Atrius Voices is a series of blog posts that dive into the Atrius experience through the eyes of our team. Discover the personal narratives that underscore our commitment to a sustainable and innovative workplace, one employee at a time. These stories reflect the vibrant spirit and collective drive that empower our solutions and define our path forward.
Introducing Simran Klair
At Atrius, we pride ourselves on the exceptional individuals who make our brand come to life. Simran Klair, the Director of Marketing at Atrius, has been pivotal in developing and delivering the businesses’ key value propositions to the market at large.
She’s guided Atrius through drastic transformation and has woven her dedication to sustainability into the fabric of the brand’s identity. In the following interview, Simran discusses her career journey to Atrius, her unwavering commitment to sustainability, and the core values that shape Atrius and its alignment with Acuity Brands.
Ricky Porco: Simran, could you please introduce yourself and share an overview of your role at Atrius?
Simran Klair: Sure! I’m the Director of Marketing at Atrius. My core responsibilities revolve around overseeing the execution of marketing strategies that help bring Atrius products to market. I’m also responsible for positioning the Atrius brand within the broader Acuity Brands’ Intelligent Spaces Group division, which includes our partners at Distech Controls and KE2Therm. Every day presents a new challenge for me in this role, but it’s the mission-driven focus that keeps me passionate.
RP: How did your journey with Atrius begin, and how has it evolved?
SK: I joined Lucid Design Group in March of 2019, which had been a part of the Acuity organization for about nine months to a year. I joined the team as a campaign manager for the BuildingOS product, a role that gave me the chance to collaborate with a diverse group, including the DGLogix team and a few teams internal to Acuity Brands Lighting. In the position, I was primarily responsible for developing a content strategy that elevated our products’ value. By December 2019, Acuity acquired LocusLabs, and I began handling content marketing for that brand as well.
RP: Why did you choose a tech-focused company like Lucid Design Group?
SK: I’ve always been inclined towards technology in my career, but what stood out for me about Lucid Design Group and their flagship product, BuildingOS, was the unique vision they had for software in the building environment. Sustainability has always been a passion in my personal life, and I really saw the opportunity to work at Lucid Design Group (and later Atrius) as a chance to merge my two passions: a technology company focused on protecting our environment. An industry traditionally seen as slow to adopt technology, the built environment sector presented vast opportunities for innovation.
I was immediately drawn to Lucid Design Group’s approach to harnessing technology to improve how buildings perform, both for inhabitants and the environment. I’m passionate about being part of dynamic organizations at the forefront of industry transformation, and Lucid Design Group embodied that spirit.
RP: Lucid Design Group was known for its deep-rooted values, especially in sustainability. How has Acuity Brands nurtured and maintained that essence?
SK: Lucid Design Group’s reputation for sustainability was indeed one of its defining features. When I think of Atrius and the broader Acuity Brands organization now, I feel like the commitment to protecting our environment is demonstrated across every level of the organization. The EarthLIGHT initiative is a testament to that dedication. It’s not just a program; it’s our promise to the planet that touches every aspect of our business. We understand that companies today have a responsibility to shape a better future, and that’s precisely what we’re striving for every single day – just like where we started at Lucid Design Group.
RP: How do you see your role contributing to sustainability?
SK: I’ve always viewed myself as a marketer focused on stories and meaning. I view my role as integral to elevating Atrius’ products that center around sustainability. It’s not just about business for us; it’s about forging a path to make built environments more sustainable. Working in an organization that prioritizes environmental impact for ourselves and our customers, I feel a direct contribution to that mission.
RP: In terms of fostering knowledge in sustainability, how has Atrius facilitated your growth?
SK: Atrius fosters an environment that promotes continuous learning. Whether it’s attending training sessions or engaging in rich dialogues with industry pioneers, there’s always a wealth of resources available. The collective growth among my peers is a testament to Atrius’ commitment.
RP: Is there a cross-functional team or individual at Atrius you particularly enjoy partnering with?
