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Articles May - June 2019

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PR Lighting flexing its muscles globally

Starting operations from a 1,000 sq.mt., workshop in Downtown Guangzhou with a staff of 20-30, Pearl River Lighting (as it was known then) has come a long way. Graduating from being an OEM to designing and manufacturing their own brands, with a team of 70 to 80 engineers working in the R&D team, PR lighting (as it is now called) are making noticeable strides into the India market, supported strongly by distributors Modern Stage Service Pvt. Ltd. PT met up with Sasha Xiong, Deputy General Manager, Intl. Sales Division, PR Lighting Ltd. to know the whole story.


Which was the first lighting innovation that identified PR lighting as an original manufacturer and major brand?

PR started business very early in 1984 as an OEM. In 1990, PR developed the first intelligent lighting in China and in 1994 PR developed the first moving light in China. Therefore, PR has number of firsts to its credit. In the year 2000, we started promoting the PR brand internationally.

What were the main factors that helped PR Lighting develop international identity, recognition and respect?

It was the vision of PR founder Mr. Dave Liang that helped the company develop international identity, because it’s not very easy to develop your own brand in the international market. Also, it was not an easy decision to switch from being an OEM manufacturer, to manufacturing your own brand. It was a decision that lost the company its existing customers.

However, Mr. Liang’s vision, backed by a strong R&D and sales team helped PR lighting to grow in the international market.

What were the main milestones in the 30-year history of PR Lighting?

PR came up with important innovations like the first moving head and the first intelligent light, which I consider as milestones in the history of the company. PR Lighting was also invited to formulate the industry standard by the government and it was the only lighting manufacturer, which was invited. Another milestone was in the year 2010, when PR became the main supplier for the Asian Games. In 2016, PR started developing the Aqua waterproof series. All these can be regarded as milestones in the history of PR lighting.

Are PR Lighting product innovations driven by demands from the international markets?

Actually, both, international as well as domestic market! China’s domestic market is very strong and it is the biggest market in the world. It was a good decision to develop for both markets. PR started with the international market and in time progressed towards the domestic market. Now the domestic market is getting very strong.

How much has PR Lighting invested into Research & Development?

PR has been investing a lot of money for R&D because new products are the lifeline of PR. Every year PR is investing a big amount of money for new product innovation. We also invest a lot in pre-product development activities and basic research. We also collaborate with some of the Chinese Universities and Institutes with academics related to the lighting industry, and develop some programmes together for development of new innovative lighting technology. It’s not necessary however that we have to implement it immediately into our products.

PR Lighting has made a huge investment in the lighting industry’s future, by setting up the above-mentioned collaborations with institutions and universities. What kind of tie-up do you have with the institutions?

Sometimes we need to design some optical systems, especially when the lights are complicated like moving heads for instance.

By collaborating with the institutes, we have the resources and we are able to ally with optical experts, who can give us various suggestions. Sometimes we also invite the professors to PR, because they are specialized in optical systems. This collaboration enables us to learn a lot from each other.

How big is your R&D and production team?

From time to time we have about 70 to 80 engineers working in our R&D team. More than the number of people, it’s about the factory production line. During the peak season, PR has a record of having more than 800 people working in the factory. Now we are trying to get the work efficiency even higher, so we don’t need so many workers, but still we are trying to reach the same production with the same production capacity.

Do you think that because US has many concerts and live shows they demand for more in terms of lighting design and fixtures. Or is it that China too has many big live shows and fixed installs that demand for state-of-the-art fixtures?

I think that every market has its own different periods of saturation. The US has been a developed market for many years and its now getting saturated. This market has become stable, while China is a developing market for PR and many more lighting manufacturers. The reason why the demand in China is so huge is because it’s developing, but other markets like Europe and US are developed, so their requirement or demand is now very much stable.

China is obviously the biggest market for PR. Which are the other big markets, besides China?

Actually, we have some good markets in different territories. Middle East used to be one of the biggest markets, but in the recent years, the economy has been bad, so we have seen a downslide there. India for sure is a tough competitor to the other markets and is in future going to be one of the best markets. America, South America and Southeast Asia also have very good markets.

Tell us a little bit about your engagement with the Indian market and have you enjoyed it?

I like the India market as it is a potential market. We have great partners here in Modern Stage Service Pvt. Ltd. I know them since 2004 and they’ve been very good partners. PR lighting has developed a very good relationship with our partners and the Indian market has been keeping up since then.

Where is the growth in India for PR Lighting? In which segment?

Indian market has seen fluctuations. Around three or four years ago it was on the downslide, but since the last few years we can see that demand for lighting has been increasing rapidly due to the developing economy of the country. We see that both the Government and end users are investing more in entertainment.

Which is the biggest market in India?

I think Mumbai is a good market, but it is a very competitive market. Bangalore is a good market, as also, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi.

Any new launches from PR in the near future?

Yes. The latest new launch in India is the AQUA 480 waterproof large aperture beam, ideal for outdoor entertainment, concert, stadium and all kinds of activities. We started developing it three years ago and officially launched it last year.

We will launch many new products in the near future and we will have certain significant product launches every year.

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