Light becomes a new intelligent language

Light becomes a new intelligent language

Interview with Razvan Copoiu, CEO, Signify SEE

Q: You  have  recently  joined  Signify,  world  leader   in   lighting   solutions,   as   CEO   for   Romania  and  SEE,  right  in  the  middle  of  the   “pandemic   storm”.      How   did   you   find   the   company, how was 2020 regarding its evolution and what are your objectives for the end of this year?

R.C. I  have  joined  Signify  in  a  period  when  important  milestones were achieved within the company: on this September Signify achieved carbon neutrality and set course to double its positive impact on the environment and society. More than that, Signify adapted extremely fast  to  this  new  reality  and  came  up  with  efficient  solutions  to  meet  growing  disinfection  demand  with  investments in UVC lamps. So, 2020 was a year full of achievements   for   the   company.   For   the   following   period my objective is the continuous growing  of the business,  both  strategically  and  operationally,  as  well  as maintaining the company's position as THE industry leader in the field of IoT and Industry 4.0, and of course, introducing new innovative solutions to all 11 markets of the South Eastern Europe. I  am  truly  convinced  that,  as  light  becomes  a  new  intelligent  language,  we  will  redefine  what  light  can  do  and  how  people  could  use  it  in  new  ways,  undeveloped so far.

Q: What has been the impact of the corona-crisis  over  the  lighting  industry?  What  segments were most affected and which ones, if any, thrived during this period?

R.C. The lighting industry has been definitely affected by the  corona  crisis,  but  only  on  certain  segments:  retail  and  hospitality  have  been  most  affected  by  this  pandemic  as  they  put  on  hold  all  investments,  including   the   ones   that   involved   new   lighting   systems. The same in the case of office buildings – as most  employees  started  to  work  from  home,  the  investment   were   put   temporary   on   hold.   The   Consumers  products  market  remained  at  the  same  level as before, but we managed to still grow in this segment   by   gaining   more   market   share   due   to   investments  in  e-commerce  and  online  channels.  Our  smart  home  system  –  Philips  Hue  –  had  the  biggest growth.  Another segment that is growing is the  segment  of  public  lighting  as  European  funds  were allocated before the pandemic started.

Q: As a leader in innovation, which are the market  challenges  that  Signify  faces  in  the    most    creative    way,    placing    the    company among the best in its field of activity?

R.C. Signify  is  leading  the  technological  revolution  in  lighting systems in both professional and consumer markets,  while  continues  to  innovate  and  develop  sustainable solutions. Our position as the industry leader  in  connected  lighting,  makes  Signify  the  lighting company for the Internet of Things (IoT).Our energy efficient lighting products, systems and services enable our customers to enjoy a superior quality  of  light,  and  make  people’s  lives  safer  and  more comfortable, and businesses more productive and cities more livable.Also,   bringing   the   IoT   architecture   inside   our   systems,  and  connecting  to  a  cloud-based  data  system – Interact – brings the lighting systems into a  full  integration  with  all  the  rest  of  the  Smart  AI  solutions.As  a  really  innovative  solution  we  can  talk  about  Trulifi,  a  solution  provided  by  Signify  which  I  am  sure will gain more and more interest in the nearest future. Trulifi means Internet through light – to be more  specific,  a  lighting  appliance  can  provide  Internet when you are nearby. The main advantages of this solution is that it is reliable, fast and secure.

Q: Signify    has    numerous    and    various    innovative     solutions     for     different     industries    to    increase    productivity,    sustainability, or even safety, using light. Did the sanitary   crisis   reveal   new   opportunities   for   further developments?

R.C. Over  the  past  35  years  we’ve  developed  strong  UV-C  application  expertise.  It  has  allowed  us  to  develop  a  broad  range  of  effective  UV-C  lamps,  luminaires,  devices,  control  systems  and  services.  These can be used in a variety of air, surface, object and water disinfection applications.Definitely – the latest development in this direction was  to  create  UVC  disinfection  device  series  that  allows  for  the  disinfection  of  the  air  in  a  closed  space,  while  ensuring  that  day-to-day  business  or  private activities can continue underneath the area where the device is active. This is a very important achievement  as  it  can  bring  major  changes  in  the  way this pandemic will evolve – bringing this kind of  devices  in  public  transport,  supermarkets  or  other  public  places  could  reduce  dramatically  the  spread of this virus.

Q: Which  are  the  top  5  priorities  on  your  CEO  agenda  today?  Did  this  pandemic  crisis   shift   your   business   strategy   or   priorities in any way?

R.C. The  top  priorities  are  of  course  oriented  to  the  safety  of  our  employees  and  to  improving  people  lives  during  these  difficult  times  by  offering  them  smart  solutions  like  UV-C  disinfection  devices,  or  Hue home light control systems.Another big priority is smart city. And smart cities mean  not  only  smart  buildings,  but  also  smart  outdoor which would be of course energy efficient but  could  also  have  a  great  contribution  to  the  safety of streets and other public areas. I will name one more, very close to my heart, which is bringing to light all the important architectural monuments across Romania.

Q: We    are    crossing    a    period    full    of    challenges   and   changes.   How   do   you   prepare for a permanent shift in working relationships? How did remote work impact your activity and how do you see this evolution?

R.C. We were forced to adapt rapidly to this new reality and the only thing we can do is learning to live with it as long as it is necessary. On the other hand, for our  business  it  means,  of  course,  that  we  have  to  see what changes happened in the life of our clients and how we can adapt to their needs. In times like these, we must act quickly and make the best of it. On a personal level, like for most of my colleagues, I had to adapt and try to be as productive possible, but also help the team achieving their best results.

Q: From    your    experience,    what’s    your    „Focus on ... “advice for the managers of local  companies  during  this  challenged  period?

R.C. My  advice  for  the  managers  of  local  companies  would be to adapt and keep going no matter what, to  identify  the  market  needs  and  reinvent  their  services or products if necessary.

You can also consult the interview in the document below: