26 September 2018


Marcel Ragni, CEO of independent public lighting company Groupe RAGNI and first Deputy Chairman of the French Lighting Confederation – Syndicat de l’éclairage, talks about his market vision and his company’s development lines. With passion and commitment.

A high-potential market
Lower energy consumption requirements, obsolescence of installed equipment, and the rise in power of new technologies are opening up excellent avenues for development. While big city councils, wooed by the smart city and its public lighting applications, are tackling this renewal in a structured way, smaller towns are often bewildered by an overwhelming offering with wild variations in price and quality. “What’s important today is the ability to provide real advice—after analysing the type of requirement, the objectives, and the money available—in order to recommend the right equipment for the job. Each project, irrespective of size, warrants a well thought out, customized approach,” Mr Ragni points out.
Fighting off unfair competition
As in every rapidly developing market, there is stiff competition and it doesn’t all play to the same rules. French and EU standards and regulations leave little leeway and tend to handicap companies who are up against Chinese and Indian suppliers. “In France, we design and make lighting equipment to ecology and energy performance standards in modern, non-polluting factories, all at a high technological level, which means it costs more but offers our customers guarantees. Contracting authorities also need to be consistent and adopt the approach of reducing energy consumption and favouring sustainable development. Importing equipment from China goes against all of that.”
Innovation at the core of development
LED technology has been a major turning point for manufacturers, and RAGNI has negotiated it well. “LEDs, coupled with a management & scheduling system, can provide energy savings of up to 70%; but that’s only the start of the revolution because LED lamps can also double as LiFi sources. Street lights will become smarter and smarter and capable of delivering information while meshing perfectly with townspeople’s habits.”
Keeping abreast of technology updates while developing partnerships to invent new solutions are therefore major issues for manufacturers. In 2015, they led RAGNI to merge its know-how with that of Novea Energies, who specialize in self-powered lights.
A range of lighting columns powered by solar energy came from this acquisition. It gave us a foothold in the African market, with an offering tailored to suit local resources. “Nowadays, exports account for 20% of our turnover. We want to expand our development in Africa despite the Chinese, Indians, and large European corporations already being established there. SMBs like ours, who privilege high product quality and service levels, can still find niche markets.” And it’s our company hallmarks of confidence, know-how and priority to people that make all the difference.

Public lighting equipment designer and manufacturer GROUPE RAGNI offers a comprehensive range of LED, solar, and conventional light fittings, control units, pylons & poles, and other accessories for implementing its lighting solutions. With four generations of history in the public lighting market, the company couples its craft know-how with semi-industrial production in order to offer authentic, high quality products. The group, with a hundred or so staff and a global turnover of close to €50m, has seen a growth of almost 80% since 2008.

copyright : T. L. Photography

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