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Volume 13 | Issue 01 | November-December 2018

How companies are using Experience, Digital and Influencer Marketing to Build Brands

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VOLUME 8 ISSUE 01

THE ON - BOARD MAGAZINE OF INDIAN RAILWAYS

OCTOBER 2018

Festive

Times

The coming festive season fosters a culture of brotherhood and oneness. Exclusive glimpses from four corners of the country This magazine is for on-board reading. Kindly do not take away.

EDITED & PUBLISHED BY

&

BW Businessworld Media Pvt Ltd., 2nd Floor, Express Building, 9-10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110002 www.businessworld.in AVAILABLE ON

To Advertise, Please Contact Aparna Sen Gupta aparna@businessworld.in +91 9958000128

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Vijay Gokavi vijay.govaki@businessworld.in +91 9820056066


COVER STORY Nov-Dec 2018

28

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Annurag Batra Director Amit Agnihotri Director Nawal Ahuja EDITORIAL TEAM

Executive Editor

Simran Sabherwal

Correspondents Smriti Mishra Anam Khan DESIGN TEAM

Art Director

Shivaji Sengupta

Senior Graphic Designer

Joby Mathew

Photographers Ashish Chawla (Mumbai) Suresh Gola (Noida) Cover Design

Shivaji Sengupta

AD SALES Runa Sinha (National Business Head) runa.sinha@exchange4media.com - 9810497903

Sneha Walke (VP Special Projects & South Head) sneha@exchange4media.com - 9845541143 Ashish Kudalkar (Regional Manager West - Sales & Business Development) ashish.kudalkar@exchange4media.com - 9820541742

As India sees the luxury market evolving from niche to normal, brands need to decide whether to follow global practices or go vernacular to effectively tap into the huge population base of 1.3 Billion people.

0FFICES

NEW DELHI: B-47, Ground Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi -110 024 NOIDA: B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Phone: (0120) 4007700 Mumbai: 301, Kakad Bhavan, 3rd Floor, 11th Street, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050 Phone: (022) 2640 3303/09/14/16 Bengaluru: # 18, 3rd B Cross, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore 560071 CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION

Vinod Sharma (Delhi) - 9999447209 vinod@exchange4media.com Anandan Nair (Mumbai) - 9819445200 anair@exchange4media.com On News-stands ` 100/www.pitchonnet.com Printed and published by Annurag Batra on behalf of Adsert Web Solutions Pvt Ltd B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Printed at All Time Offset Printers, F-406, Sector-63 Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201 307 An exchange4media Publication

4 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

‘INSPIRED LIVING’

20

‘We are on track towards becoming a $1 billion company in India and one of the top three brands in our segment by 2020’

ERIC BRAGANZA

PRESIDENT, HAIER APPLIANCES INDIA PVT. LTD.

DRIVING AHEAD

20 38 Car aficionados and enthusiasts are increasing in number in India.


DEFINING THE PEAK OF LUXURY Franck Juhel

70

President, Montblanc, Middle-East, India and Africa

INDIAN LUXURY MARKET: MOVING BEYOND THE ELITE AND EXCLUSIVE

56

Sanjesh Thakur

Partner, Deloitte India

RAISING A TOAST TO INDIA

48 FEATURE

GOLDEN TRUST

FULFILLING PERSONAL ASPIRATIONS THROUGH EXPERIENCES

Managing Director, Moët Hennessy India

‘THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO KEEP REINVENTING YOURSELF’

58

INTERVIEW

Stéphane de Meurville

74

Dilip Kapur

Founder, Hidesign

MAKING AYURVEDA FASHIONABLE

64

Vivek Sahni

Co-Founder and CEO, Kama Ayurveda

APP STORE 08 T S KALYANARAMAN CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, KALYAN JEWELLERS

C VINOD HAYAGRIV MANAGING DIRECTOR & DIRECTOR, C. KRISHNIAH CHETTY GROUP

GADGETS 12 ACROSS THE GLOBE 14 RAPIDFIRE 106 NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 5


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S NOTE

THE PRAGMATIC PANACHE DR. ANNURAG BATRA Chairman & Editor-in-Chief abatra@exchange4media.com @anuragbatrayo www.facebook.com/anuragbatrayo

6 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

T

hink ‘luxury’ and the first few images that slide through your mind would be cars, mansions, exotic vacations, yachts, private jets. First, a quick snap shot of the luxury space in India. According to a report by ASSOCHAM published early this year, “Increasing retail presence of luxury players and a higher number of luxury brands entering the country has resulted in a strong performance of luxury goods.” The year has also witnessed that brand consciousness among Indian youth, and an improved purchasing power of the upper-middle class in tier-II and tier-III cities have also contributed to this boom in the premium retail market. The luxury retail segment in India generated a revenue of $23.8 billion last year, and the numbers are expected to see a steep high in the near future. ASSOCHAM estimates that the earnings from the luxury space here will rise to $30 billion by the end of 2018. A similar growth trajectory is expected in the next few years as well. The launch of DLF Emporio in New Delhi and the subsequent launch of other high-end luxury retail spaces led to an increase in the luxury space. No surprise then, even though infrastructure remains a concern, many international and home-grown luxury brands made a bee-line for the luxury hubs. Additionally, the number of Indian travelling abroad increased

significantly, thereby increasing the exposure to international brands. The rise of millennials and the disruption due to the emergence of social media in a way democratized the space. This has meant that consumers and trends have changed, client attitudes toward consumer products are bringing new perspectives around brand values and company behaviors; technology, digital and social media are reshaping consumers’ approach to luxury purchases as well as luxury brands’ approach to distribution channels. In short, we are in the middle of the most disruptive revolution the luxury sector has ever seen. Luxury brands are now going all out to attract the attention of its consumers – the elusive and niche consumer, the aspirational consumer, the consumer based in small-town India, and even the consumer whose love for luxury has them enter courtesy the resale or pre-owned luxury space. This issue covers various aspects of luxury living, along with market behavior. We connect with brands – international and homegrown, who tell us the challenges they face, marketing luxury to the Indian consumer and more. With luxury brands not using mass media platforms, the strategy involved is all about experiences and making sure the consumer makes memorable experiences. On that note, Raising A Toast To A Luxurious Life Ahead!.


T W I T T E R AT I

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 7


APP STORE

WHAT YOU GOT IN YOUR

MOBILE?

TIK TOK GOT A COMPETITION, THANKS TO FACEBOOK

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acebook is working on a new app that it hopes could win back the attention of teens while capitalizing on its recently attained major label music licenses. Facebook is building Lasso -a video music app that is being designed to take on Musical.ly According to media reports, users can record and share videos of themselves lip-syncing or dancing to songs. Popular among teens and pre-teens, Musical.ly – with 60 monthly users - was acquired by Chinese tech giant ByteDance for around $1 billion and rolled into the company’s TikTok app.

GOOGLE PLAY WENT DOWN THE MEMORY LANE ON ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY

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s Google Play turns 10, there was some good news for the official app store for the Android operating system. According to a report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary, Google Play – previously called Android Market generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, garnering a 70 percent share of worldwide downloads in 2017. However, in terms of revenue iOS app store makes more money from apps, garnering 66 percent of the consumer spending. On the other hand, while Android’s revenue share is only 34%, it edge on the download numbers is thanks to the wide distribution of its devices — including its reach into emerging markets, thanks to low-cost smartphones.

SOUNDCLOUD’S MAKES MELODIOUS EFFORT TO MAKE INSTAGRAM STORIES TUNEFUL

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usic streaming service SoundCloud new feature allows users to share tracks to Instagram Stories. However, there’s a big caveat because the tracks are shared as a link that appears within Stories. To actually listen to the track, users have to click the “Play on SoundCloud” link, which then redirects them to the SoundCloud app to begin listening.

8 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


TRACH YOUR SPENDS WITH MICROSOFT’S NEW APP ‘SPEND’

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ileIQ - a mileage tracking app acquired by Microsoft in 2015 - is out with a new application called Spend that doesn’t track miles but instead helps its users keep a track of their business expenses for the purpose of reimbursement or taxes. Like most expense trackers, it offers features such as the ability to take photos of receipts, expense categorization features, and reporting. However, what makes Spend interesting is the app’s automated tracking and matching, and its user interface for working with your receipts. The app is available for free and

GOOGLE MAPS TREATS ITS USERS WITH NEW ETA SHARING FEATURE

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oogle Maps has made it easier for its users to share their estimated arrival time with their near and dear ones with its new ETA feature. All you have to do is start the navigation, tap the up arrow button, and select ‘Share trip progress’ and share your live location, route and ETA with the contacts from the options that are presented

TIMES BRIDGE MAKES $20 MILLION INVESTMENT IN SMULE

WILL A DATE BE SUCCESSFUL? HINGE’S NEW FEATURE COULD HOLD THE ANSWER

D

A

also automatically tracks all the expenses from a linked credit card or bank account. You can then swipe on the expenses to mark them as personal or business. These expenses are automatically categorized, and you can add extra tags for added organization. You can also add notes to purchases, split expenses, and customize expense categories, in addition to tags..

to you. Even more, Maps allows ETA sharing with thirdparty applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE and others. This makes it easier to include the shared details in your text message threads and group chats, which are probably already underway. The feature works for driving, walking and cycling navigation.

pp maker turned music social network Smule has raised funding of $20 million from Times Bridge, the global investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group. The “strategic investment” comes as Smule looks to expand its footprint in India, currently the second largest of the app maker’s international markets. Times Bridge will guide Smule to help engage with the country’s multilingual music culture where it will be responsible for community building, collaborations with top artists, targeted regional programs and advertising. This deal is the third investment by Times Bridge this year and is part of the company’s plan to expand its existing investment portfolio of consumer tech companies.categories, in addition to tags.

ating app Hinge has launched a new feature aimed at improving its recommendations, based on whether or not matches had successful real-world dates. With a new feature called “We Met,” Hinge asks users a few days after they share their phone numbers if they went on

a date, and, if so, whether they would want to see that person again. This data will be used as a signal to inform Hinge’s algorithms and improve matches, if the user later returns to the app.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 9


Mainland China

Zhuhai & Macao

Hong Kong


1

5hrs

20 170+


GADGETS

WONDERS OF GADGETS TIMEX GETS SMARTER WITH ITS FIRST AUTOMATIC WATCH

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imex has made a powerful debut of its first ever automatic watch in decades. Called the Marlin, this timepiece takes one back to 1950s and to the iconic tagline “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” The Marlin costs $249 and comes in multiple styles. Timex has also released manual wind watches for $199 featuring a truly retro design and numerals.

TURN REEL’ INTO ‘REALITY’ WITH FACEBOOK’S NEW AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES

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hat’s next for the online social media and social networking service company Facebook – building hardware products. Speaking at TechCrunch event, Ficus Kirkpatrick, Head of Augmented Reality at Facebook said, “We are building hardware products. We’re going forward on this. We want to see those glasses come into reality, and I think we want to play our part in helping to bring them there.” Technological progress and competition seems to have sped

SONY’S AIBO GOT COMPETITION WITH NYBBLE, AN OPEN SOURCE ROBOTIC KITTEN

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ith ‘Smart’ being the norm in practically every facet of our lives, that includes the products we use, it’s no surprise that smarter pets would also be what a pet-lover would look out for. So after Sony’s Aibo –a smart robotic dog, what’s making noise in the market is Nybble – an advanced open-source robotic kitten. With a crowdfunding campaign launched recently on Indiegogo to help this support this initiative. Nybble is the first product of OpenCat which is a laser-cut cat that walks and “learns” and can even connect to a Raspberry Pi. Out of the box, a complex motion controller allows the kitten to perform lifelike behaviours like balancing, walking and nuzzling. An optional AI chip, such as Raspberry Pi can be mounted on top of Nybble’s back, to help Nybble with perception and decision. You can program in your favourite language, and direct Nybble walks around simply by sending short commands, such as ‘walk’ or ‘turn left.With cost over $200, the team aims to ship this cute little tech pet by April 2019.

12 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

up Facebook’s timetable and we should soon see a new technological experience form Facebook. This is also being seen as an opportunity for Facebook to own a mainstream computing device on which its software could run after a decade of being beholden to smartphones built, controlled and taxed by Apple and Google.


THE SOUND OF ‘GOLDEN-AGE’ MUSIC

THE COSTLIER, THE BETTER AND THE SMARTER IS THE NEW FULLY LOADED IPAD PRO

T

I

ndia’s oldest music label Saregama has launched a new range of its portable digital audio player, Saregama Carvaan Gold in a strategic partnership with audio brand Harman Kardon. Available in Champagne Gold and Rose Gold colour options, the audio player is priced at Rs 14,990. Carvaan Gold comes preloaded with 5000 Hindi songs without any interruption of ads, FM/ AM radio and the option to listen to one’s personal collection of songs via Bluetooth or by plugging in a pen drive in the USB port. Carvaan Gold works on a rechargeable battery which, the company claims, lasts up to 5 hours. The company also recently launched the Carvaan Mini at Rs 2,490. The Bluetooth-enabled speaker, which has USB and AUX connectivity and an FM/AM receiver, comes with a pre-loaded playlist of 351 songs. Launched in 2017, Carvaan is a digital music player pre-loaded with 5000 songs from Saregama’s library, and listeners’ can listen to songs continuously with an inbuilt speaker without any ad breaks.

he long-anticipated update of the iPAD Pro is making much noise in the market. And for the right reason, for starters the new models come with better screens, faster processing and a greener production process. The latest update comes with ‘liquid retina display’, which takes up the entire front screen. The new iPad Pros also have extremely thin edges and the iPad’s facial recognition software Face ID will replace the fingerprint sensor entirely with the camera being hidden in the thin bezel at the top of the display. h the new iPad has no home button at all, and the entire device can be used simply with sliding and swiping mechanisms. The new models are also 15% thinner than the previous versions, at just under 6 millimetres thick. the new iPad Pros will also use a USB-C connector, which means the iPads are also finally joining in with other tech products, allowing customers to use one cable for several devices.

APPLE’S NEW MAGNETIC PENCIL IS ALL WHAT YOU NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR DRAWING SKILLS

A

pple’s second-generation, Apple Pencil is back with a flat edge this time and the new magnetic abilities mean the chances of misplacing it is low. You can attach it to the tablet and it won’t get in the way if you’re using it in landscape. The Apple Pencil charges when it’s attached to the iPad which works pretty much like a regular wireless charger. It automatically gets paired with the iPad as soon as you attach it. Finally, Apple added a gesture on the Pencil so that you can change the color or the shape of your strokes. You just need to tap twice with your finger. Tapping the screen with the Pencil lets you wake up the iPad as well. The new Pencil seems to work only with the new iPad Pro given that it requires magnetic edges. It will be available for $129. The new Smart Keyboard Folio will cost $179 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 13


ACROSS THE GLOBE

GLOBAL MARKETING NEWS ROBYN DENHOLM REPLACES ELON MUSK AS TESLA’S CHAIRMAN

E

lectric automaker Tesla named Robyn Denholm as Chair of the board of directors with immediate effect. Denholm, who joined Tesla’s board in the year 2014 will step down from her role as Chief Financial Officer of Australian telecommunications firm Telstra. After serving her six-month notice period, she will replace Musk’s position which he held for 14 years. Musk will remain on the board as a Director and the CEO of Tesla.

PATANJALI FORAYS IN APPAREL SPACE WITH PARIDHAN

A

head of Diwali, Baba Ramdev launched Patanjali Ayurved’s first Paridhan store in Delhi to mark its presence in the apparel segment. Patanjali Paridhan will offer a wide range of apparels and accessories under its three brands mainlySanskar, Aastha and Livfit. The company aims to open 100 stores of Paridhan by the end of this fiscal year and 500 stores by the end of March 2020.

FLIPKART CEO BINNY BANSAL RESIGNS

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lipkart co-founder Binny Bansal has resigned from his position as Chairman and Group CEO following allegations over personal misconduct. Earlier this year, US major Walmart acquired the majority stake in the e-commerce giant. “While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign,” Walmart said in a statement. However, Bansal will continue to remain to remain on the board of the company.

ASHOK CHAWLA RESIGNS AS NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF YES BANK

P

rivate sector lender Yes Bank announced the resignation of its Non- Executive Chairman Ashok Chawla. The resignation comes in days after Chawla, also the Chairman of National Stock Exchange, was named by CBI in a charge sheet related to the Aircel – Maxis case. Former Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla has also worked as the Chairman of the Competition Commission of India.

AMAZON TO BUY 9.5 % STAKE IN FUTURE RETAIL

E

–commerce giant Amazon is set to acquire 9.5% stake in Kishore Biyani – led Future Retail in a deal worth Rs. 2,500 crore. With popular retail chains like Big Bazaar, Easy Day and HyperCity amongst other, Future Retail has a presence of 1,100 physical stores across India. The talks of alliance reportedly started off in January this year when Biyani met Jeff Bezos at the company’s Seattle headquarters.

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VICTORIA’S SECRET CEO JAN SINGER QUITS

T

he CEO of Victoria’s Secret lingerie division, Jan Singer steps down from her role amidst declining sales. Prior to leading the lingerie giant for over two years, Singer was associated with Spanx as the CEO and Nike where she worked for ten years serving different roles. The shares of the lingerie company owned by L Brands are down about 38 percent so far this year, as reported by CNBC.

WHATSAPP APPOINTS ABHIJIT BOSE AS INDIA HEAD

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hatsapp named Ezetap co- founder, Abhijit Bose as the head of Indian operations. Bose will join the messaging platform in early 2019 and will be based out of Gurugram, Haryana. The appointment comes at a time when WhatsApp has been undergoing backlashes from the Government to initiate an effort to curb fake messages.

VISA ACQUIRES MINORITY STAKE IN BILLDESK

U

S-based payments processor Visa is taking a minority stake in Mumbai based company BillDesk, tapping into one of the fastest growing digital payments markets

in the world. Though the terms of the deal remain undisclosed, reports had earlier suggested that Visa was looking to invest close to $250 million in BillDesk, valuing the company at around $1.5- $2 billion. Mumbaibased BillDesk processes over $60 billion of digital payments a year and provides customers with payment options like credit cards and ewallets.

ADMAN ALYQUE PADAMSEE DIES AT 90

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eteran actor, theatre personality and advertising guru Alyque Padamsee passed away at the age of 90 recently. The force behind building Lintas into a creative powerhouse creative agency, Padamsee was the man behind some of India’s most memorable ads. He created Lalitaji for Surf, Cherry Charlie for Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish, the MRF Muscle Man, the Liril girl in the waterfall, the Kamasutra couple, and Hamara Bajaj among many others. Popularly remembered for his role of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in Richard Attenborough directed historical drama ‘Gandhi’, Padamsee was conferred with the Padma Shree and was also named as the Advertising Man of the Century by The Advertising Club in Mumbai.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 15


COVERCOLUMN NOTE GUEST

ADOPTING THE LUXURY MINDSET: LESSONS FROM GLOBAL LUXURY BRANDS ASHISH MISHRA

MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERBRAND INDIA

T

oday’s global leading-edge luxury brands are raising the bar in brand and business transformation. Now more than ever, an opportunity presents itself for the Indian luxury industry to set transformational standards for its own businesses and beyond. 2018 is a milestone year that marks a series of firsts for the best luxury brands in the world. The recently launched Best Global Brands by Interbrand, the definitive ranking of the most valuable brands in the world, provides emperical evidence. Chanel put its financials into the public arena and holds a commanding position in the top 100 as a new entrant. Two of the top risers in brand value across all sectors are luxury brands: Louis Vuitton at #18 and Gucci at #39. Gucci asserted its growth as one of the top five risers in Brand Value across all sectors and as the luxury sector’s leading riser, growing its brand value by 30%. Hermès has been the luxury brand that sustained a consistent double-digit increase in brand value over the past five years. And most telling of all statistics – the luxury sector asserts its

16 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

unprecedented presence as the top growing sector of the Best Global Brands 2018. It’s a remarkable year for brands born of a culture of excellence. And culture is at

the heart of the work that we’re doing with brand owners and brand leadership teams who are increasingly focused on the inside of the business. As we look at the brands demonstrating growth in luxury, they are the brands


A CRITICAL FACTOR THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE GLOBAL BRANDS IS THE EMERGENCE OF A ‘LUXURY MINDSET’. IT MEANS ADOPTION OF LUXURY ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOURS TO INCREASE THE ROLE OF BRAND AND EXPERIENCE EVEN IN CATEGORIES THAT ARE NOT CONVENTIONALLY LUXURY connecting the inside to the outside. Gucci has sustained its pivot through a hyper-focus on a culture of creativity and innovation, a commitment to talent and its Culture of Purpose, the brand’s 10-year sustainableimpact plan. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has been clear that, “Fashion today should take on the responsibility of being an activist.” This is the first lesson to be learnt by the Indian luxury market. The luxury brands need to be built around a strong internal culture of excellence.

Indeed India is one of the attractive markets for luxury in the world due to the potential growth and a possibility of 5% share in the global luxury market over the coming decades. Yet, the current driver of luxury is overt and social. The luxury consumption in the local scenario is about expression. The categories driving luxury are understandably automotive, apparel, handbags and eyewear. The badge is still key whereas in the global context the badge has dissolved into what is popularly known as signature experience built through a design language. The maturing of the customer sensibilities towards subtler forms of expression should be the next point of the curve for the Indian market. There is also the aspect of how the origin myth and the heritage, one of the four pillars of luxury, needs to be restored as the independent history of the country has seen newer formats of consumption. The legacy and its legitimacy provides opportunities of authentic luxury revivals. The handcrafted jewellery, meaningful inticacies of designs with character, the splendour and regal experiences once hallmarks of our preeminence may provide these opportunities. The other pillars of luxury namely focus, craft and purpose will need to be shored up too within the expected value consciousness. Affordable luxury has been the route so far and

will need to be emboldened going forward for a justifiable movement up the value chain. Yet another critical factor that we can learn from the global brands is the emergence of a ‘luxury mindset’. It means adoption of luxury attitude and behaviours to increase the role of brand and experience even in categories that are not conventionally luxury. We see that being practiced globally and even locally in certain sectors. Borrowing codes and elements of luxury into realty and technology have been successful already and are worth emulating more widely and suitably. As charted in Metaluxury, the book that decodes the anatomy of luxury, the origins of leading luxury brands are inherently rooted in the restlessness of their founding pioneers. These are brands born out of a relentless quest to create something better, to do something better. To recall the inimitable words from Patek Philippe, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for future generations,” we should remember that luxury brands are some of the most sustainable in the world, because they are built to last. Their craftsmanship is poised for the new economies of rental and resale, and their rarity is primed for long-term investment. These are additional lessons for the Indian market and innovations with regards to business models.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 17


TECH

GLITZ AND BLITZ FROM THE TECH-WORLD T

hey say you can’t put a price on happiness - but if money wasn’t a constraint and if you are a connoisseur of all things hightech, you will in all probability feel like a child in a candy store when it comes to the latest in the gadget world. With gadgets such as mobile phones, play stations now a necessity, it’s no surprise that the enthusiast will look out for the best and look beyond the price tag for the ultimate geek experience. Let’s have a look at the world’s costliest gadgets in the markets.

