BPL launches LED lantern for rural market

bpl imagesLighting solutions company BPL Techno Vision on Thursday launched its rechargeable Light Emitting Diode(LED) lantern ‘BPL Chirag’ for the domestic rural market.

In first phase, the product has been launched in Uttar Pradesh due to its large geography and rural household base.

The Bangalore-based company is aiming to sell 20,000 units per month, BPL Techno Vision chief operating officer (COO) K Vijaya Kumar told Business Standard on the sidelines of the launch.

On choosing Uttar Pradesh for national launch, he said the state was the biggest market in India with largest village base.

“In the second phase, the product would be introduced in other geographies, including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa,” he informed.

The product is being marketed as a reliable lighting solution for the rural hinterland, where the availability of power is both erratic and of shorter duration.

“Chirag only needs four hours of charging for five hours of light. Our unique technology allows it to charge even during fluctuating power,” he said.

The company hopes that Chirag would enable rural households switch from kerosene and other crude lighting options to it. The product has been indigenously developed at BPL’s research and development (R&D) centre in Bangalore.

Kumar said the company would also explore the possibility of firming up alliances with the panchayat-level bodies to market Chirag in the rural areas.

In Uttar Pradesh, it would be marketed through 40 distributors and 2,000 retail outlets, which would be backed up by its service network. Rural product displays/demonstrations and personal marketing route would also be harnessed by BPL. Chirag has been priced at Rs 849 apiece.

“We would consider tie-ups with local NGOs and self help groups (SHG) to enable our product penetrate the markets deeper,” Kumar added.

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