SK: Most marketing teams work pretty closely with their sales partners, and for me, the collaboration with our VP of Sales, Karlee Kennedy, has been such a rewarding experience. While she’s been a great sounding board for ideas on continuing to hit our business goals, I’ve especially valued her ability to connect with individuals personally. Anytime I need advice on navigating a personal or professional challenge, she’s one of the first people to come to mind for guidance.
Her unique approach to mentorship has influenced my professional growth and helped me understand situations from different perspectives.
RP: Reflecting on your journey, can you pinpoint a project at Atrius that stands out?
SK: The PR campaigns from this year undoubtedly top the list – especially the awards for our products. When we secured those awards, it was a special moment. It felt like a collective pat on the back from the industry, acknowledging the role we’ve played in helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals. I’m bursting with pride seeing our product and engineering teams getting the spotlight they so rightly deserve. It’s a clear sign that the software they’ve been pouring their hearts into is making waves out there.
RP: All journeys come with their share of challenges. Can you shed light on a significant hurdle you’ve faced at Atrius and the subsequent growth it brought about?
SK: Transitioning from cherished legacy brands, particularly Lucid Design Group, to Acuity Brands wasn’t easy for me emotionally. I had a profound connection to Lucid. But this shift has added so much depth to my professional journey. What warms my heart is seeing the core values I held dear in Lucid continue to pulse within Acuity Brands.
RP: Lastly, any feedback or growth moments you’ve experienced that have shaped your trajectory at Atrius?
SK: Absolutely. I remember a conversation with a supervisor about my career trajectory. He advised me to harness my influence more. Initially, I was perplexed. I was expecting feedback on hard skills like website development or design. But in time, I grasped his point: he wanted me to champion my ideas more fiercely and approach discussions with unwavering confidence in the work I’d put in.
RP: How does the Atrius culture encourage innovation and creative thinking within your role and the broader organization?
SK: Regarding innovation and creative thinking, Atrius truly stands out. Our hiring practices speak volumes, and the access team members have to the higher echelons of the organization is remarkable. We have an organizational structure which I believe fosters an environment of trust and value. When you feel that trusted and valued, it naturally spurs you to offer ideas and proactive suggestions from every level of the company. The absence of a rigid hierarchy and the encouragement from management for teams to craft creative solutions to challenges are catalysts for innovation.
RP: Outside of your daily tasks, how do you engage with Atrius from a cultural perspective or with the broader team? Are there company events or initiatives that have particularly resonated with you?
SK: I cherish the bond I’ve forged with the Distech Controls team. Engaging with them, understanding their operational nuances, and gaining insights from their discussions give me fresh perspectives. It’s enlightening to absorb other teams’ best practices and learn strategies I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. This interaction with Distech Controls, combined with the insights from colleagues like Lauren Scott, has been an enriching experience. It’s made me even more optimistic about the future trajectory of Atrius and ISG (Intelligent Spaces Group).
RP: What is a highlight for you in the last year?
SK: The synergy between Atrius and Distech Controls manifested in a significant way at IBcon this summer, which was undoubtedly a highlight for me. Witnessing the “Atrius + Distech = Better Together” vision come to life was exhilarating after many weeks of hard work across departments in both teams.
Observing both entities present a unified offering for the first time was a remarkable sight. It reminded me of my early days at Lucid Design Group when Distech and Acuity were unknown entities to me.
Reflecting on that journey and seeing where we are today, I’m overwhelmed with pride at the distance we’ve covered together.
RP: As we draw to a close, I’m curious: How do you define marketing?
SK: To me, marketing is as much about storytelling as it is about driving business and revenue. People connect with stories, not just products. Our challenge is to connect emotionally, rise above the noise, and craft a story that resonates deeply. That’s the essence of marketing for me.
RP: Wonderfully put. Thank you for sharing your insights and journey with us today, Simran. It’s been enlightening to hear about your experiences and perspective on Atrius.
Our conversations with the voices of Atrius always leave us inspired. Simran’s story is a testament to the passion, dedication, and drive that fuel our organization. As we continue to shine a light on the remarkable individuals shaping Atrius, stay tuned for more illuminating insights in our next feature.