WORK HARD TO PLAY HARD WITH SONY PLAYSTATION 3 SUPREME

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hile the Sony PlayStation 3 is now confined to the realms of history, what is definitely not obsolete is the Sony PlayStation 3 Supreme. Priced at $331,500, the gaming console is made using solid 22-carat gold and weighs 1.6kg. And, if you are thinking of getting your hands on it, tough luck as only three pieces were ever made. The luxury gaming console has a diamond-studded disc loading slot, adorned with a total of 58, 22-carat diamonds. Incidentally, Stuart Hughes, the man behind iPhone5 Black Diamond, made this device.

18 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE IPHONE 5, STUDDED WITH GOLD AND DIAMONDS

A

ll that glitters is not gold, but it could also be diamonds too. And, if it is on your phone, well then it becomes the world’s most expensive phone and this honour goes to the Black Diamond iPhone 5. One can’t stop admiring the beauty of this phone which is priced at a whopping $15.3 million, way out of reach of the average Joe. So, what do you get for that price - a screen that is made using 135grams of 24 carat gold, the chassis inlaid with 600 white diamonds, the Apple logo made of solid gold and 53 white diamonds. Though Apple has already made the move from fingerprint unlock to face detection unlock, the iPhone5 Black Diamond boosts of beautiful and single, flawless black deep-cut 26-carat diamond which replaces the home button. This luxurious black diamond belongs to a Chinese businessman who commissioned this phone from luxury product maker Stuart Hughes.


DID YOU EVER IMAGINE LISTENING TO SONGS THROUGH A LOUDSPEAKER MADE UP OF GOLD?

SUITCASE OR A SCOOTER? DRIVE YOUR LUGGAGE THROUGHOUT

I

n transit, or just on your way to the gate to catch your flight? A common woe of every traveller is the long distance that one has to cover on foot at the airport and what doesn’t help is lugging your bags with you. However, if you can drop $4,000 you can get yourself a scooter for your suitcase, and you can travel sitting on it as well. The contraption looks like a giant camera, and with just four hours of charging, it can take you around 129 kms (80 miles), with a top speed of 56km/hr. Yes, it might be a bit expensive, but you don’t have to just use it at the airport, you can literally use it everywhere to carry your stuff around.

AND IT’S A DIAMOND STUDDED GADGETS TREND

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alos TV has made sure that their customers’ eyes are glued to their television screens with their new diamond studded range estimated to cost around $130,000. The Yolas Diamond TV will make you feel like a superstar with its 160 diamonds that total to around 20 carats, and white gold plating all around the screen. Enough to leave you starry eyed! When it comes to buying a TV, who wants to check the brightness, pixel resolution, contract ratio or how good the plasma TV is, when you can get a TV with real diamonds embedded in it.

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ings and necklaces are too old school today to gift since we have got a perfect combination of technology and fashion coming together. Big thanks to Hart Audio who designed the most vibrant, interesting and also the costliest speakers on the planet, the Hart Audio D&W Aural Pleasure loudspeakers, estimated to set you back by approximately $4.7 million. What makes this even more unique is the fact that there is only one pair available and as with all things extravagant, it is made of 18-carat gold. In addition, five sets of silver speakers were made, costing $315,000 and the phosphor bronze speakers cost $63,000, with stocks constrained to an aggregate of 99 pairs.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 19


FEATURE

‘INSPIRED LIVING’ Innovative products, backed by strong consumer insights, and then hero-ing the product in its communication is Haier India’s game plan to be amongst the top five brands in the home appliances & consumer electronics space by the end of 2018 and among the top three by 2020

“T

he core marketing philosophy at Haier is how to communicate the feature of the products in the Indian context. Even though we are a MNC, we would want to be known as an Indian company

who understands the Indian philosophy and family,” says NS Satish, Senior Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Haier India. Haier first entered India in 1999 through a 30:70 joint venture with Delhi-based picture tube maker, Hotline. However the partnership did not last long. The brand then re-entered the country in 2003 with a premium range of products; this hindered the brand’s growth as the company products weren’t seen to be mass. Today, things are different as Satish explains the positioning of the brand in the Indian market today. “Initially, even though our intent was to be seen as a midend brand, our positioning didn’t reflect this. We then corrected our product-line and introduced bottom mounted refrigerator

(BMR), front load washing machine, side-by-side refrigerator and this helped move the brand up over a period of time. Currently, we are positioned a little above a mid-level brand which delivers value for money. Today, the customer values our products for the features and the value they derive out of it,” he says.

Communicating Innovation Satish also says that all the products that Haier introduced in India were innovative and based on strong consumer insights. This ties back to the company’s philosophy of ‘Inspired Living’, in terms of product development, and then marketing the product with ‘Effective Communication’ to reach out to the consumers. He says, “We want our product to be the hero and we talk about our product in the Indian context. We look at consumer insights and innovate accordingly

NS SATISH 20 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

Senior Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Haier India


OUR CORE PHILOSOPHY WHENEVER WE LOOK AT MARKETING OR AN INVESTMENT PITCH IS ABCD OF INDIA (ASTROLOGY, BOLLYWOOD, CRICKET AND DEVOTION). INDIA LIVES ON ABCD AND THESE ARE THE FOUR AREAS THAT WE INVEST IN

while also keeping their basic needs intact”. With this focus on communicating about the features in an Indian context, the company does not use a celebrity to promote its products and believes that the focus should be on the hero, which is the product. So, for its BMR which turned the refrigerator upside-down, with the freezer down and the refrigerator section on top, the strategy adopted was ‘Jhukna Mat’ campaign followed by ‘Ulte Ko Seedha’ and finally the ‘India, Ab Seedhe Ki Aadat Daal Lo’ campaign which all conveyed the message that one need not bend every time one opened the refrigerator to grab essentials. Similarly the Double Drum washing machine was launched with different capacities, wherein you can wash different kinds of clothes, which can’t be washed together, simultaneously in the two drums. Commenting on the challenges for the company in the country Satish believes, expanding the network in a country as vast as India is still

a challenge for the brand. He further adds, “The predatory pricing by the competition is a challenge because somebody will come and disturb your price suddenly. Whoever is at the bottom will try to catch up with you, so we need to beat them by innovation and the reach.”

The Marketing Strategy Commenting on the marketing spends, Satish says that in 2016, the focus of the company was on getting the product right. Last year the home appliances & consumer electronics firm started investing in marketing and in 2018 the company is expected to have spent over Rs 100 crore in ad-spends. This festive season the brand spent Rs 40 crores and expects to grow by 60-65% during the season. Commenting on the company’s marketing mantra he says, “Our core philosophy whenever we look at marketing or an investment pitch is ABCD of India (Astrology, Bollywood, Cricket and Devotion). India lives on ABCD and these are the four

areas that we invest in.” So, it is no surprise that Haier has invested in big-ticket properties be it sports, primarily cricket, and reality shows. He explains, “We don’t believe in the GRP game and that is not the focus when we devise our media plan. Unlike an FMCG which advertises through the year, we have two seasons – summer and Diwali, and during this period we look at the high impact properties.” For the recent Unimoni Asia Cup 2018, Haier came on board as the Official Global Partner and the Associate Gold Sponsor. In addition, the company also sponsored the India-West Indies cricket series. In the reality show realm, the company was an associate sponsor of the 10th season of popular game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati on Sony TV, Dance Plus Season 4 on Star Plus, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV and MasterChef Australia on Star World. In the regional space, Haier has associated with Bigg Boss across the southern markets and Mr Punjab on PTC channel.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 21


FEATURE With Digital and e-commerce emerging as another channel of distribution, Satish believes that this channel now contributes to 9-10% of sales of the overall consumer durables space. Explaining the growth in on-line sales, he says, “It is like we all felt that people wanted to touch and feel everything but today they don’t mind buying these products on the ecommerce platforms. These platforms have evolved in terms of logistics, reach and delivery handling so they have overcome all those challenges.” The consumer durables space is cluttered with global brands like Samsung, Sony, LG having a strong hold in the Indian market. In such a scenario, Haier has kept itself relevant through focus on key factors including product quality, aftersales-service to the consumers, and the profit margin of its trade partners. “Our long term philosophy has been, first and foremost, our product has to be really strong. Second, how to address the market in a different way, things which other brands were not doing. We focus on our trade partners to ensure their profit margins are right because he should be comfortable on your profit margin.” Talking about the need to focus more on after-salesservice, Satish adds,” Today’s consumer is very vocal, if they are not getting the aftersales demonstration and installation, they will write on the digital space and voice out their opinions posing an instant threat to the brand image.”

22 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

‘WE ARE ON TRACK TOWARDS BECOMING A $1 BILLION COMPANY IN INDIA AND ONE OF THE TOP THREE BRANDS IN OUR SEGMENT BY 2020’ ERIC BRAGANZA

PRESIDENT, HAIER APPLIANCES INDIA PVT. LTD.

As per Euromonitor, the Chinese consumer electronics and home appliances company, Haier is the No 1 global major household appliances brand (based on retail sales data), the ninth consecutive time the company has been in the Numero Uno position. However, the company has some catch up to do in the Indian market but Eric Braganza, President, Haier India is confident of achieving the company’s stated goals – of becoming a $1 billion company in India and amongst the top three brands in its category, by 2020


Q:

How would you assess the performance of Haier India in the last one year? We at Haier have witnessed an optimistic growth in the past one year across all categories and we are committed to providing our consumers with best in class technology products. In the past one year, we introduced many technologically advanced products like the Double Drum washing machine, Self-cleaning technology Air Conditioner and our range of bottom mounted refrigerators that complement the evolving lifestyles of our consumers. .

Q:

How important is India as a market for Haier?

India remains a key market for the Haier Group and we are committed to strengthening our presence here with continuous investments to expand our operations. We’re constantly understanding the evolving needs of Indian consumers and use that inspiration to introduce innovative solutions which offer best in class features & technology. For instance, we analysed how the traditional refrigerators are designed in a way where the less used freezer section is at the top and the more used refrigerator section is at the bottom. For which, every time the user needs to use the refrigerator section, they have to bend down to access it. We were the first brand in the industry to introduce the range of Bottom Mounted Refrigerators (BMR) which features the refrigerator section on the top and the less used freezer section at the bottom. This design helps in reducing bending by 90% and increases visibility of the refrigerator section with food items stored at eye-level.

The marketing strategy for our BMR has evolved over the years starting from ‘Jhukna Mat’ campaign which helped in establishing the category in the market. Over the years, the strategy evolved and we introduced follow-up campaigns for BMR with ‘Ulte Ko Seedha’ in 2017 followed by ‘India, Ab Seedhe Ki Aadat Daal Lo’ in 2018 for the newly launched Haier 8-in-1 BMR. This way, we have focused

on building a progressive communication narrative for a category that needs user awareness and visibility.

Q:

Though Haier has been rated by Euromonitor as the No 1 in the world, you still have a lot of catching up to do in this country. How do you plan to do this? We are optimistic that by the end of 2018, we will be among the top five brands in our segment in India. With India being a vast country, we have spent the last 14 years in making investments that have helped us in strengthening our product portfolio and service network along with expanding our geographical footprint. As we continue to meet the growing demand for our products across India, we expanded our manufacturing facility in Pune last year into an industrial park with an annual production capacity of 1.8 million units of refrigerators and 0.5 million units each of other categories such as, Washing Machines, Air Conditioners, LED TVs and Water Heaters. In Sept 2018, we signed an MoU with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to set up oursecond industrial park in India, in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh to further strengthen our commitment towards the central government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Today, we are reaching out to our growing customer base through an extensive retail network of large format stores, multi-brand outlets and a robust dealer network across the country. We have a large service footprint in the country with over 450 service centres, including Haier Exclusive Service Centers (ESCs), Authorized Service Centers (ASCs) and Direct Service Centers (DSCs) in more than 19,000 pin codes across India. With services like door to door Mobile Service Vans, 24*7 toll-free helpline and Dr. FIDO Live Chat feature available on the Haier India website, we want to ensure a quick and efficient service solution for our customers across India.

Q:

What are the challenges that Haier faces in India?

As our network and demand continues to grow across India, we’re increasingly focusing on strengthening our strategy for optimal budget and resource allocation to ensure we are able to reach out a wide audience with our desired brand positioning. We are a premium brand which is committed to offering consumers superior quality products at a competitive price. Our premium range of products like Side by Side refrigerators, Front Load and Dual Drum washing machines, Quantum Dot televisions, etc, are all designed with best in class features and technology that aim to elevate our consumers’ lifestyles. The challenges that our industry faces today are largely due to economic factors like rupee depreciation which has spiked input costs for durables leading to a price increase of products across categories.

Q:

How would you assess the company’s performance in 2018 and what are your future plans? We achieved a growth of 55% in H1 2018 and recorded outstanding performance across all categories. We are aiming to close 2018 with an annual growth of 60% and a turnover of around INR 3,500 crore.

Q:

Your 2020 goal, to be a $ 1 billion company in India in terms of revenues and to be among the top three brands in India. Are you on track to achieve this? Yes, we are on track towards becoming a $1 billion company in India and one of the top three brands in our segment by 2020. With a vision to expand our product offerings along with geographical expansions, we have been focused at making several investments in terms of increasing local manufacturing, making superior quality products, strengthening our service and distribution network, increasing our marketing spends along with investing in our teams.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 23


GUEST COLUMN

BRAND LOVE AT PLAY ... DE-CODING LUXURY MARKETING DEEPA MISRA HARRIS

FOUNDER , BRANDSWELOVE LLP

T

he talk around brands and marketing is akin to locker room talk, peppered with clan bonhomie, extreme passion, insider secrets and insider clubs. Relevant and exciting for the ones within the circle and incomprehensible to others. The story of brand love is complex. It kind of goes love you, love you not. Brand loyalty these days is like swiping Tinder. Few brands evoke the response “I do...to defend, evangelise and follow you till death do us part! “ At its most fundamental level, brand is the narrative that you have around your company and the very reason that your company exists. Is it then possible to build that narrative around a singular idea of why you exist in the world? This idea gives birth to a whole set of brand beliefs and values that are scientifically arranged in a brand framework that dictates business strategy, organisation structure, culture,

24 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

brand behaviour and roadmap. So how do Luxury marketers build brand narrative to be at the love end of the brand scale?

1. Keep it Personal, Real and Uncomplicated

As simple as paying attention and as complex as the hyper web of data and information that’s driving brands to deliver on unspoken futuristic needs. Airbnb and Uber were considered upstarts, disrupting traditional foundations of doing business but at all times they had a pulse on how to deliver on the primal need for simplicity and choice. Who would have thought that a simple App could proliferate the world bypassing brick and mortar principles and

protocols to deliver delight, speed and convenience? Airbnb’s next steps to get into the luxury experiences space was an obvious move. No surprises that hotels are taking baby steps to embracing lean luxury and lifestyle hotels are creating concepts that aim to deliver on the need to keep it simple and real. If any generation has spawned more interest and


grey hairs it is this one. The fact that 50% of Gucci sales are coming from millennials speaks to the success of its industry leading internet strategies and how the company has managed to simplify and integrate their digital presence with their “New Store Concept” to present a seamless, channel agnostic, customer experience. It helps to have a dream team in place spearheading the brands resurgence, pushing the envelope of creativity aimed squarely at next generation customers. Similarly the “F is for Fendi” digital platform awarded Fendi a place in the top three luxury brands with the highest digital competence in research firm L2’s digital IQ index.

AT ITS MOST FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL, BRAND IS THE NARRATIVE THAT YOU HAVE AROUND YOUR COMPANY AND THE VERY REASON THAT YOUR COMPANY EXISTS

price, is a great placement for marketing innovation.

4. Creativity

“You cannot put limits or constraints on creativity” says Marco Bizzarri, CEO & President of Gucci and the same is true of luxury marketers. It is the life blood of any brand without which brands would be heaving their last breath of existence. It is the one thing that creates momentum in a brand cycle. “Everything you can imagine is real” said Picasso and how true. Brands with lasting legacy of pushing creative boundaries are high on consumer love.

2. No BS

It’s largely about perception. Perception drives people to act in many ways. Brands need to be authentic and transparent. Like people, the most loved brands have been those that have been true to their knitting and their values and beliefs that can neither be shaken nor stirred. In a space where everyone has a voice and an opinion, to keep the world at bay is near impossible.There are few heroes and most exist on screen. Why is it that in the Forbes most valuable brands list, the first four brands are technology brands ie. Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. There is little or no BS around them as technology does not allow for it.They have to continuously innovate, second guess, delight to stay ahead of the game and yet understand the perils of failure in both man and machine. Most of us would have a meltdown without them in our lives. In the luxury world, it’s the same. It’s about reputation, reputation, reputation...driven by quality, craft, innovation and delivery. The same needs to reflect across their omni-channel marketing implementation.

3. Innovation

This one is tough as it does not always beget obvious success. It applies across everything and is most misunderstood by

organisations. Tesla Motors has an innovation premium of 82.4 and evokes varied responses as it loses money on every car sold yet it’s Visionary and Founder, Elon Musk deserves respect for producing highly desirable electric vehicles that go faster, further, safer. Investors continue to back it and it commands a hefty market cap. In the case of Apple it worked to create an iconic brand that continuously reimagines a world most had not lived till they experienced it. The true pointer to manufacturers and marketing lies in Steve Job’s belief that “Innovation is not about saying yes to everything.“ The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme out performing most classic collections in both hype and

Whether it be in the smooth contours of a Jaguar or the precise movements and styling of a Patek or the more trending Yohji Yamamoto, its creativity at play, that defines popular culture. It assures brands a place in the hallmark of cult brands. Marketers are best placed to be disrupters using legacy knowledge, blurring consumption patterns and stereotypes to find new ways to engage customers.

5. Spinning A Real Yarn

We grew up with stars in our eyes listening to heroic stories that became part of our life context. The same stories make people stand in mile long queues outside the LV store in Paris. The provenance,

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 25


GUEST COLUMN reputation, delivery, quality and timelessness of any product creates opportunities for storytelling whatever the medium or channel. The best way it can be told is by mirror imaging. Every marketer has to be a storyteller first, to believe in his own. The real spin comes from consumers who interact and engage with it on a daily basis. The real hero of the piece is the Consumer and brands are best advised to keep him/ her at the centre of the plot. Burberry has been a remarkable luxury brand turnaround and they did it on the power of their story amongst other compelling strategic decisions. To rediscover their roots they brought in a cultural anthropologist to study the brand and unearth its story. They put the soul in coats, they spoke of their purity and craft and at the same time embraced and blurred the line between digital and physical by creating a unique store concept “Burberry World Live”.

have ever driven. Focus on demonstrating the value instead of competing on price. Be known for something as in Coco Chanels focus on Chanel No 5 or the LBD. And finally it’s all about delivery.

8. Experience

Begin with the fundamentals of “Are you offering the best experience ever?” Millennials are dictating what matters and high on their brand needs are experiences whether these be in stores, hotels, travel or across the full spectrum of their lifestyle. 67% of the core audience enjoy experiences over owning things and 61 % are

willing to pay a premium for it. This speaks to hotels reinventing their customer engagement journey to airlines adding a brand layer to operating standards and concept lounges to travel partners getting into the concierge domain. Adrian Zecha the founder of Aman believes “True luxury is a sense, a feeling. It is the experience and how you create or achieve it that is up to you and your vision of what luxury means”. This experience is what drives the brand’s guests to becoming Aman junkies. There are some luxury brands that don’t advertise intentionally as they fear losing exclusivity and

6. Scarcity

The limited edition,exclusivity strategy. Play the long game. In the short term it may seem counterproductive to create scarcity when you should be achieving sales but it pays off as you build exclusivity and brand demand. Hermes former CEO Patrick Thomas commented “The luxury industry is built on a paradox;the more desirable the brand becomes the more it sells but the more it sells the less desirable it becomes”. It is not about getting as many sales as about cultivating an image and a loyal customer base.The Luxury category is not afraid to alienate customers who are not its core audience.

7. Performance

Here is where the cookie crumbles if not baked well under 180 degrees of heat with the precision of craft. Brand performance is living up to the promise each and every time. As simple as that. Porsche, legendary in the high performance sports category, stays true to the company’s reputation for building some of the best cars consumers

26 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

EVERY MARKETER HAS TO BE A STORYTELLER FIRST, TO BELIEVE IN HIS OWN. THE REAL SPIN COMES FROM CONSUMERS WHO INTERACT AND ENGAGE WITH IT ON A DAILY BASIS

believe in the guests experience to speak for itself such as Aman.

9. Securing The Future

Secure what you possess. Joseph Conrad said that Protection is the first necessity of opulence and luxury. Secure what you have or else there won’t be any future. It takes years to build a Luxury Brand and the consumer is unforgiving. Ralph Lauren had to bring back many of its licences worldwide due to a significant fall in retail sales hence trademark, strict branding guidelines, control over the brand experience are nonnegotiable.


COVER STORY

As India sees the luxury market evolving from niche to normal, brands need to decide whether to follow global practices or go vernacular to effectively tap into the huge population base of 1.3 Billion people

28 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


T

he Indian Luxury market has seen an uptick in consumption with the top-consumed items being watches, automobile, real estate, fashion accessories, handbags, beauty/ personal care products, luxury electronic gadgets, shoes and apparel. Fuelling this growth, amongst other factors, is the growing exposure to luxury brands, economic growth with resultant urbanisation and a higher purchasing power of the middle and upper classes, especially in Tier II and Tier III cities which has led to a huge potential customer base. Another key factor is the young population which is exposed to global trends, leading to a change in the mindset of customers who now look for quality products that ranks with the best in the world. Earlier this year, the apex trade association of India, ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) said that the Indian luxury market is set to grow to US $30 billion from US $23.8 billion by end of 2018. In fact, back in 2016 the CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant stated

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 29


COVER STORY

that the Indian luxury market has the potential to grow to $180 billion by 2025 and that it is likely to grow nearly tenfold over the next 10 years. However, despite these factors and numbers, the truth is that currently the Indian luxury market forms a minuscule portion of the global luxury market, and makes up approximately 2% of overall global luxury sales. In this scenario, we try to decipher how brands are reaching out to the aspirational consumers, seeking to change the mindset and getting them to open their pursestrings.

BUILDING A LUXURY BRAND IN INDIA What gave impetus to the growth of luxury brand in India was the opening of the luxury retail space DLF Emporio, which was followed by other such spaces. However, while lack of retail space is a challenge, what doesn’t help is the Indian habit to shop abroad. Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc says that a key challenge that global luxury brands in India face is that Indians who travel abroad prefer to buy their luxury products outside India rather than in India, as the tag owned and touted on such purchases is a higher echelon than the one bought in

THE TREND IS IN THE RARE AND LESSSEEN. LUXURY IS A RARITY AND NOT A RATION-SHOP EXPERIENCE. THERE IS A YEN TO SEEK IT OUT WHEREVER IT LIVES! 30 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

THE WORLD’S 100 LARGEST LUXURY GOODS COMPANIES GENERATED PERSONAL LUXURY GOODS SALES OF

US$217 BILLION IN FY2016. THE AVERAGE LUXURY GOODS ANNUAL SALES FOR A TOP 100 COMPANY IS NOW

US$2.2 BILLION.

