to ProSound, we first wanted to test it in the Indian market. This is an India-led initiative. India is very special as there are very few countries where you get this ingredient of local sales, local marketing, local technical support and local factory all together.
- Do you see any challenges in this expansion?
I don’t see any challenge. The market is big enough here. We are a big brand. And if you see all the macro-economic indicators, all is pointing upwards. Hospitality sector irrespective of global slump, is growing at 10 percent year on year, hotels are being constructed; Infrastructure is getting developed. There are new stadiums and metros which all require building technologies. As the infrastructure of India grows, so will this sector. And I think we are entering in this at the right time and with the right vision.
We have a comprehensive portfolio which is going to hit in every segment. We already have a lot of orders even before the official launch. The reach, quality, after sales service, everything together, Honeywell is at a good place.
- What about pricing?
It is not about one kind of pricing. It depends on the installation and size of the building, either in an auditorium or a stadium. We are not very over or down from our competition. The kind of package we bring is the right mix to offer the customers.