Qimat Rai Gupta and the story of Havells Electricals

  1. In 1958, armed with Rs 10,000, a school teacher migrated from Punjab with a vision to establish an electrical trading shop in Delhi’s wholesale market, Bhagirath Palace. Despite the market already hosting numerous distributors, the teacher, Qimat Rai Gupta, founded GuptaJi & Company in 1958.
  2. The concept was straightforward: trading fixtures and electric cables. Qimat navigated the decade by dealing in cables, wires, and switchgear for various brands. However, his major breakthrough occurred in 1971.
  3. Qimat distributed industrial switchgear for a brand named “Havells,” named after Haveli Ram Gandhi. Despite possessing a strong brand, Havells struggled with product sales. Seizing the opportunity, Qimat purchased the brand for a mere Rs 7 Lakh in 1971, rebranding GuptaJi & Co as Havells.
  4. Recognizing the inefficiency of selling directly to retailers, which impacted margins and quality, Qimat initiated in-house manufacturing. In 1976, Havells established its first switches factory in Delhi’s Kirti Nagar.
  5. Realizing the need for dedicated factories for each appliance to maintain quality, Qimat opened one for HBC fuses in 1979 and another for energy meters in 1980. The challenge arose when Chinese products flooded the market.
  6. Despite lacking quality, Chinese products were unbeatably cheap. Qimat responded by acquiring the struggling “Towers and Transformers” in 1983, fortifying production to withstand the Chinese competition.
  7. Qimat swiftly transformed “Towers and Transformers.” By 1992, Havells Electricals had grown into a 25 CR company, going public and trading on the stock exchange in the same year.
  8. Maintaining pace with manufacturing demands, Qimat acquired companies between 1997 and 2001, including ECS, Duke Arnics Electronics, Standard Electricals, and Crabtree India. The company reached a milestone of 1000 CR, relocating to a sprawling 130,000 sq ft office in Noida. Challenges arose when prominent foreign players entered the arena.
  9. To counter GE, Philips, Crompton Greaves, and Osram, Qimat recognized the necessity of acquiring a major player. In 2007, Havells acquired the fourth-largest player, Sylvania, for 2000 CR, marking the FMEG industry’s most significant acquisition.
  10. Post-acquisition, Havells expanded to a size of 7000 CR. Introducing products in the domestic segment like ACs, Fridges, and other appliances, Qimat quadrupled the marketing budget to 60 CR and introduced the iconic “Shock Laga” ads. By 2019, Havells had evolved into a 10,000 CR company.

Today, Havells stands as a 14,000 CR company with over 20,000 distributors, 6500+ employees, and 16 factories globally, a testament to Qimat Rai’s invaluable and electrifying legacy.