Source: The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018, ‘Shaping The Future of the Luxury Industry’ Report by Deloitte

India. Another challenge is how best to meet the rapidly evolving tastes and preferences of the discerning and knowledgeable consumer. Building any brand is a time consuming effort and Bijoor believes that building a luxury brand in India will take decades.

Harish Bijoor Brand Expert & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc

“Luxury brands take time and generations to build, building that kind of love, is love’s labour, often lost. We are still in that process of building brand love in this segment. Give it another 40 years, and you will see it happen in India as well!” he says. On his part Ambi Parameswaran, Independent Brand Strategist and Founder, Brand-Building.com (a brand advisory) says that Indian brands are still fighting a notch or two below the genuine foreign luxury brands in many of the markets. He says, “If you take handbags/accessories, watches, Indian brands are still trying to enter the stadium. However, in one area they have made an impact and this is where they have used the natural advantage of an Indian origin. These are the beauty care brands such as Kama and Forrest Essentials. Both are very well marketed and I would imagine they will be selling more than some of the top end international cosmetic brands.”


consumers. And this just does not stop with campaigns, even having in-store professionals conversant in local languages should be done at a larger scale than it is done at the moment. However, Parameswaran has a different take on this and says, “The biggest danger is to localise the content and make it Indian. The top end luxury buyer is not looking for an Indian connect. Luxury car brands have stayed away from celebrity endorsements, quite the right thing to do or not do? Luxury watches have been using Bollywood in a big way. But even here they seem to be a lot more selective. I am sure they have measured the impact of these efforts. I am not sure if these efforts are helping or hurting.” Concurring with this view is Bijoor who says, “The less you localize the more are you respected in this space. Sad, but true. This is a snooty market.”

THE MARKETING DILEMMA A big question among experts is also whether international brands should localise their marketing campaigns for the country or stick to the global campaigns done by their

Ambi Parameswaran Independent Brand Strategist and Founder, Brand-Building.com, a brand advisory.

principles. On one side, some experts believe that brands should localise their marketing efforts, especially since India is a diverse country and with consumption increasing in smaller towns, a localised campaign in the vernacular language will help reach these

Another challenge is the availability of quality media that befits luxury brands. However, on a positive note, that is changing with the new digital inventory coming into play across cities, new formats and smarter, more efficient screens at the right locations. Fabian Trevor Cowan, Director, Posterscope India points out the other challenge in targeting this TG is their ‘availability’. He says, “High end consumers are traditionally a challenge to target as they

I SEE EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIAN BRANDS TO RIDE THE HERITAGE ADVANTAGE INDIA GIVES THEM. IN JEWELLERY, BRANDS LIKE ZOYA FROM TANISHQ ARE TRYING TO BREAK OUT OF THE GRAMMAGE GAME BEING PLAYED BY ALL THE LEADING INDIAN JEWELLERS. KAMA AND FORREST ESSENTIALS HAVE BEGUN MAKING A BIG IMPACT. NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 31


COVER STORY

TOP 100 LUXURY GOODS COMPANIES (BY SALES) Ranking in The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018

Name of the Company

Brands

1

LVMH Moët Hennessy- Louis Vuitton SE

Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Bulgari, Loro Piana, Emilio Pucci, Acqua di Parma, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, TAG Heuer, Benefit Cosmetics

2

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Estée Lauder, M.A.C., Aramis, Clinique, Aveda, Jo Malone; Licensed fragrance brands

3

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA

Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Piaget, Chloé, Officine Panerai

4

Luxottica Group SpA

Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples; Licensed eyewear brands

Kering SA

Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Brioni, Sergio Rossi, Pomellato, GirardPerregaux, Ulysse Nardin

6

L'Oréal Luxe

Lancôme, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Urban Decay, Kiehl's; Licensed brands

7

The Swatch Group Ltd.

Omega, Longines, Breguet, Harry Winston, Rado, Blancpain; Licensed watch brands

8

Ralph Lauren Corporation

Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren, Purple Label, Double RL, Club Monaco

9

PVH Corp.

Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger

10

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited

Chow Tai Fook, CHOW TAI FOOK T MARK, Hearts on Fire

5

Source: The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018, ‘Shaping The Future of the Luxury Industry’ Report by Deloitte

are not usually present at the locations that most target audiences are. Their patterns of travel, exposure to media and affinity to locations differ significantly from other audiences. Given this reality, strategies should include presence at locations that attract royalty, media and communication that is not

32 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

intrusive and packaging of the message should include brevity.” While mass medium is not the usual route taken by luxury brands, for many categories Print continues to be a key medium. According to Parameswaran, “Luxury brands have realised the challenges in marketing to Indian super-rich. So they are investing in all the right places- presence in

high street top end malls, visibility in luxury magazines, participating in luxury exhibitions, sponsoring special supplements in mainline newspapers. All these activities are building brand awareness. I can see the impact in the kind of bags women carry in the aircrafts. It is still not a patch on what is seen in other Asean countries but we have made a start in adopting


luxury brands into our lives.” For the Chinese home appliances and consumer electronics company Haier, Television is a medium that it relies to connect with the TG for its premium range. In this context, NS Satish, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Haier Appliances (India), says, “Two to three years back, our endeavour was to reach the mass consumer and 80-85% of our TV spends were directed to SD (Standard Definition) channels. Slowly, we increased our spends on HD (High Definition) channels from 20% to 25% and during summer, 30-35% of our TV spends were on HD channels. This year we will also spend on English niche channels, particularly movies, as this is the genre consumed by the premium consumer and we want to get this consumer into our fold. We will also spend on Digital platforms and OTT players where content consumption is happening. Next year, we will spend more on Digital to target the premium consumer, it could be a social campaign or influencer marketing.”

THE GLAM FACTOR: WHAT DRIVES GROWTH • Growing exposure of international brands amongst Indian youth • Higher purchasing power of the upper class in Tier II and III cities • Economic growth leading to urbanisation • Higher disposable incomes has helped propel growth of luxury goods • Increasing retail presence of luxury players across the country • Higher numbers of brands entering the country has resulted in strong performance of luxury goods • Well-travelled consumers

On his part Shekhar Banerjee, Managing Partner, Wavemaker India says a challenge for brands is creating the desire among consumers. He explains, “The big realization most luxury brands go through is that the classic pen portraits

THE TOPCONSUMED ITEMS IN THE LUXURY MARKET IN INDIA ARE WATCHES, AUTOMOBILE, REAL ESTATE, FASHION ACCESSORIES, HANDBAGS, SUPER PREMIUM BEAUTY/ PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS, LUXURY ELECTRONIC GADGETS, SHOES AND APPAREL

Social media influencer and Belvedere Relearn Natural 2018 judge, Riaan George of high end consumers do not apply in Indian market. This ends up impacting host of choices we make while marketing to the HNIs from who to target to ROI metrics. To start with, even though you are targeting the HNI, you will be fighting against the forces of Maslow- So the challenge is not about creating brand love but to create brand

desire to own it.” He continues, “The most important choice is about how we identify and target the right audience and this is more depended on our ability to harness the fast data based on behavior and not depend on classic tools based on claimed users- this will have the highest impact on ROI and conversion. Finally, we need to acknowledge

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 33


COVER STORY

INDIAN LUXURY MARKET IS SET TO GROW TO USD 30 BILLION FROM USD 23.8 BILLION BY END OF 2018: INDIAN LUXURY MARKET IS POISED TO EXPAND FIVEFOLD IN NEXT THREE

YEARS

NUMBER OF MILLIONAIRES ARE EXPECTED TO

MULTIPLY THREE TIMES IN FIVE YEARS. Source: Assocham

MARKETING LUXURY IN INDIA • High end consumers are not usually present at the locations that most target audiences are. • Availability of quality media that befits luxury brands is a challenge

supplements in mainline newspapers. • Presence of luxury brands in high street top end malls • Brand participation in luxury exhibitions

• International luxury brands do not localise marketing campaigns; Replicate global campaigns

• Trunk shows and closed door events are the norm

• Challenge is not about creating brand love but to create brand desire to own it

• Luxury brands increasingly using the out-of-home medium, particularly at airports and high end destinations like premium malls and cinemas.

• There is skepticism of the luxury consumer towards advertising; hence need for immersive communication through content that matters • Print remains a preferred medium with focus on visibility in luxury magazines and sponsoring special

34 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

• Focus on creating custom curated experiences on digital media • Experiential is one of the main pillars of the marketing strategy • Influencer marketing industry has seen a significant rise


Actor Jacqueline Fernandez for Queo

Actor Kalki Koechlin for Hidesign

the skepticism of this consumer towards advertising and hence arises the need for immersive communication through content that matters. This trinity of Data, Tech and Content has given us some fantastic results in creating desire for the luxury brands we work with. We created a long format content web-series called Rushes for Mercedes, to acknowledge and promote Indian adrenaline junkies through a world class documentation of their awe-inspiring escapades.” Even out-of-home is now getting the attention of luxury brands as Cowan says, “From an out of home perspective, we are beginning to see usage of the medium increase significantly. Airports and high end destinations like premium malls and cinemas are now attracting luxury brands in many ways. With the increase in digital media offerings across mega metros, we are seeing the resurgence of luxury brands out of home as well.” A key constituent of the media mix is Digital Media. Many brands don’t just use Digital to target consumers but with the focus on creating custom curated experiences.

MAKING THE EXPERIENCE COUNT For practically all luxury brands, experiential is one of the

Celebrity Chef Sarah Todd and Fabelle Master Chocolatier Ruby Islam at the launch of

Fabelle Ruby Gianduja

WHAT’S HAMPERING THE GROWTH • Lack of suitable retail infrastructure & Rental costs • High tax rates & Import tariffs • Foreign Direct Investment • Growing market of counterfeits

main pillars of their marketing strategy. For luxury brands creating compelling engagement opportunities, to drive home the feel of the product is a key factor in getting consumers comfortable with brands and increasingly this aspect is finding a higher share of voice in the media mix as well. Brand experts explain that branding a luxury brand is a sensorial experience wherein the experience includes the smell, the sight, the feel, and more. Add to this mix the buying experience, and the ultimate sensorial experience is complete. However, creating this experience carefully and then dishing it out day in and day out with panache is a challenge in itself. For luxury brands, experiential marketing is key to getting prospective consumers to understand and get to know the product or offering better. Says Posterscope India’s Cowan, “The core TG will differ from product to product but the essence of reaching out to the affluent, well travelled and brand conscious consumer will always remain paramount. Yes, we would like to believe that from an age perspective we see a trend of younger audiences coming into the affluent set. These could be anywhere from Metros to Tier II cities to a large extent. One category that has grown exponentially in recent years is the luxury skincare space and Vivek Sahni, Co-Founder and CEO of Kama Ayurveda says “Luxury beauty and skincare is

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 35


COVER STORY

DECODING THE INDIAN CONSUMER • ‘Prompt and assured service’ is what the customer gives most importance to. This clearly concludes that staff training and skills enhancement is a key requirement for any brand to succeed. • 50 to 75% customers make repeat purchases with the same brand if serviced well. Attention needs to be paid to pre and post purchase customer service. • Customers give a lot of weightage to the ‘loyalty program’ and ‘special event engagement’ on offer. Hence luxury brands need to continuously develop and improvise such activities. • Almost 75% of the consumers follow a luxury brand digitally. Hence, a good strategy would be to develop a physical, digital and social media engagement with the customer.

an experience. It needs to be authentic and timeless while remaining exclusive. It’s not just about the application and the use of the product anymore. It’s all about the source, formulation, purity & most importantly the very experience it will generate.” Simply put, for any luxury brand, experimental marketing should be a special focus area and it is how they can engage better with their customer and make them experience the brand and its personality better.

THE INFLUENCERS’ INFLUENCE Another important piece for luxury brands to target the niche consumer is the role that influencers play in connecting these brands with the niche customer profile. So, what value do influencers add to these brands? Explains Dilip Kapur, Founder, Hidesign, “Influencers are the kings and queens of content creation, pumping out piece after piece of high-quality, engaging content. They are the link between a brand and its market awareness. Influencers do generate leads and sales, the brand awareness they build is unrivalled in traditional PR strategies. Influencer

36 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

• Most Indian luxury consumers do not use the digital medium to voice any complaints. • An India specific digital strategy including an India specific website is suggested by most existing luxury brands.

collaborations can drive more traffic to our website so we can convert more leads to improve our brand’s image and create a sense of trust with our target audience.” Adds, Radha Kapoor Khanna, Founder & Executive Director, DO IT Group, “The influencer marketing industry has seen a significant rise in 2018 with more and more brands approaching influencers for partnerships. Influencers play a huge role in generating awareness for your products and services – and if the tools and messaging used to drive this awareness are right – it can most definitely turn into sales.” Concurring with this thought is Akshali Shah, Senior VP – Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Ltd. Parag Milk Foods recently tied up with designer Gauri Khan to celebrate the seventh anniversary of their premium milk brand, Pride of Cows. She says, “It’s quite important as

lifestyle influencers are exactly the ones’ who can carry the idea of POC with their premiumness, as they truly believe in the same. The association with the influencers catches the brand’s current and potential customers directly. This makes the communication smooth and hence the results achieved are filtered and direct.” Sanitaryware brand, HSIL is a firm believer in the power of influential marketing when it comes to its premium brands as the company has tied up with actor Jacqueline Fernandes for its ultra-luxurious bespoke bathroom line QUEO and for its super premium brand ALCHYMI, the firm tied up with designer Manish Malhotra who curated the range. Explains Manish Bhatia, President, Building Products Division, HSIL Limited, “We are aware that we are marketing in a digital world and our approach strongly revolves around assisting and empowering consumers, as they move along the decision journey,


LUXURY BRANDS HAVE LIMITED ADVERTISING AND RELY MORE ON EXPERIENTIAL AND WORD OF MOUTH WITH DIGITAL ALSO PLAYING A KEY ROLE. LUXURY BRANDS ARE HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON INFLUENCER MARKETING AS THEY SPEAK ABOUT THE BRAND AND HELP ALLEVIATE THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE. QUALITY IS KEY, BE IT THE QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE OR EVEN THE INFLUENCER AND THIS DETERMINES HOW IMPACTFUL THE BRAND IS.

Sabbas Joseph Founder, Wizcraft

using relevant digital assets and content. The scale and scope of influencer marketing is on the rise and holds increasing importance in HSIL’s marketing mix. We firmly believe that influencers’ deep and direct connections with their audiences certainly help brands to reach consumers. Our past engagement with influencers for both QUEO and ALCHYMI is a clear testament to this.”

Says Lakshmi Sharath, travel blogger and digital influencer who has worked with brands such as Marriot International, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Hyatt, Hilton amongst others, “They look for engagement but more than that, I have heard clients tell me that quality, credibility and reputation of the influencer is important. They also look at the style of the influencer.”

Luxury major Mont Blanc focuses on developing a network of ‘friends of the brand’. Says Franck Juhel, President of Montblanc Middle East, India and Africa, “For us, authenticity is key, and any brand ambassadors – whether official or informal – who are associated with Montblanc generally demonstrate similar values and approach to excellence.” Commenting on why the brand chose to associate with South African cricketer AB de Villiers as Montblanc’s official brand ambassador for India he says , “For us it was an easy decision to associate with AB, as one of the greatest cricketers of all time who is highly regarded across the world, including in his second home of India. A sportsman who holds determination, ambition and the craft of his sport at the highest level, AB de Villiers mirrors many of the core attributes of Montblanc.”

As for measuring the ROI, it wholly depends on the objectives of the brand but reach and engagement are the numbers that are often looked at. Brands also look at the qualitative measurement i.e. the content and how unique, interesting and engaging it is.

Cricketer AB de Villiers Brand Ambassador- Montblanc

For an influencer, the key to partnering with any brand is the fit with their audience, the communication and synergy with the brand and most importantly whether the influencer has freedom to decide on the content.

For Kalyan Karmakar, Food and travel writer, the fit with the brand matters. “Whether there is a fit between the brand’s values and mine. Is it the sort of brand I would use and more importantly recommend to people? Is the client willing to engage with me and see how to best utilise what I bring to the table? Or so they want to lay down what has to be done and not allow for any scope for creativity? Are the terms of engagement clear and transparent and fair? Have I engaged with them before? On the brand side, they look for a distinct voice and a strong connect with the audience.”

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 37


FEATURE-AUTOMOBILE

DRIVING

AHEAD Smriti Mishra

C

ar aficionados and enthusiasts are increasing in number in India. Today, both Tier I and Tier II are racing luxury cars on the roads. Each of these cars has a special meaningto the owner as it defines their status in society. So, no surprise that be it an Audi, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar Land Rover or any other luxury car, Indians love them all. This is also why cars are probably the only luxury vertical to have forayed beyond the metros and enter Tier II and III towns now. And this is one love-affair that shows no sign of slowing down as according to a Mordor Intelligence Report, the Indian luxury car market is expected to register a CAGR of 24% till 2023. Also, while the automobile sector is amongst the highest spenders in terms of advertising, what sets apart the auto industry from others, is that the spends on the luxury car marketing is over-indexed when

38 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

compared to the volume share in India. However, for the moment despite growing appetite for luxury cars in India, high tax brackets to the extent of 50% (including cess) has slowed down the growth rate in the segment. The luxury car market registered sales close to 40,000 units during the last calendar year. “While the market has grown from c 18,000 units in 2010 to 40,000 units, now, we believe that this growth could have been much higher, had the luxury auto industry received the right policy impetus concerning optimum taxes and duties. This has really stunted the growth, and the market hasn’t lived up to its true potential as high taxes such as GST @ 50% for SUVs, and 48% for sedans have proven to be a dampener”, says Ankur Kansal, Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover India. Bringing the trend into practice, the market leader

Mercedes Benz, highlights the distinguishing take away from the brand. Commenting on what sets the brand apart, Michael Jopp, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India says, “What sets us apart in the segment is our diverse product portfolio, strongest reach through network of 94 outlets in 45 cities, and the excellent customer service that we provide. In addition to this, Curated experiential such as Brand Tour and Luxe Drive further help us in reaching out to existing and potential customers in Tier II and Tier III cities”, said Michael Jopp, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, MercedesBenz India. To know more about the luxury car segment in India, we spoke to some of the biggest names in the industry gaining insights about the challenges in the sector, how the market is evolving, their marketing strategies and more.


‘There is no one size fits all approach.’ Rahil Ansari,

Head, Audi India

Q:

What are the challenges that you have faced while marketing in the luxury segment? The challenge in a crowded marketplace is to deliver our message to these audiences; this is where a deep rooted understanding of customers comes into play. Our approach has always been collaborative, we take insights from our agency partners, our dealer partners and customers themselves to better understand and design our marketing approach. Fragmented media preferences also is a challenge, with a newer set of customers being added to the Luxury Automobile Category, our potential customer base is spread across the country with varied media preferences – There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We now look at selecting our media vehicles with more data, taking preferences of Audi buyers, leads and data from Market Research in mind. Narrowcasting, as a philosophy, has been our approach for marketing in the luxury car segment. We

work towards identifying the right audiences across varied customer groups, and tailor our campaigns and media vehicles to reach them. Digital Media plays a key role in this in customized messaging. In the purchase funnel, we see preference as a key influencer of the final purchase decision. Our marketing plans are now focused on building preference for the Audi brand, not only through our products but also our brand activities like Audi Driving Experience, Audi quattro Cup and our brand associations with like-minded brands - friend of Audi, Virat Kohli.

Q:

What are the marketing strategies adopted in marketing to the aspirational Tier II and III consumer? Experiential Marketing has been a key driver for the Audi brand since we started in India. Audi Driving Experience and Audi quattro Cup are our calendar properties that have a fan base waiting for the properties to come to their city every year. Our programs have been very

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 39


FEATURE-AUTOMOBILE successful in driving the Audi brand to the top of hearts and minds of our customers, and our continued investments in them ensure they stay there. Retail marketing innovation - the Audi Mobile Terminal has helped us reach smaller cities and towns and introduce a whole new set of potential customers to the Audi Brand. We created a moving showroom instead of using temporary setups to bring the actual Audi Brand Experience right at customer’s doorstep consistently. We have seen the potential in a lot of markets, and our dealer partners have capitalized on this asset very well, and we have delivered results across the board. Another approach that has worked very well for us is our launch strategy for new products. The Audi A5 range was launched last year in Mumbai with a very successful launch event, this was followed by a very targeted media push, led by Digital Media and content, and then we took to the skies with an Airplane Wrap of the #A5BratPack on a Jet Airways Boeing 737-800, which was used for ensuring the brand communication reaches over 20 locations. Cultural connections: Bringing the brand to the people is an important element for creating direct connection with the audience. Audi India worked on this insight to leverage the 10 year anniversary campaign. We explored different ways in which the people of India say Audi. We

created assets on digital that focused on “How does India say Audi”. This communication received positive response and high engagement on our social platforms. We also created customized ads on Google search wherein we served the video of “How does India say Audi” to the audience who

40 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

searched for how to pronounce Audi.

Q:

How do you use the Digital platform?

Digital Media is a key constituent of our overall Media Plan. Since luxury is all about creating custom curated experiences, Audi India focuses on investing in developing such content for our online fan boys and prospects. Thanks to the targeted reach and customised approach we can take with Digital Media, we are now able to narrow in on potential customers and deliver our Brand Communication effectively. This helps drive ROI on marketing as more people are now online than ever. Our Audi India website offers car configuration feature where our customers can easily configure their favourite Audi which is very unique and also very important. The customers already know about a lot of features of our cars before even visiting our showroom. This clearly reflects that the customer today does his/her research well and hence Digital Marketing clearly helps in presenting information about the product online through various platforms at a click of a button. Q: Which series in the luxury segment sells the best in the Indian market? Luxury SUVs are very functional in India, because of the diversity

in the topography. India is for Audi the definition of land of quattro, hence an SUV is one of the preferred choices of mobility here owing to its high degree of functionality.

Q:

What is your approximate marketing spends and how is it allocated? By how much do you look to increase your spends (in %), if any. The auto industry is amongst the top 3 spenders on media in India, with Luxury players spending an approximate 4% of the overall auto media budget for a market volume share of about 0.22% - this is where creating impactful creatives with use of the right brand colors becomes a key differentiator. Q: What are the opportunities in the luxury automobile sector in India and how can brands utilize the potential in the segment? We definitely see a rising demand for ‘Lifestyle cars’ – this is going to be a new segment and we definitely want to tap this. We have introduced the Audi A5 family which has created a new segment and has brought in a new set of luxury connoisseurs into the Audi family.


‘The toughest challenge is how to keep our brand exclusive yet be approachable’

Michael Jopp,

VP – Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India

Q:

What have been the challenges associated with marketing in the luxury segment in India? The toughest challenge faced by us in luxury industry is how to keep our brand exclusive yet be approachable to the correct target audience – to increase our customer base in Tier II and Tier III markets and yet maintain distinctiveness.

