Scolmore Group has expanded its operation further by setting up a dedicated lighting group – Ovia Lighting. Headed up by industry expert Mike Collins, PEW spoke with the new Sales Director to learn more about him and the vision for the company.
How did you get into the industry and your current position?
The electrical industry is in my blood. My family have run an electrical contracting business for as long as I remember. I got my first taste at the age of 13 with a two week work placement at a large electrical wholesaler in Kent and was offered a job there after I left school. I’ve worked my way up from there, through various sales roles to the position of Sales Director with a leading lighting manufacturer. I joined Scolmore Group in May last year as Sales Director to head up the development of the independent lighting company, OVIA.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge in my career so far has been the transition from a five year period as head of sales with a leading lighting company and a huge team around me, to my current role with OVIA. In the space of just six months, I have been responsible for researching and developing a comprehensive range of lighting and lighting controls products, more than 300 products so far, and established a very experienced sales team to help deliver them to market.
How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?
For me, a big impact has been the evolution of LED. We know all about the benefits they bring regarding improved light source, longevity and energy efficiency. However, the influx of LED companies and ‘me too’ products over the last five years in particular, I feel has had an effect on loyalty in the industry. There were far fewer sources to buy the traditional lamps from in the past compared to the plethora of companies now selling LEDs.
What do you consider OVIA’s unique selling points?
I think what sets OVIA apart in the industry is the approach we have to developing the right products for the professional electrical contractor. It’s all about constantly engaging with contractors to understand exactly what they need from products to help them do their jobs more efficiently and we won’t bring anything to market without first consulting with them. This can be simply picking up the phone, sending in samples to check out and provide feedback on, through to engaging at leading industry events like ELEX.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
We have only just started out with the launch of the new OVIA dedicated lighting company and its comprehensive product offer and we will be building on the tremendous start we have already had – more than 350 products to market in just six months. I would like to see OVIA as the one stop shop for contractors for all their lighting solutions, delivered through the reliable wholesaler channel.
What is OVIA trying to achieve in the next few years?
From a starting point in May last year, we have successfully developed and brought to market a broad portfolio of products for a range of applications – domestic, amenity, commercial, industrial, utility and floodlighting – all available from November last year. We have just added a new range of emergency lighting ready for delivery in February and will be adding a further 100 new product lines by September. We will continue this trend of talking to contractors, identifying requirements and developing the products they want.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To learn more about Ovia and its new products, visit: https://www.oviauk.com/