Octavio Azcoitia
President and CEO
OSRAM Mexico
View from the Top

Mexico as the Next Efficiency Trendsetter

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 15:28

Q: How would you describe the evolution within the lighting industry and the role OSRAM will play in incentivizing green markets?

A: The lighting industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate and is undergoing the most disruptive phase in its history since the invention of the incandescent light bulb. The Solid State Lighting (LED) technology has proven efficient, longlasting, and friendlier to the environment. OSRAM is now more focused on the electronics, digital, and energy efficient solutions, and this is evident in the product portfolio for different applications. As the second largest producer of LEDs worldwide, and with 48 years of experience in Solid State Lighting, OSRAM’s role is to implement responsible, high-performance solutions in the market.

Q: How does OSRAM collaborate with the Mexican government to promote norms and standards?

A: Behind the OSRAM name there are over 100 years of research and development, prestige, performance, and quality. We have been working closely with Mexican authorities like CONUEE and FIDE in order to improve standards. When a potential customer opts for an unusually low cost alternative, it is opening the doors to a potential safety risk. This is crucial because these products are directly related to the safety and health of the end users. OSRAM does not compete with manufacturers that choose price over quality. We have collaborated closely with the government in the creation and review of standards, like the NOM-028 for incandescent lightbulbs that was successfully implemented.

Q: What are the benefits and future business opportunities that arise from winning the tender for the ‘National Replacement Program of Incandescent Lamps’?

A: The government launched a program to buy 32 million pieces of Compact Fluorescent Lamps with integrated ballasts, and given the success of the project, this number was increased up to 38 million. OSRAM was awarded the first place in the tender and we are in the process of delivering 27 million pieces. This project will help 7.6 million families that are scattered across 120,000 small cities across Mexico. The Mexican government, through this initiative, will be able to obtain energy savings of 75% in these households. The program was designed and implemented by FIDE with an efficient and strict control process, making it one of the most successful lighting programs of its kind. FIDE inspected all shipments and took samples of containers in order to be sure that the lamps met with the requirements. As a result of this experience, we were awarded a CFLi tender in Nicaragua. When the government launched the program, it searched the market and invited all companies to offer their best solution and OSRAM was given 100% of this tender. We are in the process of delivering 2 million pieces, and these lamps are known for their high power factor. In some cases, Mexico is shaping itself into a trendsetter for many other countries, such as those in Central America.

Q: What possibilities do you see of working with municipalities and offering integrated lighting solutions?

A: Working directing with municipalities can prove complex, and thus OSRAM relies on its government specialized distributor network for this segment. In the past, municipalities were eager to adopt new technologies; regrettably, they tend to choose the cheapest options, and therefore, products of questionable quality. The solutions OSRAM offers to municipalities are unique, like our specific lamps for main roads and other products for public spaces or secondary roads. Sometimes the reason why municipalities find these solutions too expensive is because they push for the same product to be used universally.

Q: What are OSRAM’s achievements in sustainable practices through the supply and distribution chains?

A: Our worldwide procurement strategy takes care of the development of our suppliers and supports their green policies and regulations. We are also paying close attention to our own internal processes. For example, we have low mercury CFLi products and lead-free soldering initiatives. Two years ago we started a Global Value Sourcing (GVS) initiative in order to develop world-class suppliers located in Mexico to serve our plants in the NAFTA region and around the world. By developing a local supply chain, we can serve our plants better, with competitive prices, and shorter lead times.