Q:

How has your segment been adopted in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and how do you strategize to reach out to the consumers in these cities? Mercedes-Benz’s focus will be on strengthening network presence in Tier II and III cities to unlock potential of these markets. Initiatives like Service on Wheels enables us to reach out to customers spread in Tier II and Tier III towns in a large country like India and bring in unparalleled convenience in the luxury car ownership experience.

Q:

What are you doing on the Digital front?

The digital communication is becoming important day by day and its share is consistently increasing with time. While the traditional mediums are more or less stable, we see an exponential increase in digital spends. With digital what also comes in effectively is data and insights that can clearly be measured against the set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While that is true, the performance analysis for luxury industry especially luxury cars is still a slight challenge. We are investing in technology as well as new innovations to get to more substantial measures of our digital Return on Investment (ROI).

Q:

What does the market for luxury car segment in India look like five years from now? The luxury market over the years will witness a shift to electric and hybrid vehicles which will be in tune with the global markets. It will see new product formats over and above the conventional sedans and SUVs, which will be more youthful and sporty. The next

wave of demand is expected from Tier II & Tier III markets which will be the game changer. With the philosophy of ‘Best Keeps Leading’, and the bestin-class products and customer services, Mercedes-Benz is all geared up for an exciting future in India, and will continue to define the future of luxury automotive mobility in one of the most vibrant markets in the world, India.

Q:

What would you say are the three key factors that can help establish brand advocacy? Brand Advocacy is effective way to reach wider audience. The key factors driving brand advocacy are: • Developing strong relationship with customers. • Providing exceptional experience which has high levels of personalization • Continuous engagement with customers online and off-line and exceed their expectations and also keep them curious with new products and services.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 41


FEATURE-AUTOMOBILE

‘The challenge is to meet the rapidly evolving tastes and preferences of consumers’

Ankur Kansal,

Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover India.

Q:

What are the challenges in marketing to the hard-toplease and well-travelled global consumer? The luxury consumer is knowledgeable, well-travelled and discerning. The challenge for us is how best to meet their rapidly evolving tastes and preferences.

Q:

How do you market yourself to your consumers? Our primary focus is to make sure that we get the product portfolio and the mix right, along with defining a unique positioning for our products, for which the customer sees value. For example, Discovery Sport is the only SUV in its segment that offers a 5+2 seating configuration and is highly competitively priced. Further, it is important to consistently communicate a very compelling, relevant and differentiated

42 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2018

brand story to customers. Our experiential program for both Jaguar and Land Rover does exactly that. Then we focus on delivering best in class digital experience. Online booking gateways, findmeasuv.in for (Land Rover) and findmeacar.in (for Jaguar) have been created to provide customers with a seamless digital experience. While the digital experience is important, it is also critical that our Retailer facilities are worldclass. We are continuously expanding our Retailer foot-print and now have 27 retailer outlets across 25 cities in India for an un-matched experience across online and off-line sales channels.

Q:

of our brands and products to booking vehicles online. We also have extremely engaging online booking platforms; findmeacar. in for Jaguar and findmeasuv. in for Land Rover, which may be used to search and book, a new or Approved pre-owned Jaguar or a Land Rover vehicle of choice. Jaguar and Land Rover have a lot of interesting online content which helps in customer engagement, the recent examples being our campaigns on social media, ‘Discovery with a Purpose’ and ‘The Land of Land Rovers’. Such content is extremely effective in delivering the relevant brand stories and we do intend to continue our focus on this.

How has Jaguar been able to tap into the potential of the digital medium for effective communication?

Q:

For us, digital and social media are very significant; we are focusing on providing a seamless digital journey, from discovery

The luxury car market will witness plenty of action in the field of connected car technologies, electrification,

What are the key upcoming trends in the luxury automobile market in India?


shared mobility solutions and autonomous driving. In India, Jaguar Land Rover has already introduced best-inclass connected car features like Protect, Remote Premium and Secure Tracker under the InControlportfolio.

Q:

What are the Dos and Don’ts of Marketing in the luxury segment? DO’s – Keep experimenting; always try and break the clutter. Keep the marketing plans flexible to adjust to the changing market dynamics. DON’T’s – heavy and opportunistic discounting for generating sales.

‘With Urus coming in, we expect to more than double our volumes in next two years’ Sharad Agarwal, Head - Lamborghini India.

Q:

Looking at the success of Lamborghini Urus SUV, what has been your key marketing strategy for the product? We have a range of initiatives which aims at providing an exclusive Lamborghini experience. We’ve brought to India our international drive experience platforms called the Lamborghini Esperienza and Accademia. Here, we bring our international fleet of cars with our expert drivers from Sqadra Corse team to give the quintessential Lamborghini driving experience to prospective Indian buyers. These drives also help us to showcase the strength of our design and technology, thus resulting in better conversions. Additionally, we also have a lot of other programs where we engage with both our existing and prospective customers. Another experiential platform that we have is the GIRO. GIRO in Italian means tour which is meticulously curated and precisely designed for the refined tastes of our most discerning Lamborghini owners. Giro seamlessly weaves invigorating drives, unique activities, luxury accommodations and exquisite dining to create an unforgettable, multi-day

NOVEMBER 2018 | PITCH | 43


FEATURE-AUTOMOBILE

driving experience. An intimate gathering, Giro brings together like-minded Lamborghini owners to navigate some of the country’s most iconic roads, while enjoying regional culture, stunning attractions and breathtaking landscapes along the way. With different excursions planned each year, many owners choose to make Giro an annual affair. We conducted the first ‘Lamborghini Women’s Drive in the city of New Delhi in 2016 to encourage the culture of driving passion among women. The drive was led by Sheetal Dugar, the first women in the country to own a Lamborghini, and was accompanied by eight women from different walks of life who got the unique experience of driving a Lamborghini on city roads and also at the Buddha International circuit. We also hosted the Lamborghini Women’s Drive in Mumbai in 2018 where women got to experience the Urus on Indian roads. We are directing our efforts towards providing the experience of driving a Urus hence showcasing the uniqueness of the product. We will be taking these drives to other cities in India as well! Urus is opening up a completely new segment for us. We are seeing that people are coming from luxury super SUV, luxury SUV, luxury sedans or premium SUV sedans and they are moving into a first time Lamborghini experience. With Urus, while as a company we are looking at doubling our volumes, In India, given the preference for SUV we expect to grow more than double in next two years.

44 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2018

When we launched Urus in India for the first time, we took the car to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai because we believe that Urus has a much wider appeal and acceptance. With Urus we anticipate that a lot more women will join the Lamborghini family.

Q:

What are the key upcoming trends in the luxury sports automobile market in India? Earlier we used to have customers primarily from Metros but now we are witnessing the trend where more and more customers are coming from Tier I and Tier II cities and joining the Lamborghini family. In fact, Tier I and Tier II cities account to more than 25% of our total volumes today. Another exciting trend is the number of women buying super sports cars in India! It’s growing!

Q:

What have been the major challenges in marketing to the niche segment and what have been the key success factors for the brand so far? The segment of super sports cars is niche and small in India but given the geography of our country, the volumes are spread across the Nation which makes it challenging for any marketer to reach the right prospect given the length and breadth of the country; and this has been our biggest challenge. However, over the years we have innovatively created platforms and events to reach the prospects in Tier I and

II cities to offer consumers the first experience of the brand. These are private and personalized platforms where we invite prospects to enjoy the experience the technolical and design leadership of Lamborghini. In 2012, Lamborghini created a structure and team based out of India so that we can be closer to the customer and also have built the after sales facilities of international standards. We have innovative programs like service clinic where we invite our technicians from factory to certify each and every Lamborghini on India roads which help build trust and loyalty among our customers. These innovative ways has also led us to become the market leader in the super sports car segment in India and, with Urus coming in we expect to grow our presence further and expect to more than double our volumes in next two years

Q:

What does your media mix look like?

At Lamborghini, we focus on private and personalized events to reach out to our customers as that gives us an opportunity to have intimate discussions to highlight the design and leadership that Lamborghini enjoys. Given the challenge that customers are spread across the country, digital plays an important role in reaching our segment of customers. Instagram is a key platform to showcase upcoming trends and experiences that customers are enjoying with Lamborghini.


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AUTOMOBILE

THE

CONSUMER AS THE

ADVOCATE Big Boy Toyz, a division of the Magus Group entered the niche segment of dealing in preowned luxury cars segment in the year 2009. The brand currently has a pan-India presence through its online portal and showrooms in Delhi and Mumbai. JATIN AHUJA, Founder & MD, Big Boy Toyz tells us how the oldest and most effective form of marketing – word of mouth, helped build Big Boy Toyz

“W

ord of mouth as a source of marketing has played its part in the case of Big Boy Toyz which has seen a major chunk of its network of clients increase just because of a first hand positive experience,” says Jatin Ahuja, Founder & MD, Big Boy Toyz (BBT). Consumers, who have always associated luxury with ‘exclusivity’, would initially prefer ‘firsthand’ experience when it came to investing in luxury. However, over the years, the negative perception around used or pre-owned luxury goods, changed with companies like BBT providing an equally enthralling experience, or as people would say - As good as new! For a brand that deals in preowned luxury segment, the first step involves building trust in the consumers so they become its advocates. “It stems from the fact that your everyday operations and workability need to be at the top level in terms of trustworthiness and credibility,

46 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

so that the initial confidence is built early on,” tells Ahuja. The business of retailing preowned luxury cars in India has shown an upward trend over the past few years. Talking about the progress, Ahuja explains, “One of the prevailing trends that the players in this industry have witnessed is the key ratio of 1:1 i.e. for every one new car sold almost one used car is sold. This is soon going to be transformed into a healthy figure of 2:1, much to the delight of the used car sellers which can bank upon increased sales & profitability in the long run.” Elaborating further about the informed and knowledgeable consumer, Ahuja adds, “What supplements the effort further in this cause is that a buyer looking for a pre-owned car comes with a certain fixed budget and a model in mind which even boils down to a specific color and engine configuration for that matter. This really turns the tide in our favor as it leads to a 90%


WORD OF MOUTH AS A SOURCE OF MARKETING HAS PLAYED ITS PART IN THE CASE OF BIG BOY TOYZ WHICH HAS SEEN A MAJOR CHUNK OF ITS NETWORK OF CLIENTS INCREASE JUST BECAUSE OF THE VERY FIRST HAND POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

conversion rate most of the times for us at BBT, as we are well on course with the fact finding and researching for the target market’s needs and preferences.” With metros accounting for a relatively higher consumption of luxury cars, one trend that has been observed is the rising demand of pre-owned luxury brands in Tier II and Tier III markets. Today, these markets play an equally important role in defining the growth of the organization. Speaking about the importance of these markets, Ahuja says, “Tier II & Tier III city markets are extremely important for us and with an increasing disposable income of people in these areas, it becomes all the more important to branch out your focus to this viable arena as well. The utility vehicles such as the Range Rovers, Mercedes Benz S Class and BMW 7 Series have definitely found a new home in these cities as evident from the sales charts and the biggest aspirational takeaway for these buyers is to be regarded

as well catered BBT clients.” Explaining further about the customer’s profile from a Tier II or a Tier III city, Ahuja says that the consumer is on the search for a brand that commands a hefty snob value along with being open to both choices of makes i.e., sedan and SUV. CHALLENGES MARKETING IN THE LUXURY SEGMENT Marketing pre owned luxury, however, has not been an easy journey explains Ahuja. Talking about the challenges in the space, he says, “First & foremost, it is to dispel away any speculations which exists at the back of the minds of the buyer. It was necessary on BBT’s part to introduce some sort of dependable clarity and a forward direction as many clients were venturing first time into the pre-owned category. Credit it to the in-house 151 checkpoints which are applied to the cars in consideration before being taken in the inventory.”

MARKETING LUXURY IN THE DIGITAL WORLD “Having a steady online presence is one of the most important factors that can carry forward your brand’s proposition in terms of what you want to be known for and what you offer,” says Ahuja as he credits the role of social media tools like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn in effectively communicating with the consumers. Talking about the implementation part and the success rate of social media strategy, Ahuja adds, “We follow a pull mechanism strategy for marketing our inventory on social media which is a major source of channel for generating the interest and curiosity as to what BBT sells under its supercar umbrella. Having people call BBT for a particular model means that the homework is spot on, in terms of targeting and message delivery most of the times!”

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INTERVIEW

RAISING A TOAST TO INDIA Luxury spirits firm Moët Hennessy, part of the LVMH Group, has been in India since 2001 and its brand portfolio includes brands such as Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Krug (champagne), Ardbeg, Glenmorangie (single malt), Belvedere (Vodka), Chandon (sparkling wine), Cloudy Bay (wine) and Hennessy (cognac). Stéphane de Meurville, Managing Director, Moët Hennessy India talks about the evolving tastes of the Indian consumer and why India is one of the priority markets in Asia Pacific for the company

STÉPHANE DE MEURVILLE,

Managing Director, Moët Hennessy India

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Q:

What is on top of your agenda for MoĂŤt Hennessy India? We have a fantastic portfolio of beautiful brands, and we are the best at crafting experiences. From Chandon India to Richard Hennessy, we have something special for everyone.

Q:

How important is India as a market for MoĂŤt Hennessy? The Indian market is dynamic, with an evolving profile of luxury consumers and millennials with higher buying power, which poises India as one of the priority markets in Asia Pacific. The Indian consumer is trading up across segments and categories and these are exciting times for the Indian luxury consumer. There is also a visible trend with a lot more women now consuming wines and spirits, and thereby becoming an important part of our target consumers.

Q:

What has been the uptick in the consumption of wine in the country? The Indian consumers today, are more health conscious, and actively seeking healthier lifestyle choices (for e.g. – lower alcohol beverages), this trend is helping wine consumption in particular. Also, with more players coming into this category, it is benefitting all brands. Quality should now take precedence over quantity and this is also a noticeable demand from the consumer.

Q:

What are the biggest challenges you face? The biggest challenge we face is

regulation & taxation. India has one of the highest import duties in the world and with each state having a different excise policy (which often differs widely from each other), these challenges are unique to India and quite different from any other Asian markets.

Q:

Which are your biggest markets? The major metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Delhi NCR & Bangalore are key markets for all our brands. With regard to Hennessy in specific, Chennai, Goa & Hyderabad are key markets as well.

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INTERVIEW

HENNESSY VERY SPECIAL NIGHTS: I0T’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE There has been a noticeable cultural shift in India over the years, with the definition of “going out” changing, from just food to more experiential evenings, which includes food, drinking, and the emerging trend of cocktailing as well as meeting up with friends outside the home. Hennessy Very Special Night, organized by Moet Hennessy, is a mix of experience that includes music and cocktailing, giving consumers an opportunity to meet each other. Some popular cocktails that consumers experienced includes the signature serve – the Hennessy Ginger Mule, Hennessy-to (our version of a Hennessy based Mojito) and Hennessy Old Fashioned

Q:

What has been your growth like? Looking ahead, what is the growth opportunity you see? We have seen the growth of the Indian market and the evolution of the Indian consumer over the past years. The Indian consumer today travels extensively, actively seeks and values novel experiences, and is very strongly connected digitally, through social media and mobile internet. There is now a growing consumer base with the propensity to indulge but still wanting a real value proposition. With the rising young millennial population and growing

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disposable incomes, there are immense opportunities for Moët Hennessy India.

Q:

Are you looking at looking at launching new offerings? We have very exciting news for Hennessy, with the re-introduction of the jewel of our collection – the Hennessy Paradis Impérial, in India. The Hennessy Paradis Impérial is a Cognac of absolute subtlety and delicacy representing the apex of the Master Blender’s quest, and we at Moët Hennessy India are delighted to bring this offering to the Indian consumer.


FEATURE-LIQUOR

CRAFTING EXPERIENCES The premium liquor market in India is expanding and experiencing a seismic change. With changing consumer tastes, consumers are moving up the value chain, liquor companies seek to remain connected to the consumer by crafting memorable experiences

Anam Khan

A

big challenge that the liquor companies face is the ban on liquor advertising across mainline media which has resulted in many taking the surrogate advertising and the experiential route. In addition high duties and taxes, which differ per state, lead to complex routes to market. The major focus area for premium spirit companies is expanding the base and with alcohol being an acquired taste, the marketing strategy and communication is tailored to getting consumer to taste and develop a palate for the drink. What has helped is the evolution of the target audience, between the ages of 25-40, with more women enjoying a drink and the market growing beyond Mumbai and New Delhi to Bangalore, Goa, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Hyderabad as well. Speaking on the Indian Luxury Liquor market Abhishek Shahabadi - VP and Portfolio Head, Premium & Luxury brands at DIAGEO India says, ‘‘There is a growing demand for the luxury segment in our country and the consumers are still experimenting

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Abhishek Shahabadi

VP and Portfolio Head, Premium & Luxury brands at DIAGEO India


Sophie Sinha

Senior Marketing Manager – Moët Hennessy India,

adhering to the price points at which the products are offered. The consumers are being exposed to a variety of liquor considering disposable income is increasing. The global scenario is much ahead as consumers are much more aware about the brands, which influence their purchasing decisions.’’

IN HIGH SPIRITS The last two decades have seen many international brands entering India and with it the mandate of building the brand and driving premiumization. Commenting on building the brand, Neha Mansukhani Singh – Senior Marketing Manager, Belvedere Vodka (India) says, “We started with building brand awareness, focusing on Belvedere being the world’s first luxury vodka and the wonderful little details that went into its making.

This helped us generate salience not just for the brand, but the category as a whole – here is a Vodka that can be savoured for its taste! Our mission has been to share the gospel truth that Vodka is not a colourless, odourless drink. We truly believe that this is in turn has built a strong foundation for the sustained growth of the brand through highly effective marketing programs.’’ On her part Sophie Sinha, Senior Marketing Manager – Moët Hennessy India, who handles Hennessy, Chandon India, Still Wines, says that the key to building the brand is to craft experiences for consumers. Sophie says ‘‘At Moët Hennessy we believe in crafting experiences. The customer is at the core of our strategy. Our endeavour is to be relevant with consumer trends, category movement and to

create innovative means to excite our consumers. Each one of our brand, is built on the premise of leading experiential moments for our consumer. Social media and digital plays a very key role as this is one of the most important channels to reach the consumer in real time; and influencer marketing, therefore, also becomes pertinent to our strategy.’’ For Abhishek Shahabadi - VP and Portfolio Head : Premium & Luxury brands at Diageo India, being relevant is what takes priority as he says, ‘‘Our marketing principles are grounded in deep understanding of neuroscience and how brands grow in that context. Performance is at the heart of all actions. While these principles are closely guarded and haven’t changed over the last five years, we have evolved our execution style to adapt to a fast moving and VUCA environment.’’ He adds, “We have transitioned at pace towards

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FEATURE-LIQUOR

Kartik Mohindra

CMO, Pernod Ricard India

embedding our brand purposes in culture and making them a part of consumers’ interest spaces rather than just use traditional methods of mass marketing. Today’s consumers are more experience led and look forward to things that enrich their lives. We continuously stay connected to help deliver such experiences for our consumers. Our objective is to help consumers celebrate life across a range of occasions with our brands’’. On her part Sinha believes in the power of influencers, or in the case of luxury brands, micro-influencers which she says has become an essential tool for precision targeting. She says, “As brands are becoming increasingly conscious of ensuring that their products are promoted amongst the right target audience and not to the mass in general, micro influencer marketing enables brands to reach out to hyper targeted community. While micro influencers have lesser following than macro influencers, their credibility

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amongst the community stands relatively higher within their area of expertise, hence, ensuring increased engagement with the right consumers and increased brand awareness. Micro influencer marketing helps in streamlining the digital marketing initiative by connecting to the tightly knit community it would like to promote its products/brand to.” Seconding this argument is Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India who says, “Influencers have always been essential to a brand’s engagement with its consumer. It continues to be a vital medium for brand communication. Peer groups were the early influencers, with Celebs and Popular culture taking the lead in the recent past. Today, with the influx of digital and social media, consumers are gaining a larger share of voice and following across platforms. As we progress, consumers in their own way, are taking on the roles of brand advocates and becoming instrumental in shaping people’s perception and preferences of


brands across categories.”

EXPERIENCE COUNTS However, what is possibly the most important part of building the brand is creating an experience. Singh says, “Our marketing efforts are quite simply concentrated at ‘moments of truth’ where our consumers may be found. As our geographic and business scope has grown, Belvedere’s visibility on ground has expanded to encompass consumer engagement initiatives at both point of sale and point of purchase. These include activations that bring to life brand platforms like Belvedere Studio B and Relearn Natural. Our annual platforms help us to creatively give shape to qualities that define Belvedere. From Belvedere Studio B, which translates the brand’s spirit of collaboration, beauty and generosity to Belvedere Relearn Natural – which is moving the needle on conventions by bringing a more mindful, local approach to cocktail culture, our Marketing programmes are devised with the sole objective of engaging the vodka-lover in a manner that is relevant to their lifestyle.” Speaking on how important

the role of experiential marketing is for the brand Singh says, “The nature of the product at Belvedere is such that experiential marketing is a primary pillar of engaging with our consumer. For Belvedere, both Retail and On-trade channels are equally important to continue building brand saliency. We aim to spread the Belvedere message through on-ground experiential formats unique from competition with our programs (Belvedere Studio B, Relearn Natural) linked to all our channels.” Sinha says that the focus at Moët Hennessy is crafting memorable moments for our consumer across the plethora of its brands and the company is always pushing boundaries and experimenting with new forms of localized consumer engagement within India. She says, “For us, it is all about creating long term and meaningful relationships with our consumers. An authentic and immersive experience, that is appealing and which includes storytelling, goes a long way in building brand equity. Hennessy Very Special Nights, for us, is one such platform which is spearheaded by a mixology

TODAY, WITH THE INFLUX OF DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA, CONSUMERS ARE GAINING A LARGER SHARE OF VOICE AND FOLLOWING ACROSS PLATFORMS

platform, which is extremely relevant to today’s growing cocktail culture.” She explains that Apart from mixology, Hennessy is activated through various strategic partnerships. Recently it did The World Series Dinner with The World’s No. 1 Chef Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park) for the American Express Centurion Card Members, and also recently partnered with the India Design Forum for its monthly design sessions featuring artists such as Gautam Bhatia (eminent architect and author of many popular titles) and BV Doshi (the first Indian architect to win The Pritzker Prize). These partnerships have served as a platform to connect directly with the Xennial and Millennial consumers to introduce them to the world of Hennessy. For Chandon India, Sinha says that the brand has worked with influencers like actor Kalki Koechlin, badminton player Jwala Gutta, cricketers Mithali Raj and Rohit Sharma for its Party Starter 2.0 digital campaign. It also collaborated with actor Sonam Kapoor to launch the Party Starter Anthem and actor Kangana Ranaut to launch Chandon’s association with McLaren. Chandon also works extensively with micro influencers who range from an age group of 25 – 40 yrs old when it have something specific we want to say. These micro-influencers include Akriti Rana Gill, Akanasha Redhu, Anjali Batra, Shuchir Suri are amongst a few. On a final note, on the power of experiential marketing Mohindra says, “In today’s day and age, Experience is very essential to the brand and the discerning consumer. As more and more Indians travel the world and social media proliferation updates global trends, the consumer seeks a deeper engagement with the brand. We truly hold experiential activations as an important medium that allow consumers to become a part of the brand, creating memories and ‘shareable’ content. We believe consumers truly seek ‘knowledge, history and experience’ in their engagement with the brand. At PRI, we endeavor to create an indelible impression on these consumers, while empowering them to make new discoveries within their passions and interests.”

