India: Highest priority for customers is product quality and/or durability

A report of Lighting Asia/India Program looks at the presence of off-grid electric lighting products in conventional retail supply chains in Bihar and Odisha states of India. Baseline information for this study was collected in February and March 2013. While large populations in Bihar and Odisha live off-grid, there are significant differences in geographical and socio-economic conditions between the two states. This makes them a representative cross-section of the off-grid lighting market in India.

Two of the lessons learned:
According to retailers, the highest priority for customers is product quality and/or durability.
The number of hours a light can be used each day and the retail price (and corresponding potential savings over existing lighting methods such as kerosene lamps) were the second and third highest priority customer concerns. These were followed by brightness of the light, type of charging mechanism, and warranties.

Market sizing analysis show a thriving local economy for off-grid lighting products.
Around 990 off-grid lighting products are sold in the three towns of Junagarh, Masaurhi, and Khusrupur every month. Assuming that the low-cost products last for around three months on an average and monthly sales are sustained at this rate, the quantity sold would mean that roughly 20 percent of households in these towns use these products. This estimate suggests a relatively high penetration of off-grid lighting products, given that the technologies are quite new. However, while the sales numbers are reasonably high, the revenue associated with these sales, about Indian rupees 150,000 ($800.90) per month, is low due to the low average price of the products. Further, given the high failure rates of the products, they can be considered consumable items that are replaced often, rather than durable goods. Anecdotal evidence from retailers shows that the increased availability of warranties would increase customer faith in the products. This, in turn, could lead to increased sales volumes.

Source: Lighting Asia/India Program, Market presence of Off-Grid Lighting Products: Insights from a study in Bihar and Odisha (

Download the full report here.

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