Sunday, December 17, 2006

A good book on Marketing Issues in India

Prof S Ramesh Kumar of IIM Bangalore has written a book Marketing and Branding - The Indian Scenario. The main strength of the book lies in the Indian examples used to illustrate major concepts in marketing. The book is divided into five chapters, the first one is on product and branding, second one on distribution and retail, third on pricing, fourth on psychological dimensions of marketing and last one on promotion and communication. A good read for people interested in marketing issues related to India.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Packaging the 5th P

Packaging though not part of the original 4 Ps , it sure deserves a place in the Indian marketers product mix. Though it is probably in the developing markets that it holds more importance than in the developed markets of the west. In India companies like CavinKare have achieved success in the shampoo markets through the introduction of sachets in the early 1980s, and in fact ushered in the sachet revolution in the country with most the FMCG majors following up with their own sachets. Today one can find anything from coconut oil to tea powder in sachets. The advantage for the consumer is he gets to use a product at a lowered per use cost and easy of trail. There was a time 5-6 years back when the prices of the sachets when combined were cheaper than the bigger packs offered by the same company, now that anomaly has been removed. In my recent train travels I was given pickles by the pantry in sachets, worth 50pcs each, the brand was 'Chinni' again from CavinKare.

More details on Cavinkare at

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tata Ace - Marketing Success?

Tata Ace is one product which I have been eager to talk about for along time. First look at the vehicle will not show anything special about it. It will look like any of the umpteen ubiquitous small transport vehicles which ply around the roads in the country. The only thing different is apparently the fourth wheel which is added to it. Though it looks very commonplace, but it has had phenomenal success in the market place.

To start with a brief about the product, the company Tata Motors calls it the India's first mini truck. The 0.75 tone Mini Truck from Tata is powered by a small and efficient 16bhp 700 cc IDI diesel engine. It is priced between 2.2 Lakhs to 2.35 Lakhs. It is suitable for both rural and urban use. The company has a dedicated website where more information can be got, .

The impact of the launch can be seen from the dip in the sales of the cargo three-wheeler maker, a 9% drop for the six month period April-Jan 2006 in favor of Ace, whose sales grew by 117% .The company has doubled the manufacturing capacity of Ace seeing the market response. It has achieved all this without a pan country presence.

The question which is worth raising is that why could Tata Motors see an opportunity in developing a four-wheel version of the Mini Truck and none of the dominant players could see the opportunity. Is it that market leader become complacent with their existing success and they cannot see beyond their existing products. This would actually be a level lower than even Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia". Now all major players are planning to come up with a four-wheel mini truck and enter the segment in response to the success of Ace.

Indian Market - Is the Elephant running?

The first blog on marketing in India is driven by fact and figures which I have been reading in the newspapers lately. We are in the middle of the festive season, which begins in September with Ganesh Chaturthi and other festivals and runs till end Jan including Christmas and New Year. This is the time where most of the promos, new product launches are packed in and sales people across the country keep their figures crossed to reach their sale targets. But this October we have seen phenomenal sales figures, though the monthly figures are still trickling in , a sample of the sales of few brands and comapnies,

Nokia sold 4 lakh handsets on 19th October, which is it's highest record sales that the company has achieved anywhere in the world. In total all mobile companies put together have added over 6.6 million subscribers in October, compared with a total 1.6 million subscribers in 2000.

Coming to another brand, ALTO of Maruti sold 22,294 units in October, which is a record sales for any model and make in India. The overall industry growth was also very good the mini and compact cars grew by over 19%, vis-à-vis the same period last year,

In the two wheeler segment , most of the motorcycle manufactures have seen good growth in October , most of them have seen a growth of more than 20%. Hero Honda alone has sold over half a million two-wheelers in October, which is record even for the world's No.1 two-wheeler company.

I can go on and on for different brands and segments, but the point is that we are entering a phase of unprecedented growth and challenges for Indian Marketers. The blog will try to bring the readers updated with the latest development and changes in the Indian market place.


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