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AUTHORED COLUMN

INDIAN LUXURY MARKET: MOVING BEYOND THE ELITE AND EXCLUSIVE SANJESH THAKUR

PARTNER, DELOITTE INDIA

L

uxury in India has long been the prerogative of the entitled few. One needs to either be born in royalty or belong to the wealthy strata to be able to afford it. Moreover, the conservative business model of luxury companies that restricts communication, exposure and outreach to augment the mystic and premium quotient of their brand, was often a hurdle. Luxury was confined to select metros and available to the privileged few. However, this landscape is undergoing a radical transformation of late. With the advent of digital retail, social media and the dawn of new wealth especially in the urban centres, the traditional boundaries enclosing the luxury industry have been breached. No wonder, India has become the fastest growing luxury market and an exciting playground for global luxury players. Presently, the Indian luxury market is estimated to be around $30 billion and is expected to reach $100 billion over the next five to seven years (Source: Assocham). In contrast, the growth of mature markets is relatively muted at under 5%, albeit on a

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much larger base of $1 trillion in 2017 (Source: Deloitte). This rapid growth is fueled by multiple factors that can be bucketed into the broad categories below:

Knight Frank suggest that by 2025, India will account for 5% of the global Ultra High Net-worth Individuals (UHNI) and 6% of the billionaire population.

Affordability drivers: Vast economic growth and the rise in entrepreneurial culture leading to rapid wealth creation, increase in dual income couples and the rise in female workforce are enabling higher spend on lifestyle and luxury categories. Estimates by

Accessibility drivers: Rapid penetration of mobile internet, digital retail and ecommerce platforms have demolished the geographical barriers for engagement and outreach, and have unlocked the demand for luxury products, especially from non-metro cities.


Eminence drivers: Social Media obsession and perennial inclination to update Facebook and Instagram are influencing the aspirations of people. The need to look good, distinctive and exultant, and broadcast that to the outside world was never so pressing before. These influential aspects further translate into distinct market trends that companies eyeing India market can further note and dissect to formulate their business strategies. Non-metros fueling demand: Despite majority of UHNI population residing in metros, 45% of the demand for luxury goods is originating from non-metro cities and is predicted to grow by 25% annually (source: Forbes India). Affordable luxury segment growing fastest: Rise of the affluent middle class with disposable wealth and aspirations for a better lifestyle are driving the demand for affordable luxury goods. This segment is experiencing a much higher growth of 40% per annum compared to other categories (source: Euromonitor). Millennials emerging as key growth drivers: Millennials are emerging as decision influencers in the purchase of luxury goods. As per a study conducted by Deloitte, millennials and Generation Z will collectively represent more than 40% of the overall luxury goods market by 2025, compared with around 30% in 2016 globally.

CRACKING THE CODE OF THE INDIAN LUXURY MARKET WILL DEPEND ON THREE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS: BUILDING AN IMPRESSIVE, IMMERSIVE OMNICHANNEL EXPERIENCE ENGAGING INNOVATIVELY WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION AND CREATING A POWERFUL BRAND NARRATIVE Preference gravitating towards experiential luxury: Newage customers’ preferences are shifting from owning to experiencing luxury, thus driving the growth of segments such as fine-dining, luxury tours and travel, spas, cruises, etc. Such trends are being propagated largely by the social-media savvy millennial population. Growth of pre-owned luxury goods: Debunking the myth that secondary cannot be luxury, the pre-owned luxury goods segment, such as cars, is witnessing steep growth. Growth of used luxury car segment is estimated at 2224%, twice that of the luxury car market which is growing at 12-15% annually (Source: Deloitte) While the Indian luxury market offers a compelling growth proposition, conquering this landscape is easier said than done.

The incredible diversity wherein language, preferences and culture changes every hundred kilometers, consumers that are proud of their value negotiation skills, high import duties, threats of counterfeit products and lack of adequate infrastructure supporting luxury retail are the key impediments a luxury enterprise needs to surmount. In our opinion, cracking the code of the Indian luxury market will depend on three significant factors: 1. Building an impressive, immersive omni-channel experience 2. Engaging innovatively with the younger generation and 3. Creating a powerful brand narrative The biggest challenge for the luxury brands today is to make optimum use of the social and digital media while retaining the brand guidelines and ethos. Success in India will depend on the luxury brand’s ability to comprehend the complexities, culture and mindset of the Indian consumers. It will be equally important to respond to consumer sensibilities via creative promotional strategies, impeccable service delivery and crafting of an experience that imparts a superlative value proposition. It is time for the luxury enterprises to decide if they want to continue to operate in traditional ways and remain elusive or revamp and uptick their business game. In an evolving consumer environment, market indications clearly project that luxury is no more the entitlement of the elite, and aspirations are now shifting beyond the exclusive to the empowered masses.

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FEATURE- JEWELLERY

GOLDEN TRUST Kalyan Jewellers India was listed in ‘The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018: ‘Shaping The Future of the Luxury Industry’ report’ by Deloitte. A newcomer to the list, Kalyan Jewellers was ranked at 37 and

T S KALYANARAMAN,

Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers talks about the brand being featured in the top 100 list

T

he Global Powers of Luxury Goods2018: ‘Shaping The Future of the Luxury Industry’ report issued by Deloitte listed out top 100 largest luxury goods companies globally, that generated sales of US $217 billion in FY 2016. Five Indian origin companies have been featured in the top 100 list. While Titan Company Limited made its way to the top 30’s, other companies that have been included in the list include

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Kalyan Jewellers India Pvt. Ltd, PC Jeweller Ltd, Joyalukkas India Pvt. Ltd, and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Limited. The ranking of each of these companies saw betterment from the previous report, thereby showcasing the increasing acceptance of these brands globally. “Our business credo – ‘Trust is Everything’ is at the core of all our strategies. Key strategies across markets we are present in are built on this base of integrity”, says T S Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers as he talks about the brand being featured in the top 100 list. Speaking about key strategies that helped the brand position itself in the report, Kalyanaraman adds, “Our strategies are invariably designed with a focus on customer experience, innovation and transparent pricing that

IF CUSTOMERS CAN GET A COMPREHENSIVE IN-STORE BUYING EXPERIENCE WITH HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES OF THE JEWELLERY, DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS, EASY NAVIGATION SCHEME, ETC., WE SHOULD SEE SOME CUSTOMERS MAKE A SHIFT TO OUR ONLINE MARKET BOTH IN CITIES WHERE THE CONSUMER IS EDUCATED AND AWARE ABOUT ONLINE PURCHASES, AS WELL AS IN LOCATIONS WHERE WE ARE NOT PRESENT is in sync with our customercentric model. Rather than focus on merely building a customer base, we have focused on making customers part of the Kalyan Jewellers family, giving them the experience of and value associated with a premium luxury jewellery brand. Our strategy also respects the tradition of states and regions thereby making us a brand for all.”

What is also apparent from the report is the pace with which the Indian luxury jewellery market is evolving. The consumer today is more knowledgeable and is exposed to various global trends and demands the very best from brands. “For the customer today, gold jewellery is more than just an investment, it is an object of desire. At the same time, Indian customers are also looking

for value in luxury jewellery with jewellery which can be worn every day in addition to occasion based purchases” adds Kalyanaraman. However, he says, one thing that has remained unchanged over the years is that the customer is willing to pay a ‘premium’ for purity and quality. To be able to establish itself in the top 100, Kalyan Jewellers has followed a multi-channel marketing strategy that includes TV and radio commercials, hoardings and print ads. Elaborating further about the marketing strategies of Kalyan Jewellers, Kalayanaraman says, “Social media is an important tool to engage with our customers and we are present on major social media sites including Facebook and Instagram. We also engage in onground activation with customer engagements conducted either in the showroom or our brand associates with various events happening in key markets.” Talking about consumer engagement, he adds, “We also engage with customers through various campaigns and contests on festive occasions.

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FEATURE- JEWELLERY

Some examples are the global ‘Shop & Win 25 Mercedes Benz CLA’ Campaign which ran from April to June this year which saw a tremendous response from customers in India and UAE. The raffle draw winners included 10 from India, seven from UAE, three from Qatar, three from Oman and two from Kuwait. Other campaigns include the AkshayaTritiya Offer and Diwali Scratch and Win Offer.”

LUXURY GOING ONLINE “Sales from our e-commerce platform forms a small (~2%) but growing part of our total revenues. Our online jewellery firm Candere.com is doing well and extends our brick and mortar presence into the online space”, says Kalyanaraman. He says that there has been a visible shift with consumers beginning to purchase mediumticket items. Talking about ways to get consumers to buy jewellery online, Kalyanaraman adds, “If customers can get a comprehensive in-store buying experience with high-quality images of the jewellery, details of the products, easy navigation scheme, etc., we should see some customers make a shift to our online market both in cities where the consumer is educated and aware about online purchases, as well as in locations where we are not present.” Another trend that he adds has contributed to increasing traffic on Kalyan’s site is gifting as more tech-savvy millennials are purchasing and gifting jewellery online.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF INDIAN LUXURY JEWELLERY MARKET HOLD? “India is one of the largest markets for precious jewellery in the world alongside China. The affinity for gold among Indians will ensure a bright future for the luxury jewellery market in the country. Men’s jewellery is slowly showing an uptick with an increase in male customers in the

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INDIAN JEWELLERY BRANDS DAZZLE Ranking in The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018

Name of the Company

Brands

28

Titan Company Limited

Tanishq, Zoya, Nebula, Xylys, Titan

37

Kalyan Jewellers India Pvt. Limited

Mudhra, Tejasvi, Glo, Sankalp

43

PC Jeweller Ltd. PC Jeweller, AZVA

49

Joyalukkas India Pvt. Limited

Zenina, Veda, Pride, Eleganza

89

TribhovandasBhimjiZaveri Limited

Tbz

• PC Jeweller Ltd. was ranked 13th among the 20 fastest-growing luxury goods companies. • Joyalukkas was ranked 16th among the 20 fastest growing luxury goods companies. • Three of the twelve newcomers to the Top 100 in 2016 were from India, Kalyan Jewellers, Joyalukkas India and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Source: The Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2018: ‘Shaping The Future of the Luxury Industry’ report by Deloitte

cities. Indians today travel the globe and expect the best that they have seen abroad at home! This should lead to a demand among discerning customers in India for jewellery that is on par with global designs in quality and aesthetics. The future would see customers becoming more brand conscious, and it

is essential to establish a trusted quality Indian brand that is at par with international brands offering innovative designsand trusted quality. For Indian jewellery brands, this represents a huge opportunity to grow with the growing aspiration of the country’s population of over one billion!” says Kalyanaraman.


INTERVIEW

FULFILLING PERSONAL ASPIRATIONS THROUGH EXPERIENCES

Founded in 1869, C. Krishniah Chetty Group Of Jewellers has been the jeweller of choice for many including the royal families of yore such as The Maharaja of Mysore, The Maharaja of Travancore and The Nizam of Hyderabad amongst others. C VINOD HAYAGRIV, Managing Director & Director, C. Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers tells us how the family jeweller has continued to appeal to customers across generations.

Q:

When you market a luxury retail brand, what are the instincts that you are appealing to and how has that changed over time? Luxury goods consumption is high in consumer group who are looking to enhance their social status and representation in society. They fulfill their personal aspirations through experiences. They value the experience of shopping at CKC more than the financial value of the product they buy. Our patrons enjoy the personal gratification and indulgence while shopping at our showrooms. The other important buying instincts that we appeal to are: •

Buying pieces that are unique, of CKC standard of craftsmanship and very hard to replicate. • Ethnocentrism: We are a heritage brand and our patrons love to buy from us. CKC’s customers know that there are almost no domestic alternatives to our products and services.

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INTERVIEW

WE TRY TO GET OUR CUSTOMERS GET USED TO PERCEIVED

VALUE OF THE QUALITY OF OUR PRODUCTS AND THEN

GRADUALLY UPGRADE

Materialism: Luxury products give you a sense of superiority amongst your peer groups. CKC’s signature pieces carved from very precious and rare gemstones like Tanzanite or Green Aquamarine and the highest grade diamonds, generate lots of enquiries from the elite section of jewellery buyers. Conformity: Our first time buyers celebrate their arrival on the big stage or being part of the luxury buyers group. Vanity: The concern about the physical appearance post adorning jewellery pieces.

As the number of multimillionaires and demi-billionaires rise in India, the luxury goods sales will also rise. The seamless information flow and more disposable income with the younger generation has added to the surge in international and national luxury brands opening multiple outlets in India. Our younger generation customers prefer to associate with CKC brand by buying a smaller piece like an ear piece or rings and it gives our customer a sense of arrival. We try to get our customers get used to

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perceived value of the quality of our products and then gradually upgrade.

Q:

What does your media mix look like? Which medium of communication has worked well for the brand so far? CKC’s media mix consists of traditional media as well as modern media. It uses online and offline mode through ATL (print, radio, theatre, OOH and mailers), BTL (Exhibitions, Events and connect programs) and Digital. C.Krishniah Chetty Group Of Jewellers follows Integrated marketing communication approach to achieve its marketing and communication objectives. Newspapers, events and online has generated good response for us.

Q:

What part of your sales come from your e-commerce platform and how has that changed? The e-commerce platform of CKC is being renewed, enhanced, rebuilt in addition to its services bouquet. The online traffic is small but growing and our analytics suggests that the traffic is more on the mid-range products’ page. Our e-commerce platform is also used as a catalogue reference for

any product that our customer shortlists and ends up buying in-store. In addition, we look at this as a reference and aid to our store personnel too. C. Krishniah Chetty also addressed concerns and apprehensions of online jewellery buying by introducing “CKCLIVE” that provides realtime assisted jewellery shopping. The traction on this platform is very positive.

Q:

What does the future hold for the Indian luxury jewellery market? The Indian luxury market is challenging mainly due to India’s diverse nature. The concept of luxury is money... or how expensive a service or product is, in contrast to a broader understanding internationally. The segment will need spaces, or environment that is appropriate. A larger tax paid income base of citizens to grow and that is happening, although slower than expected. Product innovation and service improvements can be seen across sectors. Consumption patterns in the higher end is evolving, and the delivery costs are not easily met. Could this be the reason for lower investment in luxury? For most segments and businesses, luxury is the only way up.


INTERVIEW

MAKING AYURVEDA FASHIONABLE Conceptualized with the focus on bringing to the forefront the centuries old system of traditional medicine, Ayurveda to the luxury beauty space Kama Ayurveda was launched in 2002. Since then, the brand has gone to create a niche for itself in the Indian luxury space. VIVEK SAHNI, Co-Founder and CEO of Kama Ayurveda, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, has redefined Ayurvedic beauty products in India on the back of quality products and ingenious design, making Ayurveda glamorous and fashionable. He tells us how the young population is driving the growth of the luxury sector in India and how word of mouth built brand Ayurveda 64 |Kama PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


Q:

What has been the uptick in the consumption of luxury beauty products in the country? The Indian luxury beauty market is expanding rapidly especially because of the resurgence of natural ingredients and a growing number of consumers seeking holistic wellness solutions. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Indian luxury beauty market is growing twice as fast as those of the US and Europe and will triple in the next five years. The increasing brand consciousness amongst the young population is driving the luxury beauty sector in India. The customer today, due to increased exposure and technology is aware of all the luxury products in the market. The changing consumer behavior is a catalyst in the market’s growth.

Q:

What are the biggest challenges you face?

With proliferation of brands in the Ayurvedic space, the

THE PREFERRED MEDIUMS ARE PRINT BECAUSE IT IS STILL AN EXTREMELY CREDIBLE MEDIUM, FOLLOWED BY ONLINE. BUT BECAUSE OF OUR MODERN, EVOLVED TG, SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BECOME KEY IN REACHING OUT TO THE AUDIENCE. awareness regarding Ayurvedic practice has increased but there is still a lack of understanding. The primary challenge is to promote the growth and development of authentic Ayurveda. It is imperative that the consumers realize the difference between Ayurvedic, organic, natural etc., the differentiation is

critical. Ayurveda is a true system of medicine and the modern consumer needs to realize its relevance in today’s day and age.

Q:

How would you describe the TG for your products?

Our consumers are women and men looking for safe, gentle and highly effective remedies for their beauty and wellness needs

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INTERVIEW

who are also conscious about reducing chemical or nonnatural elements in their lives. The typical Kama consumer is a woman aged 28-years and above, discerning about her lifestyle choices, well-educated and well-travelled who consciously chooses holistic alternatives in her day to day life.

Q:

What role does role aspiration play?

Aspiration does play a key role in new customer acquisition, in our case the aspirations are of a holistic, cleanser and as healthier lifestyle.

Q:

What are the biggest markets for Kama Ayurveda and what is the response from Tier II and III cities? Beauty is a universal phenomenon, concerns regarding skin and haircare are growing and coming in from different corners of the country. Importance of natural & ayurvedic products are being understood by men and women across cities and regions. The market in smaller cities are being driven by various e-commerce platforms, owing to the growing consumer base. Now with our steady growth of presence through e-commerce channels we are seeing customers are making a choice for efficacious & performance delivering products, that Kama Ayurveda offers from cities like Mysore, Bhatinda and Surat to the metro cities. Consumers are happier to have faster accessibility. A consumer who bought our product everytime they travelled to a metro, do not have to wait anymore. They can do so through our store or the e-commerce platforms.

Q:

What has been your growth like?

We built a business based on our passion and faith in bringing Ayurveda to the fore front and it has truly been a rewarding journey. We launched with just nine products which till date continue to be our best sellers – this is a testament to the fact that genuine, efficient products are always appreciated by the consumers. It is heartening to

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Challenges In Marketing Luxury “Luxury brands are trying to keep up with upcoming technologies, customization while other homegrown brands are bringing back traditional holistic treatments. The current need in the market, which will only evolve further, is for sustainable, natural effective solutions for skin, hair and body. Given the hectic lifestyle, the need for ‘self-care’ and indulgence has grown. And this trend is going to expand exponentially.”

see that through our products, consumers are discovering that Ayurveda is effective, natural and safe. We have received accolades from beauty publications as well as consumers from around the world.

Q:

What is your core marketing strategy?

In the starting years, due to availability of a smaller product range and the fact that Ayurvedic products were a niche category, the marketing was done differently. We used word of mouth and reached out to our close friends who helped us in promoting the brand. To this day we continue to be a product and word of mouth driven brand and we are proud of the journey so far. We have created a customer base which is both domestic and international. The preferred mediums are print because it is still an extremely credible medium, followed by online. But because of our modern, evolved TG, social media has become key in reaching out to the audience.

Q:

How important is it to use influencers to help build the brand and connect with the TG? Who are the influencers who you have associated with? We as a brand have been fortunate to have had brand friends who have shared their love of our products and our formulations time and again. Along with them, influencers over time with their reach and engagement have also become essential in the media mix. Influencers who believe in the products are extremely important because they act as brand ambassadorsand that in turn helps us build the brand.

Q: see?

Looking ahead, what is the growth opportunity you

The ongoing plan is to expand, set up more stores, increase the retail footprint and extend our online presence. We are aiming to bring the brand to newer consumers and focus on online marketing to bolster our e-commerce.


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Q&A

‘LUXURY BRANDS SHOULD CUSTOMIZE AS PER INDIAN NEEDS’ Abhay Gupta,

Founder and CEO of Luxury Connect LLP & Luxury Connect Business School believes that luxury brands should adapt to the local Indian tastes and also localise its media plans for the country

Q:

What are the main challenges facing the luxury industry in India? If one were to look from 2000 to date, nothing has changed, in fact challenges have been added. The challenges that the industry faces are regulatory with respect to duty structure, FDI Norms, sourcing norms. The other big challenges are the lack of luxury retail real estate, talent and counterfeit. Also, the mentality of the Indian consumer who prefers to shop for luxury goods abroad. As per a report by Fondazione Altagamma, if Indians shopping luxury abroad started shopping in India, the scenario would change drastically. However, that will not happen as the restrictions by the government, such as the pan card number (if you purchase a product above Rs 2 lakh), act as a deterrent. The multi-brand concept is also still to pick up in a big way in India.

Q:

What verticals/ segment are doing well in India?

If you look at soft luxury goods, then accessories are doing well such as footwear, ladies bags, perfumes, eye wear. In terms of hard luxury, automobiles, real estate, home interior, jewellery

68 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

are doing well. Watches had seen a slow down because of the Rs 2 lakh rule, but it is making a comeback through re-useable luxury. Second hand luxury is also picking up. On the other hand, the newer segment like the yacht industry has been badly affected, primarily because of security reasons.

learning. Looking back to the 1990’s when fashion brands first entered India, there was an apprehension as to what will happen to the Indian brands? What happened was that the overall quality and performance of the Indian brands improved across sectors.

Q:

Q:

Indian luxury brands are doing extremely well and they are still

Zoya by Tanishq (from the house of Titan), Jaguar Land

How are the homegrown Indian luxury brands performing?

If you were to name the top Indian luxury brands, what would you say?


Rover (Tata), Oberoi and Taj in hospitality, Sabyasachi in fashion, Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials in the personal beauty space.

Q:

What are the challenges that luxury brands face marketing their brand in India? It differs from sector to sector. The liquor sector has regulatory issues, so they sponsor a lot of events. Their branding comes through events, where the bar is completely sponsored by one of the luxury brands. They have big advertising budgets and depending on your network, you can bring them in. The population is moving up in the value chain when it comes to liquor. A common household which used to drink Black Label is today on single malts. The spending pattern, purchasing power, behavior, and acceptance of higher value products has really come a long way to dictate the luxury spending happening in India. Fashion is taking the trunk show and the influencer route. The Pied Piper route is also in vogue wherein society women host a close knit by-invite crowd for a low-key closed door event. The jewellery business also does a lot of events. Similarly, watches also rely a lot on closed-door events and they do have big budgets for print as well as ATL and BTL. So, I would say that luxury brands marketing initiatives include closed-door events, trunk shows, special invites and experiential events. Influencer marketing has also seen a big boost in recent years.

