PROLITE AUTOGLO : Shedding Light on Infinite Safety
Prolite is in a rare breed of manufacturers and service providers who deal not so much in products, but on informing and educating people from all classes and levels of society on how each one of them needs to install emergency lights and signages to be safe and secure in their surroundings. Prolite is the first Emergency Egress Route Lighting Systems manufacturer to be a BIS Certified company in the domain. The company not only provides state-of-the-art Emergency lights, Photoluminescent Signages and Way finding products, but also imparts training to common people to be alert and aware of impending dangers, discovers Industrial Fire Safety Review in an interview with Harsha Joshi, CEO, Prolite Autoglo Limited Excerpts:
Q. How would you introduce Prolite to a new audience?
Prolite is a company with an illustrious history of 3 decades in the service of the people and the country. Today, we are the first EmergencyEgress Route Lighting Systems manufacturer to be a BIS Certified company in the fields of R&D, Manufacturing, Marketing and Maintenance in the country. Our USP is that we don’t just manufacture and sell state-of- the art Emergency lights, Photoluminescent Signages and Way finding products, but also educate and train common people to be alert and aware of impending dangers and help save lives in desperate situations.
Q. You pioneered the brand in India. What are the challenges you faced in selling the concept in the formative years?
Much like selling insurance, selling products that only come in use when lives are at stake in desperate situations is in itself a tough task. But we kept at it and joined forces with safety related services like the fire brigade to reach out and convince people of the critical importance of installing genuine and certified safe escape related emergency lights and signages and how fire accident and blackout situations are more common and frequent than we may like to believe. Gradually, people began to realise and we went from strength to strength. With the internet age, communication and knowledge dissemination spread its ambit and made our job a little easier.
Q. You make a plethora of emergency lights. What dictates the design of your lighting systems?
It’s not so much the design, but the utility and accessibility criteria that dictate the end product in emergency lighting. With spaces shrinking, especially in concrete jungles like big cities, there is a need to create more compact products though. Our unique product which we call conversion module, or consumer kit, is an example where we convert an existing light to double as an emergency light in blackout or power failure situations by installing an inconspicuous item that does not mess with the ambience of the room or space and yet perform like an emergency light.
Q. What is the significance of signages? What are the different types offered for varied applications?
You could probably write a book on that. From the ‘’keep off the grass” type of placards in the olden days to digital lighted signs, signages have come a long way. Prolite has arguably the largest volume and variety of signages available with any manufacturer globally. Warning signs, informative signs, directional signs, wayfinding signs, indicative signs and so many kinds are in day-to-day use. Our speciality however, are photoluminescent and photoreflective signages where they are visible to the naked eye in semi-dark or even pitch dark or smoky or foggy environments.
Q. What are the product innovations you have showcased in recent years?
We manufacture products which meet the criteria of the National Building Code and similar statutory regulatory bodies that cover the building construction segment. With changing times and threat assessments, we tweak our products to match the challenge. We have been twice voted most innovative company for our pioneering work. Our infinite range, conversion module and flame-proof lights are some of our specialized products that are very much sought after.
Q. What is unique about your Egress Route Lighting Systems?
From the EXIT light to the hanging to the embedded, we are the only company that manufactures such a large range of certified and approved egress route lighting products. Here too, innovations come into play depending on the nature of the construction, the nature of threat perception and other factors. Sometimes, we also need to manufacture products to client specifications because egress route safety lighting is not a “one size fits all” subject.
Q. Please enlighten us on your manufacturing facilities and wherewithal.
That, I’m afraid is a ‘no fly’ zone as some trade secrets need to be kept under wraps as you may understand. However, suffice to say we have a sprawling factory at Wada and other smaller locations where we manufacture in-house, all our products without any outside imports as we are a true ‘Make in India’ entity.
Q. Who are your major customers? Do you also export your products?
As per NBC rules, all enclosed spaces, without exception, need to install egress route paraphernalia. So be it buildings, housing colonies, business establishments, high rises, godowns or any other, our products are required by almost everyone. Today, we are also a major exporter and we are already exporting to 33+ countries including Middle East, South Asia and others.
Q. What’s your roadmap for growth?
Our business comes under essential services in a sense, so we do not need to compile a separate roadmap for growth as such. However, we do have plans to spread our wings worldwide and that movement is very much on.
Q. So, how would you sum up your contribution to the safety sector?
In our business, we are in perpetual “Work-in-progress” mode. Global warming and climate change have hugely made things tougher for everyone in the safety business. With fire safety regulations being flouted left, right and centre, even by people who are supposed to know better, we are always under pressure of sorts to deliver a 24×7. I would only say that as people get wiser our work gets a little easier. That is why a great part of our job is to educate, inform and train both seasoned professionals and the man on the street alike, about safety and first response protocols in desperate moments. This we do through seminars, presentations, lec-dems, etc. whenever and wherever we get the opportunity.