Face to face: Krishna Pillai, SMKA Electric

Krishna Pillai, general manager of Al Naboodah Electrical, talks about SMKA Electric’s future plans

Krishna Pillai, general manager, Al Naboodah Electrical.
Krishna Pillai, general manager, Al Naboodah Electrical.

This year marks Al Naboodah Electrical’s 40th anniversary for its flagship business, SMKA Electric – how has the journey been so far?

SMKA Electric began as a joint-venture in 1977, and today it forms a key part of Al Naboodah Electrical, the electrical and wiring business of Al Naboodah Group Enterprises. For 40 years, it has been providing private and government entities with superior electrical and lighting products, demonstrating our ability to diversify and grow alongside the industry.

We initially began offering Wiring Devices by MK (by Honeywell) and today we represent a wide range of products such as cable management systems, wiring devices, under floor trunking systems, lighting solutions, earthing and lightning protection systems, lighting control systems, and dimming systems, among others.

Al Naboodah Electrical’s portfolio of brands has grown considerably, and today SMKA Electric is the distributor of well-known international brands such as MK by Honeywell, OBO Bettermann, Dulight, Etap Emergency Lights, Leviton and Framon. In addition, this year, we started exclusively distributing LUMEZ LED Lights, a proprietary brand of Al Naboodah Electrical. Finally, demonstrating our growth, we have expanded SMKA Electric’s presence across the emirates, launching two new showrooms in Dubai, in Port Saeed and in Al Barsha bringing our total to nine showrooms.

Recently, Al Naboodah Electrical has been diversifying its portfolio to include turnkey home automation solutions, including lighting, AC and security controls, with the aim to meet market demands and stay current with industry trends. We’ve partnered with leading European providers to offer energy-reducing home automation solutions for both residential and commercial properties, resulting in energy savings of up to 30-40%.

How is the UAE’s electrical sector? How is the demand?

The electrical sector has seen a steady growth in the last few years. And when we look at the next five years ahead, we are bullish about the market. There is also a growing trend and focus on energy savings, renewable energy and home/office automation solutions, both in commercial and residential projects. With the Expo 2020 approaching, there is a definite increase in the number of projects under construction, and I strongly feel that demand for smarter solutions will continue to grow.

How have you maintained a steady operation? What were the business strategies?

Over the past 40 years, our business has grown from strength to strength through diversification, partnering with trusted international brands to offer our customers choice and convenience. In addition, customer service has always been at the heart of our business, and this is reflected in Al Naboodah Group Enterprises’ 2020 Vision. As part of this commitment, we have ensured that SMKA Electric offers a full suite of services, with dedicated project teams who are able to offer an end-to-end solution - right from design stage through to project commissioning. For added convenience, we have opened additional SMKA Electric showrooms in strategic locations across the UAE, enabling us to service our customers more effectively. Al Naboodah Electrical is also diversifying through strategic expansions into key neighbouring markets. Recently, we established a presence in Saudi Arabia through the newly created Al Naboodah Technologies Limited, which is the distributor of various Honeywell products.

What is Al Naboodah Electrical’s future plans going forward?

Al Naboodah Electrical sees huge potential for the home automation and renewable energy industries, which is aligned with Al Naboodah Group Enterprises’ sustainability objectives. Through SMKA Electric, we already offer efficient lighting solutions such as the LUMEZ brand, and we have increased our focus on smart systems – we view the energy sector as a great opportunity for further growth. We are also distributing solar products which also shows tremendous future potential.

Please elaborate more on LUMEZ and how it stands out from other innovative products.

Al Naboodah Electrical launched its own range of LED lighting products, the LUMEZ line in order to meet the increased demand for energy efficient LED lighting products. LUMEZ is exclusively distributed through SMKA Electric. This allows us to remain competitive, while promoting more sustainable practices. Through the LUMEZ brand, we are able to offer a value-for-money product that is also high quality, eco-friendly and energy efficient.

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