What should the luxury brands do to build brand love in India • Learn, adapt and educate the market: A ‘one size fits all’ strategy will not work. Diverse strategies are needed in handling different demographics in order for brands to be unbeaten in the luxury sector. Luxury experiences, both in-store as well as online have become of prime importance for consumer acquisition and retention • Focus on brand value proposition: Indians generally are extremely value-conscious. It is fairly important for brands to communicate their value systems clearly and loudly and provide closeness, uniqueness, product and brand acquaintance with appropriate messages. They need to educate this new Indian customer on their value proposition to win them. • Indians are digitally savvy: don’t ignore the digital medium. The R-O-B-O (research online – buy offline) phenomenon is perhaps the deepest in India. • Train, educate, invest and believe in your staff: With so many varied customers, a key challenge is talent. One cannot be too sophisticated to scare away the new customer, and at the same time, one cannot be too ordinary to not make an aristocratic customer shy away! Driving this balance in line with the brands’ cultural customer experience is perhaps the biggest operational challenge for any franchisee or brand. • Believe in the market & stay invested: India is a long-term paradise. A brand needs to be patient, keep controls in place and let the ‘brand – customer’ relationship evolve. There are no quick gain methods in this market. • Collaborate, not compete: A relatively easier method that can work in a foreign brand’s favour is to collaborate with like-minded but differently skilled Indian brands and add value to each other. Recent associations between Christian Louboutin and Sabyasachi, Swarovski and various designers are a gaping example of this factor Source: Creating & Managing Customer Value, Satisfaction, & Loyalty: An Introspective into India’s Luxury Market This abstract and findings are based on a paper written & presented by the Mr. Abhay Gupta at the SMU-LVMH conference, Singapore May 2015. The same has been published in a book ‘The Essence of Luxury: An Asian perspective’, in October 2017

Q:

Should brands operating in India create their communication keeping the local taste in mind? That is where the challenge is. There was a report which we had undertaken and our recommendation was that international brands should customize their marketing for India. Usually what happens is that the international luxury brands’ marketing decisions and creatives are made for a global audience. It is not true that they do not customize as per the geographic region but India is too small a market for them. Due to

the small size of the market, from a value perspective, they are not open to customize their campaigns nor do they give special budgets for India. For the print ads, the visuals, themes are all decided internationally. Even for a store launch, everything from the food served to the colour of the carpet,

the invite, is controlled. This is part of the brand philosophy and it cannot be changed. However, our survey shows that luxury brands should customize as per Indian needs. They should have Indian websites and must have more vernacular staff in their showrooms.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 69


INTERVIEW

70 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


Simran Sabherwal

DEFINING THE PEAK OF LUXURY The inspriation for Montblanc, the manufacturer of luxury watches, writing instruments, jewellery, leather goods, fragrance and eyewear, is the highest mountain in the Alps after which the brand takes its name. Translated as the ‘white mountain’ , the logo represents the snow-covered peak and symbolises the brand’s commitment to the highest quality and finest European craftsmanship. Franck Juhel, President of Montblanc, Middle-East, India and Africa tells us how the brand’s partnership with Titan and Tata CLiQ has helped grow Montblanc in India, why the company’s focus is to be as accessible to its customers as possible and why a shopper in India has the same experience as a shopper anywhere else in the world

Q:

How important is India as a market for Montblanc?

India is a key market for us, and one in which we have been present for over 25 years. Montblanc is the biggest luxury player in the country, and will continue to be, given the expansion strategy we are currently following. This is a market with significant potential for Montblanc, thanks to the immediate recognition and appreciation we receive for our heritage, quality and craftsmanship, as well as for the status a Montblanc product gives to its owner. And if we look at the sheer size of the Indian market, the emergence of the growing upper middle class and a young demographic with increasing interest in luxury, we are confident of the long-term potential here.

Q:

How has the partnership with Titan, since 2014, helped the brand?

Our partnership is a strong and complimentary one. Montblanc is one of most recognised luxury brands in the world, with more than 112 years of heritage, craftsmanship and design. Titan is a leader in India, with a significant track record in retail in this market. The joint venture enables us both to benefit from one another’s expertise and succeed in growing Montblanc’s presence across the market.

Q:

What are the biggest challenges you face?

The main current challenge in India is infrastructure, most particularly real estate. As a luxury Maison, it is essential for us to be in the right premium environment, and this segment of retail real estate development is still in its formative stage. We open a boutique as quickly as we find the appropriate location. Most recently we opened boutiques in the DLF Emporio Mall in Delhi, Phoenix Market City Mall in Pune and the Palladium Mall in Chennai.

Q:

How would you describe your target group? Which are your biggest markets and what’s been the uptick in Tier II and III towns? Montblanc has the biggest retail presence in India of any global luxury brand, with 13 boutiques currently open in Tier I cities, where the retail infrastructure is the most developed. We see excellent opportunity for Montblanc beyond these too, and are currently exploring opportunities in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Chandigarh, to name a few. Our most efficient means of making Montblanc available to those

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 71


INTERVIEW

CONSISTENCY IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US, AND A CUSTOMER WHO VISITS A MONTBLANC BOUTIQUE IN PARIS, DUBAI, OR CHENNAI, SHOULD HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE. OUR FOCUS IN INDIA, EXACTLY AS IT IS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, IS TO BE AS ACCESSIBLE TO OUR CUSTOMERS AS POSSIBLE.

customers who are not in cities where we have a boutique is, of course, online through the Tata CLiQ Luxury e-commerce platform. This has enabled us to offer our pan-India customers access to a wide range of Montblanc products. Interestingly, our first customers on this platform came from Kanpur, followed by more orders from Dehradun, Bilaspur, Raipur, Coimbatore and other Tier II and III cities – demonstrating the appeal of Montblanc beyond the major cities.

Q:

What % of your revenue comes from the e-commerce platform and from where is the growth coming? It is too early to measure this as Montblanc only became available on Tata CliQ in August, but we are confident that this retail avenue will grow at an exponential rate. There is no doubt that e-commerce is a rapidly growing channel in India, and a relevant additional retail outlet for Montblanc across all our categories. What is most exciting for us at this early stage of our e-commerce journey in India, is that we are already seeing repeat orders from customers. We have customers making online purchases for ink refills and peripherals, who are then returning for leather goods and accessories such as cufflinks. The gifting culture for celebrations such as Diwali and Raksha Bandhan and the ability to shop at one’s convenience is also driving online purchases of Montblanc.

Q:

What is the core marketing strategy for Montblanc in India? Are your marketing plans localised for the Indian market? We are a global Maison, but we are also local, so when we launch a new collection we do it in all the markets around the world at about the same time, and that includes India. Consistency is very important for us, and a customer who visits a Montblanc boutique in Paris, Dubai, or Chennai, should have the same experience. Our focus in India, exactly as it is in other parts of the world, is to be as accessible to our customers as possible.

Q:

How important is experiential and digital marketing for the brand?

Experiential and digital are significant marketing disciplines for luxury brands globally, particularly as we look to our future customers. Retail for Gen Z is not just about online and mobile shopping, it is equally about instore experiences and the ability to engage meaningfully with brands on social. At Montblanc we are seeing a shift in the allocation of our marketing budgets accordingly.

Q:

What has your growth been like? Looking ahead, what are your plans and how are you looking to expand? Growth for Montblanc in India has been strong and consistent, and as we expand our network of boutiques and increase our portfolio online through Tata CliQ, we expect this to continue. In terms of our categories, our writing instruments remain our biggest sellers, but our leather goods are our fastest growing category, and are delivering significant growth in all our boutiques and online. Montblanc is also developing a solid market for our timepieces in India, thanks to our high level of watchmaking expertise and quality complications coupled with exceptional value for money. We will continue to expand, with a number of new boutiques and channels in the pipeline for the coming fiscal year.

72 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


INTERVIEW

‘THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO KEEP REINVENTING YOURSELF’ What started as a hobby 40 years ago for

DILIP KAPUR, Founder, Hidesign has now become a brand that is synonymous with luxury and leather in India. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Kapur was among the first to be credited with starting a luxury brand in the fashion and lifestyle space in the country. Today, Hidesign has 84 exclusive stores, with plans to launch another 12, and is distributed in 23 countries. Kapur tells us that it was Tier II cities that led the growth of Hidesign, how brands benefit any time they make customers happy and betting on a 20% growth this year

Q:

What are the biggest challenges you face? The biggest challenge is to keep reinventing yourself. Just as you do something amazing and you think everything is going well —-you are at risk of becoming the next dinosaur. The challenges always fit into the constant need for keeping track of the lifestyle of your customer, what their aspirations are , how you can be an asset if their search for looking attractive and upmarket.

Experiential marketing is about designing a sensory experience that brings a person into a lasting and meaningful relationship with the brand. 74 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


Q:

How would you describe the TG of your products?

The Hidesign customer is young mainly between the age group of 25-35, well educated and working professionals, who are well travelled and care for their appearances.

TOP TRENDS IN LUXURY MARKETING

Q:

Which are the biggest markets and what is the response from Tier II and III cities? Traditionally Hidesign grew in popular towns such as Goa, Cochin, Pondicherry etc, Tier II spaces and not Tier I cities. While metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore get huge chunk of business for Hidesign, but smaller cities like Guwahati, Jaipur, Varanasi etc, are playing a major role, especially at the airports.

• Online retailing • Understanding the purchase intent journey • Omni-channel continues to gain momentum

Q:

What has been your growth like? Looking ahead, what is the growth opportunity you see? We grew a little slower last year than expected both due to demonetization and GST. We grew about 15-16%. This year we hope to grow above 20%.

• Social + mobile + storefront = Magic

Q:

What is your core marketing strategy? What are the key elements when deciding your media mix and which are the preferred mediums? We were a manufacturing focused company led by exports in the initial years. Hidesign has now evolved into a retail driven company seen at all points where the customer is present such as company run exclusive stores, airport stores, shop-in-shops and wall racks in multi-brand outlets, website, e-commerce partners, corporate sales, gift voucher sales and international distribution. Hidesign primarily has a strong presence and available on five platforms - Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBO), (MBO) Multi Brand Outlet with Shoppers Stop, Central, Lifestyle, then E-commerce partners like Amazon, Jabong, Tata Cliq, corporate sales partner and then our website- www.hidesign.com

• Experiential marketing

The Indian market goes through a generation every five years! We have decided to treat every platform as equally important and to always speak the same language on every platform, tell the same stories, run the same campaigns, and in the products to always use the same quality of materials and craftsmanship. The three major changes are the Indian Consumer is international, e-commerce has changed the way we market and sell the product and there is a strong consumer interest in what is genuine, natural, healthy - in short an ecological-human culture that reacts against mass production and heavily processed artificialness.

Q:

How important is experiential marketing for the brand?

Experiential marketing embodies messaging that we can touch, feel, or view in a physical space. Experiential marketing is about designing a sensory experience that brings a person into a lasting and meaningful relationship with the brand. When a consumer is attached to a brand and associates it with beneficial, fun, and memorable emotions, they’re more likely to stay loyal. Brands benefit any time they make customers happy, and experiential marketing gives consumers the feel-good emotions needed to cultivate true brand loyalty, and ultimately influence purchase decision.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 75


FEATURE

BRINGING

FRENCH LUXURY TO INDIA

Two years since Longchamp entered India, Radha

Kapoor-Khanna,

Founder & Executive Director, DO IT Group lays down the roadmap for the luxury brand, converting the aspirational consumer into a buyer and ensuring that Longchamp resonates with the new customers

F

ounded in Paris in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain, Longchamp produced the world’s first luxury leather-covered pipes expanding to leather goods such as wallets, handbags, luggage etc. The company today designs and manufactures a wide range of luxury goods including leather and canvas handbags, luggage, shoes, travel items, fashion accessories, and a line of ‘ready-to-wear’ women’s designer clothing. Known for the iconic La Pliage bag, a women’s foldable handbag, the French luxury leather goods company entered India in the year 2016, with a store in Delhi and followed that up with another store in the financial capital, Mumbai.

THE CHALLENGES Commenting on the challenges, Radha Kapoor-Khanna, Founder & Executive Director, DO IT Group, who brought down the luxury brand to India, says that millennials are disrupting the luxury market not just in India but globally. She explains,

76 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

Radha Kapoor-Khanna


ASPIRATION IS KEY IN DEVELOPING

INTEREST FOR LUXURY BRANDS. WITH INDIANS

TRAVELLING ABROAD AND BEING EXPOSED TO MANY INTERNATIONAL BRANDS, RECOGNITION HAS BECOME EASIER “The rising generation has presented a unique challenge as well an opportunity to the luxury marketer and has pushed the brands to address the shift in luxury consumer behaviour. E-commerce players for example have evolved from a discounted portal to more exclusive and sophisticated portals. The internet boom and the penetration of social media both play a critical role in creating awareness among existing buyers of premium products and a growing number of aspirants as well.” Another challenge is getting the Indian consumer to pay as Kapoor-Khanna says,“The Indian luxury customer is a tough nut to crack. While having the ‘it’ bag or dress is a matter of novelty, getting a ‘good deal’ still drives

decisions. And sometimes, the difference of Rs. 25,000 to 45,000 is equal to an air ticket to Dubai / London – which look better on Instagram and have a better badge value than any zip code in India.”

WHO IS A LONGCHAMP WOMEN? Kapoor-Khanna firmly believes that a brand needs to resonate with people for them to adopt it. Describing the Longchamp enthusiast, she says, “The Longchamp woman can technically be anyone who has access to the brand – but it resonates the best with fierce, independent women who have an urban lifestyle and a spirited sense of elegance.” Kapoor-Khanna also believes

that it is important in converting aspirational consumers. “Aspiration is key in developing interest for luxury brands. With Indians travelling abroad and being exposed to many international brands, recognition has become easier. The more a brand is seen being adopted by the right set of people, the easier it is to drive aspiration for it,” she says. While Mumbai and New Delhi are the best performing markets for the brand, “simply because of the number of people who understand and appreciate luxury brands”, Bangalore and Hyderabad are the cities that follow suit. Commenting on the growth she says, “Longchamp is showing a steady LFL (like-for-like)growth in double-digits. We’re present

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 77


FEATURE

TOP TRENDS IN LUXURY MARKETING • Brands are opting for solutions that help them retain their existing clientele along with tapping into the new-age millennial consumers. • Brands are focusing on personalizing the experiences such as home shopping, heightened customer service involving home delivery, innovation in both selling and upgrading the in-store experience, ensuring quality of the products is up to the mark whilst keeping price points relevant to the product. • Marketing trends for luxury brands have also moved beyond to ensure they reach out to their followers and readers digitally as well. • When it comes to digital platforms and trends – content has always and continues to be the king with storytelling being the focal point and advertising the other. 78 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

WHILE DIGITAL WAS SEEN AS DEMOCRATIZED EARLIER, AND LUXURY AS EXCLUSIVE, THE DIGITAL MEDIUM TODAY IS POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE MEDIA MIX FOR ALL LUXURY BRANDS IN INDIA AND ABROAD in only two locations in India so certainly the growth opportunity we see is in expanding to new suitable locations. There is increased interest in the brand and we are confident on capitalizing on this.”

TELLING THE LONGCHAMP STORY Longchamp’s marketing strategy in India has three focus areas: Maintaining relevance with its current customers, growing the footprint and making Longchamp resonate with new customers and exploring new channels and collaborations to grow the community as a whole.

Commenting on the media mix Kapoor-Khanna says, “The key elements in deciding our mix have been adjacency, measurability and working with the right partners with customers similar to ours. The media vehicle thus becomes extremely important.” She continues, “Historically luxury brands have invested a lot in print for brand building. This changed around 2009 due to a paradigm shift in the luxury media mix. While digital was seen as democratized earlier, and luxury as exclusive, the digital medium today is possibly the most important part of the media mix for all luxury brands in India and abroad.”


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FEATURE

THE A-LISTER’S

COUTURIER A foremost name in Luxury menswear, Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur label was launched in 1994. The metamorphosis of the Jodhpur Bandhgala jacket and a “new cut for the classic Bandhgala Suit” has given the atelier a respectable place in the global fashion history

Smriti Mishra

“F

ashion is a philosophy, it is about how the society evolves” believes Indian designer Raghavendra Rathore who is accredited with taking the classic Jodhpur Bandhgala suit to the global fashion industry. Recalling his early days at Parsons School of Design in New York, Rathore adds, “I learnt that fashion was never about the product, it was about the people. And that is the belief that laid the foundations for the brand RR. There was never an obsession over the trends in New York and Paris. Instead, it was about making clothes that people wanted to wear. Understanding people and their needs have been pivotal to the brand’s sustenance.” What also set the brand apart was taking the road less travelled as he explains, “Having dabbled in menswear, something not many of the contemporaries wanted to explore, today the brand realises the strength and conviction of this belief. It is humbling that we managed to create a list of products which actually are relics. The classic tailored look and a sharp cut instantly gave us access to a sophisticated clientele. The metamorphosis of the Jodhpur Bandhgala jacket and a “new cut for the classic Bandhgala Suit” has given the atelier a respectable place in the Global fashion history. The Raghavendra Rathore. Jodhpur Brand feels humbled that today these contribution have become synonymous with Indian heritage and

80 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018

Actor Saif Ali Khan with Designer Raghavendra Rathore


resilient to the fads of fashion.” The Indian fashion industry has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past few decades and Rathore has been a key witnessof this journey through his rich experience with brands like DKNY, Oscar de la Renta and over two decades into his own label. He believes that it is important for any fashion brand or designer to know the varied channels of exhibiting and selling their work and the capacity to go global. Despite the changing scenario of fashion industry, the core idea of laying the foundation of a brand has been the same over the years. “What always works for a brand is the idea to dress anyone and everyone who finds a match with the essence and aesthetic that the Brand goes by. It’s more about building a base of interesting experiences with every client that walks in,” says Rathore. He further adds, “A few things that any brand in today’s day and age, requires, to expand, is deep deliberation on strategic issues such as scale, timing and investments.

DECODING A BESPOKE BRAND “Having dressed people from all walks of life, we know that it is natural that they have their unique individual styles, likes and dislikes, and the ability to cater to each of these, is the beauty of a bespoke brand”, says Rathore. Talking about his brand, he further adds, “Bespoke fashion is about the luxury of time – it has a versatile business model that can present itself to clients across the globe who have the appetite and time for something different. Our target consumers are men from around the globe who believe in fine tailoring and engage in lots of conversation with the atelier in order to allow us to create a customised wardrobe solution for them than effortlessly blend with their style & personality.” Digital and Social Media today, play a key role in building conversations around any brand. However, in the process it is also important to maintain the exclusivity of a particular brand. Rathore explains, “As a

LUXURY MARKETERS HAVE TO REMAIN IN SYNC WITH THE SHIFT IN THE WAY THE NEW GENERATION IS

SPENDING

bespoke brand, it is important that the digital property is kept in the classic yet edgy space as well, allowing consumers to get inspired to keep it simple, stylish and elegant.” On being asked about the importance of influencers and tie ups with other brands, Rathore adds, “Influencers and celebrities add a unique & humbling flavour to the brand, with their elegance and charismatic persona.” He believes that any brand association becomes valuable when there is a shared vision, and similarity in creative and well as the value-driven approach of the partner brands.

TRENDS IN LUXURY MARKETING Talking about India as a country ‘that has always loved luxury’, Rathore says, “India now witnesses the growth of a hardworking, intelligent and wellinformed consumer segment that seek products and experiences that are one-of-a-kind. The Bespoke space finds a perfect fit in consumers’ lives as it allows

them to create beautiful stories along with innovation for the discerning customers. Luxury marketers have to remain in sync with the shift in the way the new generation is spending. Further the world is becoming smaller and many cultural boundaries are disappearing, due to various factors such as social media, e-commerce and technology, &this lays emphasis on the bespoke approach of building heart to heart connections with the consumers.” Adding further that the word luxury holds ‘different connotations in different parts of the world’, Rathore goes on to say, “The way forward, for any luxury brand, is to understand that true luxury lies in how products relate to the consumers’ lives. When consumers are allowed to immerse in a rich history of artistry, and the opulence exuded through exquisite handcrafted products, that’s when monetary values get transcended, products become unique treasure troves of storytelling and luxury finds a beautiful place to live forever.”

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 81


AUTHORED COLUMN

LEADING THE PACK GURMEET SINGH

CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR JOHNSON CONTROLS-HITACHI AIR CONDITIONING INDIA LTD.

I

ndia’s air conditioner market is the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific region today and it is expected to grow continuously in the coming years. The penetration of air conditioner market is just 5% in the Indian households, but with the changing perception of the masses towards this category. Moreover, with increasing awareness about energy efficiency, the demand for ecofriendly and energy efficient air conditioners is growing rapidly. Being a developing economy located in the tropical zone, it is imperative that the Indian Consumer (especially the aspiring middle class families for whom air conditioning needs are no longer a luxury but a necessity) makes a conscious and well researched decision before sizing down his options and making a purchase. As one of the leading HVAC Company globally, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd. has always been on the forefront of innovation and technology. It is already well known that the residential

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building sector is already one of the largest consumers of electricity in India and by 2020, India is projected to become the world’s third-largest energy consumer after the US and China. Thus, to address a bigger issue in hands and also to deliver smart and energy-efficient products, Hitachi has introduced 22 new models this year which are highly energy-efficient, taking the total model count of the company in the market cross 100 marks. We have also introduced new technologies in its other air conditioning product segments like VRF Air Conditioning Systems, Ductable Air Conditioners and Chillers. Having realized the gap in accessibility of our products in Tier II and III towns, we introduced our new models designed specifically to cater the needs of first-time buyer and mid segment AC buyer. Also, with the aim of expanding the brand’s reach in Tier II and III markets, we have grown our retail outlet presence from 4,000 in 2015 to 8,500 by the end of 2017, and we are now working on adding 2,000 more

to it and make it to 11,000 by 2018. We also aim to double our annual sale to Rs. 4,000 crore in the next three years as the Indian AC market is company’s fourth biggest and hence a focus market for the company. We have been tying up with finance providers to ensure that nothing comes in between a consumer who wants to own a Hitachi and Hitachi itself. To ensure that, we have been offering finance schemes in liaison with finance providers like ’24 Months-Easy Finance Scheme’ which offers Easy EMIs, Zero interest and Zero File Charge, ‘Triple Zero-Easy Finance Scheme’ which offers zero down payment, zero processing fees and zero percent interest rate and many more such offers time after time. As a manufacturer and trader of Air Conditioners, delivering products that are least detrimental to the environment and easy on the pockets of the customers is our primary objective. While, our engineers are working on developing such innovative cooling solutions, responsible E-waste disposal


is a major challenge that we are facing. Currently, we have limited expertise in recovering products that are at the end of their life cycle from the end users. Even if we maintain the data of such end users, the recovery of such products is very challenging considering ACs, as a product, have a relatively long life compared to other consumer durables. Spanning over more than 10 years, these products also change hands before they reach the last mile. Under such circumstances, the informal sector acts as a pivotal cog in the wheel of E-waste recycling. Unfortunately, as a producer and manufacturer, our reach to this sector is limited. The collaboration of entities like Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) with the informal sector can play a crucial role in helping us achieve our objectives and collection targets.

extensive market researches and surveys conducted. Our communication campaign was supported by our intensive advertising strategy with a special emphasis on IPL season and Digital medium. Besides using the traditional marketing mediums like TV, Print, OOH, Radio etc. innovatively, we also focus on non-traditional mediums. We understand that the millennial generation is going digital and hence many of our marketing initiatives are focused on digital.

As a socially responsible brand, we have taken many initiatives to create awareness about e-waste. We have already placed information about the proper handling of E-waste on our website, product manuals, marketing advertisements etc. We also participated in an AC exchange program in association with Tata Power in Delhi last year. In addition to this, we are hopeful that with a lowered GST rate slab of 18%, AC which is a necessity and not a luxury in today’s age, will become accessible to all. Changing times call for innovative measures, actions and plans to achieve the goals set. In tandem with our goal set to become the No. 1 selling air conditioning brand, we also made many changes in our advertising and communication strategies to create strong multiple moments of truth and touch points between the brand and the consumers. It is true that the consumer behavior has changed drastically, and as a brand, we need to keep ourselves updated with these changing patterns. E.g. our new communication strategy last year, was able to create resonance with the consumers as it was based on

WE MADE MANY CHANGES IN OUR ADVERTISING AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES TO CREATE STRONG MULTIPLE MOMENTS OF TRUTH AND TOUCHPOINTS BETWEEN THE BRAND AND THE CONSUMERS

We also launched a new and innovative on-ground activation “Hitachi Express” for the South India AC consumers. Equipped with Hitachi ACs for display and a team of dedicated Hitachi Cooling Experts, this brand wagon reached the target audience at their doorsteps. And, it used three interactive and innovative mediumsAugmented Reality, Virtual Reality and e-catalogues using tabs to engage, educate and inform the consumers and help them in selecting the right Hitachi AC for their homes. Thus, we are continually working on the philosophy of producing the best technology products which consume less energy and deliver best output. With our three-pronged focused strategy of quality, innovation and advanced technology, we not only aim to increase the comfort of the consumers but also improve human lifestyle.

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INTERVIEW

For the South Korean multinational electronics company LG, the three pillars of marketing, particularly when it comes to its premium range, is Experiential, Emotional & Engaging (Digital) or as it is called the 3E Marketing Strategy.

Amit Gujral –

Chief Marketing Officer, LG Electronics India explains as to how these three focus areas define LG’s communication to its premium consumer

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‘PREMIUMIZATION IS THE NEW WAVE IN CONSUMER GOODS INDUSTRY’ Q:

.What has been the growth that LG has seen the premium range? What has been the response from across India? Premiumization is the new wave in consumer goods industry and LG being market leader has led the wave significantly. We have received impressive response for our premium products. The Millennial and Gen X have been best read under our consumer insight researches and our strategies have been aligned according to the changing consumer behaviours. Tier II and Tier III markets have never disappointed us. A big chunk of the new shoppers have logged in from Tier II and III

towns. LG has a presence across India with over 20,000 retail touch points; our products are well accepted by consumers across India. We have 51 branches in India and customized/localized strategies are laid basis the varied consumer preferences/behaviours across India.

Q:

.What % of your total revenues comes from premium products? Premium products presently account for 30% of LG’s global sales, including in India. However, clear insights on fast changing consumer trends show that we can get it to 50% with a renewed focus on the segments and a


series of fresh launches. Our definition of premium is not limited to only high-end premium products as premium for us is, providing the best in class and latest technology with clear focus on consumers needs of care for “Health & Hygiene” and to have possession of the latest technology like “Artificial Intelligence” and “Internetof-Things”, across all product segments we sell.

Q:

.What is the marketing strategy adopted for your premium brands? The three pillars of marketing we follow are - Experiential, Emotional & Engaging (Digital) ie, the 3E Marketing Strategy. At LG, insight-led marketing is something that we focus on. Products and solutions are developed based on real consumer insights and this shapes the marketing efforts. In doing so, it is also important to increase awareness about the real benefits of underlying technology. In this regard, experimental marketing is quite critical. We are also investing on digital marketing. Lastly, we believe in customizing our communication and offerings based on geography.

Q:

What is the media mix employed for your premium range of products? While the digital medium is growing by leaps and bounds, in India the traditional media still holds strong value for brands . Therefore, it makes perfect sense for us to strike a balance between traditional and digital. All the media vehicles which are important to deliver Experiential & Emotional consumer connect, shall be explored.

Q:

Can you elaborate on why experiential marketing is so critical for the brand? Experiential marketing is an effective tool for us, and we will further increase our efforts on this very important tool. We are the only brand in the country who initiated a unique experiential program called - Free Home Demo. Our consumers can experience our premium range of products by installing the product in their homes for free, for a period of five to seven days and basis their experience they can make the purchase of the product. This unique initiative has been very successful, and we are expanding it further. Also, we invite our customers to LG Signature House, located at the premium facility Caitriona in Gurgaon. All our premium products including Signature TV, Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Air Purifier, and many more premium home appliances from the house of LG are placed for the customers to experience.

Q:

What about Influencer marketing?

Social Media is also a critical source for driving customer experience and has become a key engagement tool to connect with the public. The proliferation of Instagrammers and YouTubers have somehow redefined the way brands interact with their fans. Yet, despite this, huge wave of influencer marketing, for us, seeking meaningful engagement with existing and potential customers, we are going back to the drawing board and are unlocking opportunities beyond digital to reignite marketing efforts. In this context, the triple drivers of our 3E marketing strategy - ‘Experiential’, ‘Engaging’ and ‘Emotional’ shall increasingly be seen as means to not just deriving commercial value but also staying relevant to customers whilst resolving their problems and needs.

Q:

What are the challenges you face in marketing your premium range? With ever changing consumer behaviours it is always the need to be innovative and ever adaptive to them for our communication with them. This though is not a challenge but a norm to be in the today’s ever evolving world of consumerism. Our 3E Marketing strategy (Experiential, Emotional & Engaging (Digital)) is crafted in a customized manner depending on the place and nature of customer and on the kind of products they intend to buy.

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INTERVIEW

CATERING TO THE DISCERNING BUYER “FROM THE STRENGTH OF

CONSTRUCTION, STRUCTURAL STABILITY AND QUALITY OF FINISH THAT MATCH GLOBAL STANDARDS, THE LUXURY HOUSING PROJECTS HAS TO SPELL CLASS”, SAYS

DR. NIRANJAN HIRANANDANI,

CO- FOUNDER AND MD, HIRANANDANI GROUP; PRESIDENT (NATION), NATIONAL REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (NAREDCO). KICK-STARTING ITS JOURNEY IN THE YEAR 1978, HIRANANDANI GROUP IS A LEADING REAL ESTATE GROUP IN ITS FLAGSHIP BUSINESS OF CONSTRUCTION WITH A PAN – INDIA AS WELL AS INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE. HIRANANDANI TALKS ABOUT THE LUXURY SEGMENT IN REAL ESTATE SEGMENT AND HOW THE SEGMENT WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IN THE FUTURE. FUTURE 86 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


Q:

What are the challenges that face the luxury segment in the real estate sector? One challenge is the customer in this segment – well aware of global trends and the latest innovations in design and architecture as also looking for smart homes – with automation and artificial intelligence powered systems. This segment expects best global practices from the developer, and skilled manpower, to provide the required quality of finish which is not easily available. So, the primary challenge is that the customer is not just discerning, but also expects the very best. From amenities and common facilities that are top of the line to a product that spells ‘class’. Secondly, it is difficult to gauge while commencing the project what this segment of customers will want in terms of the product by the time the product is ready for handover.

Q:

Which cities in India lead the demand for luxury housing? How is the demand in Tier II and III cities? In regard to cities in India that lead the demand for luxury housing – Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region; Delhi and the National Capital Region, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Ahmedabad are the obvious names that come to mind. Having said that, I would say that almost all state capital cities as also cities which are commercial/ business hubs, these are all markets where luxury real estate demand exists in large quantum. When it comes to Tier II and III cities, we face a peculiar problem. The customers who live in those

cities definitely have the capacity to buy and live in luxury homes, sadly the social scenario seems to suggest that ostensible display of wealth does not go down well with the citizens in those locations. In Maharashtra, the city of Kolhapur used to hold the record for largest number of Mercedes Benz cars owned in one city; then one day in Aurangabad, another city in Maharashtra, a larger number of businessmen and traders got together and bought 100-plus Mercedes Benz cars on the same day. So, like luxury cars, there are large numbers of such potential buyers of luxury housing across India’s Tier II and III cities, it is a matter of waiting for them to come out and ask for their own luxury homes.

Q:

What are the key demands of consumers who invest and the key features? The very best is what they demand. From the strength of construction, structural stability and quality of finish that match global standards, it has to spell ‘class’. Adhering to time schedules is very important. The luxury housing product may not be located at a premium pin code, but it must end up upgrading the existing pin code to a premium one – these are among the key demands of consumers who invest in this segment.

Q:

How do you target consumers for your highend properties? What are the key marketing strategies adopted by Hiranandani? We ensure that the product is planned to be designed in architecture that spells excellence, is made with quality material following global best practices – planned properly, constructed

right and maintained the right way, that is our ‘Magic Mantra’.

Q:

What is the future of luxury high-end premium properties in the country? Currently, what is the size of the segment and what is the growth that you foresee? Either it is aspiration-based or the discerning buyer who wants the best – over the past few years, despite challenges that the real estate industry faced, the luxury real estate has been witnessing high demand and a gradual increase in prices. It is for this reason that the segment of buyers has continued to grow in this space - even in tough times. So, the future is good – so long as we provide the buyers with the type of luxury homes they desire. Across the residential real estate segment, luxury has a low percentage. It differs across locations and micro-markets. It is not a large volume segment – that would take away the exclusivity which is so necessary for luxury in the first place! It will keep growing but will increase in terms of numbers at a low rate.

Q:

What are the trends in luxury in the real estate sector? Global best practices in local micro-markets plus a demanding customer profile who knows what is latest in global markets – and wants it here, in India. So, the trends are in sync with those in global luxury real estate markets.

Q:

What are the new/on-going projects of Hiranandani in this segment? This would include practically all locations where we have on-going projects – Powai, Thane, Panvel, Chennai. Also, locations where we are starting new projects, like Alibaug and Khandala.

The primary challenge is that the customer is not just discerning, but also expects the very best. NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 87


INTERVIEW

DELIGHTING THE INDIAN

CHOCOLATE LOVER

Think luxury chocolates and the name ITC will probably not come to your mind but the multi-business conglomerate launched Fabelle, a homegrown luxury chocolate brand in 2016. The company recently also launched “Ruby Chocolate” for the first time in India in association with Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading supplier of high quality chocolate and cocoa products.

HEMANT MALIK,

Divisional Chief Executive - Foods Division, ITC Ltd. tells us why the company entered the luxury chocolate business, taking on the global brands and delighting consumers

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Fabelle unveils India’s first Ruby Chocolate - Ruby Gianduja with celebrity chef Sarah Todd, Anuj Rustagi, COO, Chocolates, Coffee and New Category Development, Foods Division, ITC, Dhruv Bhatia, Senior Sales Director, Corporate Accounts – Barry Callebaut India and Fabelle Master Chocolatier Ruby Islamat in Mumbai

Q:

What factors led ITC to enter the luxury chocolates business? The Indian luxury chocolates market is nascent and has been undefined in the absence of any major brands’ presence at a wide scale. India is an increasingly prosperous country; home to one of the highest number of billionaires in the world and the fifth largest economy. With the growing prosperity of the upper middle class and the elite consumers, their lifestyle choices are also being redefined, that are line with their financial growth. Hence India has become a big market for a lot of luxury brands – be it cars, watches, perfumes, hospitality and also in food and beverage. This has also led to a rapid rise in the gourmet dining options in the country. Indians are aware of international cuisines and offerings due to their exposure to digital information and through travel, be it business or leisure. This has also led to a rise in the overall consumption of prepacked premium food products including chocolates. Consumers increasingly want authentic and world-class offerings in pre-packaged food products, especially in chocolates, for both self-consumption and gifting. The luxury market is growing and ITC Ltd. is riding on this mega trends. We hope to establish and own the luxury chocolate segment. Fabelle was launched in 2016.

Q:

What has been your growth rate and what is the growth, you are projecting? Our growth has been significantly ahead of what we had projected for ourselves. We hope to continue the momentum with our retail footprint expansion & larger portfolio.

Q:

You primarily retail out of ITC hotels, how are you connecting with the consumer beyond the hotels? Fabelle currently has 10 chocolate boutiques of which eight are across ITC Luxury Hotels in six cities. The brand has been receiving encouraging response from consumers since its launch, which also led us to expand our footprint outside the hotels, taking Fabelle’s offerings and unrivalled experience closer to consumers. Fabelle made inroads into premium malls with its stand-alone stores at Select City Walk Mall in New Delhi and Quest Mall in Kolkata. Further, drawing inspiration from the phenomenal success of our creations, we have extended the delightfully indulgent chocolates in a new format, the Fabelle Luxury Bars. The bars with their unique melt-in-yourmouth center fillings inspired by rich chocolate creations made

from premium cocoas sourced from some of the finest growing regions of the world. These luxury bars are currently retailed across 200 gourmet outlets like Godrej Nature’s Basket, Foodhall, Hypercity etc, located at premium catchment areas.

Q:

What is your pricing strategy? Are you looking at targeting a larger audience and if so, how would you define your core TG? When ITC Ltd. forayed into the luxury chocolate segment in India, there was no context for the consumer about this category. Hence, we decided to benchmark ourselves against global brands to understand how their products and offerings are priced against retail brands/ products. That is how Fabelle maintained a differential from the retail brands. We followed global pricing principles to differentiate ourselves in this nascent and undefined market in India. Fabelle is targeting a larger audience and has already introduced Luxury Bars in the premium luxury range that is priced between Rs 350 to Rs 495. These bars are priced at par with other similar offerings available in the country from global brands like Lindt.

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INTERVIEW

Q:

You have recently launched Ruby Chocolate. Can you tell us more about the product? Ruby chocolate became an immediate global sensation after its recent worldwide unveil and caught the admiration of chocolate connoisseurs across the world. It is the fourth type of chocolate after dark, milk and white and has been discovered 80 years after the launch of white chocolate. These chocolates have an intense sensorial delight with its natural ruby colour and unique berry fruity taste which is brought alive as a result of the expert selection and meticulous processing of the ruby beans without adding any flavours or colours. In line with Fabelle’s ethos of creating inimitable chocolate experiences for Indian consumers and endeavour to continue redefining their chocolate palette, we took

Q:

You have tied up with celebrity chef Sarah Todd of MasterChef Australia fame. What was the connect and how important is it to use influencers to help build the brand? Fabelle as a brand is always aiming to provide new and different experiences to Indian chocolate consumers. One of the ways to grow that chocolate experience is through our Societe De Chocolat masterclass, which we launched last year with the Australian television cook Billie McKay. Societe De Chocolat is a platform where we tie up with world renowned food experts, Sarah Todd being one of them, to introduce Indian consumers to finer nuances of luxury chocolate making and appreciation. The launch of India’s first ruby chocolate was one such experience that we are very proud to bring to India. We found a sweet spot around

Diwali and tied both Societe De Chocolat masterclass and the launch of Fabelle Ruby Gianduja with Sarah.

Q:

How are you looking at marketing Fabelle and Ruby Chocolate? What is the media mix that you would be looking at? Fabelle has built strong credibility and established a strong consumer connect since its launch and word of mouth has played a vital role in further building the brand. The physical experience across our exclusive chocolate boutiques at ITC Luxury Hotels and presence in select premium stores has been delighting consumers. PR will be an important tool in establishing credentials about Ruby chocolate and how Fabelle is introducing this chocolate to India in the form of Ruby Gianduja. We strongly believe it will aid in formulating positive consumer opinion about the brand and its offerings. We will also engage consumers in the digital sphere and enable online purchase through our exclusive e-commerce portal www.itcstore.in/fabelle.

Q:

Looking ahead, what are your future plans for this segment?

the onus of launching ruby chocolate in India. Fabelle infused ruby chocolate into its bestselling chocolate product, Gianduja, an Italian delicacy from the Napolean era and developed India’s first ruby chocolate, Ruby Gianduja. Ruby Gianduja is made by maintaining a delicate balance of ruby chocolate and hazelnut paste to render another extraordinary experience to Indian consumers. We are positive that with the launch of this first-of-its-kind, limited edition offering, we will further delight Indian chocolate lovers.

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FABELLE HAS BUILT STRONG CREDIBILITY AND ESTABLISHED A STRONG CONSUMER CONNECT SINCE ITS LAUNCH AND WORD OF MOUTH HAS PLAYED A VITAL ROLE IN BUILDING THE BRAND

We are continuously evaluating opportunities to expand our exclusive outlets. There are two ways in which we would like to grow. We will continuously scout for viable and attractive opportunities to grow our exclusive boutique in a sustainable manner. Also with the launch of our premium luxury bars, it gives us an opportunity to further scale up our presence in premium food stores; currently we are in 200 stores and looking to expand this further. E-commerce is also an avenue which we are very strongly exploring to grow because it provides the convenience of purchasing in the comfort of one’s home and we have already launched our products on our exclusive portal www.itcstore.in/ fabelle and are also looking at expanding our presence on portals like Amazon and Flipkart.


INTERVIEW

SWEET-SCENTED SUCCESS “Experiential marketing is at the core of all forms of marketing that one wishes to serve the consumer with”, says Saurav Bhattacharya- President Operations at Ajmal & Sons. In conversation with Pitch, he talks about the Indian luxury perfumery industry, how the global brand is using e commerce platforms and why experiential marketing is omnipresent

Q:

What is the estimated size of the Indian luxury perfumery industry? The size of the Indian luxury perfumery industry is about 2500 crores but what is important to understand here is that there is a significant amount of overlap that is happening, I would use the word encroaching, from various other categories like aftershave lotion, body mists and so on which necessarily may not be clear fragrances as the parlance goes. But at the same time, there are crossover products like perfume sprays for example, which merges in from the deodorant segment into the fragrances segment. So as a result while we say it is 2500 crores, it is a significantly growing segment and one will see that there are overlaps happening with the adjoining categories such as aftershave lotions, body mists, perfume sprays, deodorants to a very large extent.

Q:

What part of your sales come from your e-commerce platforms and how has this changed the business model? As far as the e-commerce platforms are concerned at Ajmal & Sons, we are currently engaging on the e-commerce sites mainly through the B2B Market places and we are less than a year into this operation. We already see a significant amount of attraction and the current e-commerce sales is as

much as 9-10% of our overall sales. So, this in terms of quick observation is significant and we see that growing rapidly at a point of time when we are yet to launch our own cell-phone website. Another important factor which drives this category is the familiarity with fragrances so you’ve very clearly a consumer who not only wants to experiment which is the impulse on one side and the other side are the people who are wellfamiliar with what they are purchasing. Gifting also forms as an important ingredient in terms of the e-commerce platform. So largely one sees the e-commerce platform growth growing at a much faster clip. Today, probably it is less than 5% of the overall perfume fragrance sale but moving forward one clearly sees that this should leave for beyond the double digits significant contribution.

Q:

How important is experiential marketing for the brand? The need for experiential marketing is probably omnipresent across all categories more so in the context of a category like perfumery or fragrances because the olfactor understanding and the olfactor association is of prime importance here, very clearly we associate memories with smell. We associate a large part of our lives moments through a particular smell which goes on to determine how we look and see things. So very clearly when we talk about experiential marketing if we are able to titillate those olfactive buds. As far as the consumer is concerned, the appeal of the fragrance is significantly that much more higher and this can be brought about at a very generic level by significant amount of trials that can happen at the point of purchase or even some innovative ideas example – spraying at a particular place which is a consumption point. So for example cinema theatre could be an excellent idea for experiential marketing. So before you put your campaign up there, on the giant screen the cinemagoers would be able to enjoy and feel for the fragrance and what better if that can translate into a purchase at the point of sale outside the cinema. So experiential marketing is at the core, at the nucleus of all forms of marketing that one’s wishes to serve the consumer with.

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LIFESTYLE

PROVIDING PREMIUM-

NESS IN MILK A

healthier lifestyle has become the mantra for many and for people with high disposable incomes, the cost of the product doesn’t come in the way of their search for quality. One area where this has particularly played out, is in the food space, as a visit to any supermarket or e-commerce platform shows the affinity that Indian consumers have for premium products, particularly

OUR MARKETING APPROACH IS TO TARGET CONSUMERS WHO ARE INCREASINGLY HEALTHCONSCIOUS AND BRANDSAVVY

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when it concerns their well-being and fitness. Taking a note of this demand, Parag Milk Foods launched Pride of Cows, a first-of-itskind, superior farm-to-home milk. Akshali Shah, Senior VP – Strategy, Sales & Marketing,Parag Milk Foods Ltd says that Pride of Cows has seen tremendous growth since its launch in 2011 when it was introduced to the

Pride of Cows, a brand of Parag Milk Foods, re-defines exclusivity when it comes to drinking milk. Akshali Shah, Senior VP – Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Ltd tells us about the objective to provide premium-ness in milk and the company’s strategy of acquiring customers only through invitations


consumers with an objective to provide premium-ness in milk, which is 100 % safe, unadulterated cow milk. Speaking on the consumer and the need for such a product Shah says, “With the increasing demand for health and wellness, macro-consumers are evolving and are switching to premium products. There has been an enormous amount of increase in sophisticated consumers who are changing their lifestyle by all means especially when it comes to consuming natural, unadulterated products. Brand-savvy and healthconscious Indian consumers are particularly the ones who have adopted premium products. We have also tried to tap the breakfast space as our milk bottles are delivered fresh from the farms to the households between 5:30 am to 8 am.” Recounting the journey so far, she says, “We started with only 175 consumers in South Mumbai and are serving more than 30,000 households currently across Mumbai, Pune & Surat. The aim was to make Pride of Cows, a brand that resonates with trust, integrity and value and we continue to build on our aim. Our premium milk introduced international level cow comfort technology, zero human intervention and fully integrated plant where we have been producing one of the most inimitable products in the market.”

MAINTAINING THE EXCLUSIVITY While the premium milk industry is still nascent, but Shah says that being a pioneer in the segment, Pride of Cows has seen tremendous growth and is expect to grow in the future. A litre of Pride of Cow is priced at Rs 90 and while this vertical’s contribution is

Designer Gauri Khan

CELEBRATING IN STYLE To celebrate its seventh anniversary, Pride of Cows collaborated with designer Gauri Khan to co-create an exquisite limited edition bottle. Commenting on this association Shah says, “In order to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Pride of Cows brand we were in the search for a designer whose design sense resonated with the brand and thus, we decided on associating with Gauri Khan to create a limited edition label and the entire process was enriching and delightful. The collaboration was a perfect match as her aesthetics reflects the Pride of Cows strategy of providing premium milk to consumers who believe in leading a high quality life.”

still small, what can’t be ignored is the exclusivity of the product as Shah emphasizes, “About 3% of our overall revenue comes from Pride of Cows and we acquire customers only through invitations.” She adds, “Our marketing approach is to target consumers who are increasingly health-conscious and brandsavvy. We also focus on BTL activities which are cost-effective to create awareness about the quality of milk and its health benefits. We have been a part of multiple food exhibitions and health & wellness events.” A by-invite policy means that consumers get to experience and understand what goes on behind the scene. Shah says, “We regularly invite potential or existing customers to the farm for guided tours. We also have a base across social media for our tech savvy audience where we stay connected with our consumers. In addition to that we also have a Pride of Cows app, which is a customer’s go to app for rescheduling/ cancellation of milk, order change, payments, complaints and compliments. For Pride of cows, our media spend is divided into BTL, digital and consumer loyalty programs.”

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INTERVIEW

To meet the demand of niche consumers for whom being pampered is not just a feeling but a way of life, sanitary ware manufacturer HSIL introduced Queo, a range of bespoke bathware in the country six years ago and last year introduced a super-premium brand, Alchymi.

MANISH BHATIA, President, Building Products Division, HSIL Limited tells us following a direct approach and getting consumers to experience the products first-hand has been critical to the success of the brand

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AN INDULGENT

‘REST’-ROOM Q:

What was the insight behind the creation of Queo? Owing to the burgeoning need and demand of luxury bathware products in India, we undertook an extensive research on the lifestyle of consumers and found that these consumers are experience seekers and indulgent of self. Their outlook

on bathrooms has evolved from it being a functional space, for quick and easy cleaning and now acts as a personal oasis, to rejuvenate senses for an enriching experience. For these consumers being pampered is not just a feeling but a way of life. We introduced Queo, a range of bespoke bathware in the country six years ago


to making every bathroom experience culminate in true indulgence and luxury. The unique design collection of Queo has been crafted by top European designers like Antonio Bullo, Romano Adolini, Federico Tombolini and Franco Valeri. Queo tips its hat off to the master craftsmen whose absolute attention to detail and relentless pursuit of excellence has scaled new heights of ultimate indulgence. The pinnacle of craft with the diligence, detail and the intricacy behind it creates a distinct identity for the Queo masterpieces.

Q:

What are your expectations from Queo?

The brand Queo is uniquely positioned to target a niche segment of customers who are well travelled and for whom luxury is not only a norm but a demand. Therefore, we collaborate with global designers and renowned architects to create minimal and exclusive product offerings for Queo.

Q:

What revenue do you see coming from this vertical?

While currently the luxury segment enjoys a limited audience, we are extremely happy with the progress and revenue generated by the brand in such a short span of time. We are further investing in the future

FOR SUPER-PREMIUM AND LUXURY BRANDS, WE BELIEVE THAT FOLLOWING A DIRECT APPROACH IS ESSENTIAL IN ORDER FOR THE CONSUMERS TO EXPERIENCE THE PRODUCTS FIRST-HAND

through capacity streamlining, brand segmentation and product range expansion to enable us to cater to a wider cross-section of customers.

Q:

What has been the growth you have seen for your super premium range? Modern bathrooms are transitioning to a wondrous amalgamation of comfortable elegance and technologically superior fixtures. This evolution led design to assume a new language at HSIL and thus Alchymi, a super-premium brand, was born last year through a unique collaboration with Manish Malhotra. Under this partnership, Manish Malhotra has curated a designer collection

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INTERVIEW

of bathroom suites in the Hindware Design Studio using FloSense technology which is a combination of the finest materials, craftsmanship and best-in-class technology.

Q:

Which are your biggest markets and how is the response from Tier II and III towns? The exposure to global lifestyle and rising disposable incomes has created a shift in perception among consumers who now demand superior aesthetics and top-end features in products. This has led to a sizeable appetite for super premium products even in the Tier-II and Tier-III markets. Major metro cities like DelhiNCR, Hyderabad and Bangalore are currently the biggest markets for us in this segment. Bathroom fittings under Alchymi start at around Rs 75,000 and can go up to Rs 3.5 lakh.

Q:

What percentage of your total revenue comes from the premium products range? Over the years, we at HSIL have been able to maintain our

position as the leading bathroom solutions provider and the most preferred choice, through our commitment and ability to match the right products to the right consumers and their respective needs. This has been possible due to our expansive portfolio of brands which target customers across the complete price spectrum. We have brands ALCHYMI and Queo in super-premium and luxury segments respectively. Both brands combined currently contribute to 10 percent of the total bathware (sanitaryware and faucets) business. 50 percent revenue comes from our mass and mass premium segment brands, 30 percent from premium and 10 percent from brands under affordable segment.

Q:

What is the marketing strategy adopted for your super-premium and luxury brands? What is the media mix employed? Every segment requires a unique marketing strategy and media mix to gain optimum visibility and results. Particularly

Challenges in marketing luxury Providing target consumers with relevant customized solutions is the biggest challenge

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for super-premium and luxury brands we believe that following a direct approach is essential in order for the consumers to experience the products first-hand. Over the past year we have opened five Lacasa stores, state-of-the-art digitally integrated concept stores across all metro cities in the country where consumers can experience our brands in ambient settings with coordinated bathroom suites. With digital integration at each and every touchpoint, they can choose from over 100 bathroom themes to customize their bathrooms as per their choice. In addition to it, we have installed experiential booths at various airports for Queo and ALCHYMI. Winning our consumers on social media is another strategy. Research shows that our potential consumers are much easier to target and advertise on social media directly. We continue to align our marketing expertise in this direction. In addition to that, direct engagement with the architect community and on-ground experiential associations also helps us to garner attention. Today we have ‘Tour De Queo’ an experiential tour where we take leading architects from India to showcase Queo’s heritage and craft in Rome and Milan. We also participate in events such as AD 100, Dialogues and Elle Décor ID Design to connect with architect fraternity directly and these events also help us to stand out from the competition. For our flagship brand Hindware and Hindware Italian collection, we still rely on mass traditional marketing tools for wide reach like TV, print and in-store brand activations.


Q&A

HANDCRAFTED LUXURY Headquartered in the Pink City, Jaipur Rugs is known for its handcrafted designer rugs and carpets and as per Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs, the definition of luxury is changing from just label to handcrafted, which is the core of Jaipur Rugs

Q:

How would you describe the TG for your products? Our customers in India are business people and professionals, aged between 30 - 45 years. Well-travelled, their taste and aesthetics is international. The social impact that a rug makes, the stories behind the rug inspires them and touches their hearts. They are inclined towards the experience while making a purchase as money is not the first criteria to buy product.

from Mumbai, we will be opening a store in Mumbai soon. Bangalore and Hyderabad are also our potential market. We are present in homes across the country and wish to add value to thousands more in coming years. We also have many consumers from Tier II & Tier III cities and retailers from

Q:

How much of a role does aspiration play for luxury brands getting new consumers? The aspirational consumer is most likely to be a millennial. Millennials are inspired by the psychographics of our TG and are driven to brands that deliver innovation, purpose and creates a positive impact. Aspiration plays a great role in getting us new consumers. The new trend comes from young consumers who are also globe trotters, with cosmopolitan tastes, dual income households and hence disposable income.

Q:

Which are the biggest markets? What is the response from Tier II and III cities? Our excellent reputation in direct-to-consumer business has helped us build the brand. Our customers are present in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. We opened a store in Delhi and seeing the response

these cities have shown interest in our products. With increased purchasing power, people have become conscious about crafts and we are collaborating with lot of potential retailers who relate to the philosophy of Jaipur Rugs.

Q:

What is your core marketing strategy? Jaipur Rugs marketing strategy is all about providing the best experience to the customer. Jaipur Rugs has a 40-year legacy of craftsmanship, community and change. We try our best to deliver this experience to our consumer. Our media mix consists of high-end magazines related to décor, home furnishings and dailies.

Q: Trends In Luxury Marketing • Young customers want experience • Consumers like authenticity • Consumers find emotional value in product • Money is not luxury • A brand has to connect with the consumer. • Consumers personality has to reflect the brand.

How important is experiential marketing for the brand? Experiential marketing has grown rapidly in recent years. Focusing on the senses creates a unique bond between the consumer and brand and leaves a lasting and positive impression. The idea behind experiential marketing is to immerse the consumer in an engaging, memorable experience, in a suitable environment. This creates a close bond between the consumer and brand. At Jaipur Rugs, whenever the consumer visits our weaving villages and meets our artisans, they feel content. Providing an experience is all about making connections and experiential marketing generates an authentic brand awareness.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 97


Q&A

DELVING INTO THE RETAIL THERAPY The launch of Palladium, a luxury and premium retail and entertainment destination, redefined the luxury market space in India. Rajendra Kalkar, President (West )The Phoenix Mills Ltd tells us how luxury retail has evolved and why Palladium’s marketing strategy is curated around novel consumer experiences

Q:

How has the luxury retail space evolved in India and where is it right now? Luxury retail space has evolved by leaps and bounds in India. Being one of the fastest growing economy in the AsiaPacific region, India is expected to be the next hub of luxury goods consumption. India has a huge population of young shoppers who aspire for an international lifestyle. Moreover, Indians have been travelling globally and have had enough exposure to international brands. India’s economy is growing exponentially every year, which means initially Indians were expected to buy small luxury products but gradually they have started buying more expensive products and services.

WITH THE SOCIAL MEDIA BOOM, DIGITAL HAS BECOME AN INEVITABLE PART OF OUR ENTIRE MARKETING MIX, HELPING US REACH AN UNPARALLELED CONSUMER BASE AND THE NEW AGE MILLENNIALS 98 | PITCH | NOV-DEC 2018


THE LUXURY RETAIL SEGMENT IS RAPIDLY GROWING AT THE RATE OF 40% PER ANNUM, OUTPACING REST OF THE SEGMENTS

Q:

What has been the growth of luxury brands in India?

Luxury brands have been growing steadily and top luxury brands from the US and Europe are already making their presence felt in India. The few among these are Burberry, Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, Long Champ, Dior, Love Moschino and many more, are all hosted at Palladium. Palladium, being the top destination for luxury brands is always expanding its portfolio of luxury brands.

Q:

What has been the growth of home-grown luxury players? The opportunities for home grown luxury brands are innumerous from lifestyle, fashion, Ayurveda products, hospitality and wellness, fashion, jewellery, homes, gourmet food, cafés to healthcare. The whole ‘Make in India’ movement has only accelerated consumerism for home-grown luxury brands. Brands like Provenance, Forest Essentials, Rohit Bal, Anita Dongre, Ritu Kumar, Luxxuberance, Masaba, Satya Paul & many more have established themselves well in the luxury segment.

Q:

What is the core marketing strategy for marketing luxury retail mall? We have a holistic marketing approach, and consumer satisfaction is paramount for us. Marketing strategy is curated around novel consumer experiences. Besides being at

the forefront of luxury retail, Palladium hosts various events to enrich the experiences, right from food, fashion, art, fitness to entertainment, Palladium hosts interactive signature events like Luxury Raid, Fashion Night Out & other consumption driven events. The media mix comprises mainly of experiential marketing and digital activations. With the social media boom, digital has become an inevitable part of our entire marketing mix, helping us reach an unparalleled consumer base and the new age millennials.

Q:

What are the trends you see in the Indian luxury market space? Indian consumers are very different from a consumer in China or the West. Indians culturally are value conscious and

always look for a good bargain. People always seek value and search for information regarding the best price they can get for the brand internationally. Indian buyers give a huge importance to perception and value. Quality and craftsmanship is a selling point but not decider point for Indians, it is prestige that people associate with brand that they are paying for. Luxury brands like Michael Kors, Coach and Charles & Keith have been successful in capturing the hearts of young aspirational Indian buyers. These international brands give an option to the brandconscious Indian shoppers to buy status symbols at a much lower prices than the average luxury brand. This segment is rapidly growing at the rate of 40% per annum, outpacing rest of the segments.

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BOOK REVIEW

THE MADE-IN-INDIA MANAGER

DECIPHERING THE DNA OF THE MADE-IN-INDIA MANAGER Whether it is Shantanu Narayen at Adobe, Satya Nadella at Microsoft, Padmasree Warrior at NIO or Sundar Pichai at Google, there are now more Indian CEOs helming S&P 500 companies. The question that many had in their mind was, why do we see such a prominent presence of the Indian professional in a global environment? Answering this is the new book, ‘THE MADE-IN-INDIA MANAGER’ co-authoured by

R. Gopalakrishnan,

Bestselling author, speaker, strategist and former Director of Tata Sons and Vice Chairman, Hindustan Unilever and Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean and Professor Marketing at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research) who delve into this little-studied phenomenon. In a joint interview with Pitch, Gopalakrishnan and Banerjee, tell us what sets apart Indian manager from others and learnings that today’s young managers can take-away so they can build on these advantages to ensure future success

Q:

What was the inspiration behind the book?

We observed how many Indian managers rise to the top of global corporations. We had access to some of them and personally knew some others among them. Our conversations indicated that there were some emergent factors that mature together to shape ‘Made-In-India’ managers as they operate in global companies. We then shared this through many speaking sessions with MBA students and corporate groups. Our ideas, which were partly researched and partly intuitive, seemed to appeal to our audiences. We felt that our ideas had the potential to help current and prospective ‘MadeIn-India’ managers understand themselves better, and succeed on a larger stage, and it was that conviction that led to the book.

Q:

How much have you drawn from your personal experiences in writing the book?

The book draws partially from our experience, but much more significantly, from the life experiences of many successful made in India managers whom we have had the fortune to know well.

Q:

What is it that differentiates ‘The Made-In-India Manager’ from the other managers globally?

The answer to that question is probably what the whole book is about. But overcoming obstacles, resilience, competitive intensity, the ability to deal with ambiguity, and the formative role of the family and family values are some aspects that come to mind. It is not that these are, in themselves, unique among Indians. It is just that they synergize and emerge together to make competent ‘Made-InIndia’ managers deliver good results in a global corporation.

Q:

The rise of Indian professionals has been quite a talking point globally. What factors in the Indian psyche aided the success? How big a role do cultural factors and the Indian education system play here? We all know that India has always exercised ‘soft power’

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globally rather than military might. That is why India has been regarded as an innovator of ideas (concept of zero, Ayurveda, yoga), so different from China which is an innovator of things (gunpowder, compass). Management thought and practice could well emerge as a soft power from India. As far as the Indian psyche is concerned, we grow up in an environment where adaptability is internalised early. We also understand diversity and inclusivity early, and learn to live with multiple contradictions like going to a convent school, signing Christian hymns at assembly and paying to the Goddess Durga at night. We are used to aspects like load shedding (no lights) and are used to quickly moving to plan B. The main thing about the education system is that teaches us that competition is intense, and focused goal oriented practice is the way to get what we want. ‘Made-InIndia’ managers are often able to extend focused goal oriented practice beyond the academic domain.

Q:

Who is the target audience and what are your expectations from it? We have primarily two target audiences. To the current managers, understand yourself and your formative influences better, realise that there are aspects of being ‘Made-In-India’ that help you to succeed in other contexts, and aspects you may need to unlearn. To prospective managers of tomorrow, understand yourself better, have more pride in your own Indian influences, and provide some direction on how these influences can be leveraged/balanced for managerial success on a larger stage.

Q:

What do you want the reader to take away from this book? The realisation that being global does not mean moving away from your roots. Building a quiet confidence that many formative qualities ‘Made-In-India’ will be helpful in a VUCA world. In

doing so, the book can catalyse the growth, confidence and development of ‘The Made-InIndia Manager’. The ideas in this book can thus become a selffulfilling prophecy.

Q:

What is your advice to a young manager today who is looking to work outside India? How can they build on the successes of their predecessors? We outline this in the book. Four points are worthy of note: a) Your upbringing in India is, in reality, an asset. As CK Prahalad had said, ‘Growing up in India is an extraordinary preparation for a management career.’ b) You can be based in India but be a global manager. Some experience of leading outside India will help, but a CEO of an Indian company with a global footprint can be a ‘Made-In-India’ manager. c) Humility, learnability and the ability to deal with ambiguity are part of the foundational make-up of ‘The Made-InIndia’ manager. If you combine that with discipline and process orientation (which any multinational will teach you), you will have the right blocks in place. d) For the manager of tomorrow, staying power and the creation of a ‘quiet confidence‘ are suggested. We must have the selfbelief to be successful while leveraging our formative influences. Imitation of the west is unlikely to lead to success on a global stage.

Q:

If you were to pick up some favourite anecdotes or a chapter from the book, what would it be and why? We make a persuasive argument for the growth in confidence of ‘The Made-In-India Manager.’ Ours is a generation that saw our cricket team lose regularly when it went outside the country, and experienced Western products as being significantly superior to anything made in India. The current generation has seen a far more diverse Indian team regularly win abroad, global success in sports like badminton, and many Indian companies

making their presence felt on a global stage. Global brands are all mostly available in India, and many Indian brands are giving them a run for their money. Hence, managers of tomorrow are less likely to be diffident when interacting with a Western colleague for the first time. Global success out of India is unfamiliar to them. This will be a generation which is more ready to take on the world, and will have much less of a ‘colonial hangover.’ We like this piece because this is us sticking our neck out to express and justify an opinion which we think has the potential to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS R. Gopalakrishnan is an author, speaker and strategist. During his professional career, he has served as Director of Tata Sons and Vice Chairman, Hindustan Unilever. He is the author of five bestsellers: The Case of the Bonsai Manager, When the Penny Drops, What the CEO Really Wants from You, Six Lenses and A Biography of Innovations. He is a passionate believer that managers should write and share their learnings, for, after all, management is a performing art.

Dr Ranjan Banerjee is Dean

and Professor Marketing at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. He is an internationally renowned academic, leader, speaker and writer, has been a columnist for Harvard Business Review online and has addressed academic leadership forums in Florida, Seoul, Manila, Vienna and Dubai. He has been a contributor to leading business publications, including Business Today, Business World, Forbes, Fortune and Business India. A highly rated visiting professor at management schools across the world, he has also consulted with a number of corporates, such as Philips, Vodafone, BASF, Legrand, Pidilite and Axa.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 101


GALLERY

MEDIA ACE AWARDS The 4th edition of exchange4media’s Media ACE Awards held in Mumbai recognized Indian media agencies and their people for their work and their contribution to the industry. GroupM bagged the award for Network of the Year, while Lodestar UM and Mindshare India tied for the Agency of the Year award. Ashish Bhasin won the award for Network Head of The Year , while Prasanth Kumar and Rajiv Dingra won the award for Agency Head of the Year and Digital Agency Head of the Year respectively. 1

Nawal Ahuja, Co- founder, exchange4media group; Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editorin- Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media group, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Ltd, Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO Tata Sky Ltd with team GroupM.

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Nawal Ahuja, Co- founder, exchange4media group; Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editorin- Chief, BW Businessworld &exchange4media group, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Ltd, Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO Tata Sky Ltd with team Lodestar UM.

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Nawal Ahuja, Co- founder, exchange4media group; Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-

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in- Chief, BW Businessworld &exchange4media group, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Ltd, Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO Tata Sky Ltd with team Mindshare India.

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T.M Vijaydas – Business Head West – Vikatan Group; Ashish Bhasin - Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network with team Foxymoron.

T.M Vijaydas – Business Head West, Vikatan Group; Ashish Bhasin - Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network with team iProspect.

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Anoop N, AsiaNet News Network, Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG presenting award to Mindshare Content Plus.


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19 Deepa Bhatia, Strategic Head, Pitaara Movies; Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory; Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group presenting award to Pratik Gupta, Foxymoron.

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Anoop N, AsiaNet News Network, Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG presenting award to C-Lab (Dentsu Aegis Network Communications India Private Limited)

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Nawal Ahuja, Co- founder, exchange4media group; Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor- in- Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Ltd, Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO Tata Sky Ltd presenting award to Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network .

Pandey, ABP; Sam Balsara, 12 Avinash Chairman & Managing Director,

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Prasanth Kumar, Mindshare India received the award for Agency Head of the Year. Deepa Bhatia, Strategic Head, Pitaara Movies; Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory; Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group presenting award to Rajiv Dingra, WATConsult.

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Madhu Tiwari, AVP & National Sales Head, Indian Express Digital & Devinder Gupta, Sales Director, Republic TV presenting award to Nilesh Bagaria, Madison Media.

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Megha Tata, COO, BTVI; Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi and kids TV network (Colors & Nickelodeon India) presenting award to Bharati Shetty, Madison Media.

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Megha Tata, COO, BTVI; Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi and kids TV network (Colors & Nickelodeon India) presenting award to Namita Kulkarni, Madison Media.

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Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India; Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network; Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom 18; Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH Madison World; Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia Ltd; Ajay Kakar, CMO, Aditya Birla Capital Ltd; Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory.

Madison World; Sapangeet Rajwant, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital, Colors, Viacom18.

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Deepa Bhatia, Strategic Head, Pitaara Movies; Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory; Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group presenting award to Suveer Bajaj, FoxyMoron.

Kumar and Shekhar Mhaskar of 14 Gopa Isobar India received award for Unit Head of the Year.

Tiwari, AVP & National Sales 15 Madhu Head, Indian Express Digital & Devinder Gupta, Sales Director, Republic TV presenting award to Prachi Karan, Isobar India.

NOV-DEC 2018 | PITCH | 103


GALLERY

The Maddies acknowledges and recognizes all such marketing stories that employ an effective mobile marketing strategy done in India and is judged on innovation, concept, execution and results by a highly experienced independent panel of the industry. These awards are open to all industries linked to Mobile Marketing (Clients, Creative, Media Agencies, Digital Agencies and Publishers, etc). Like every year, this year’s conference and mobile marketing awards has also noticed big names. Mindshare bagged the award of ‘Agency of the year’ and Vijay Koshy of The viral fever was announced as the winner of ‘The People’s Choice Award’. Here are the few glimpses from this year’s conference and awards night. 1

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Sandeep Reddy of Akamai Technologies India, Abhishek Joshi of MX player, Amit Khanduja of BigFlix, Rahiv Singh And Ramakrishnan Laxman of ABP LIVE

THE MADDIES 1

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Premjeet Sodhi of MIndshare Fulcrum, Digital & New Media Consultant Sanjay Trehan, Jason Wu of Momagic Technologies, Parag Murudkar of Yes Bank, Jyoti Bansal of PHD India, Ravish Chaubey of Bajaj Auto and Vanita Keswani of Madison Media Sigma

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Channan Sawhney of Johnson & Johnson India, Sanjay Trehan, Jahid Ahmed of HDFC Bank, Mahip Dwivedi of Flipkart, Shouneel Charles of Times Network, Rujuta Nadkarni of Mahindra Tractors, Vinay Singhal of Wittyfeed and Rahul Grover of Sai Real Estate Consultants Chembur

Sandeep Verma, President, Bajaj Corp Ltd

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Unnat Verma, Managing Director Pizza Hut (India Subcon) Sanjay Gupta, Head of Marketing, Uber

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Rajiv Singh of SonyLIV, Sankalp Potbhare of Kraft Heinz India, Ashish Bhasin of Dentsu Aegis Network, Sam Balsara of Madison World, Ajay


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Vaibhav Odhekar, Co-Founder & COO, POKKT Video Ads

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Akhil Almeida, VP-Digital, Kantar IMRB

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Vishal Rupani, Co-founder & COO, M CanvasB

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Annurag Batra of BW Businessworld and exchange4media group with Ashish Bhasin Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network

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Manish Chitkara of MoMagic Technologies

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Vijay Koshy of The Viral fever, Winner of the People’s Choice Award with Vaibhav Gupta of ABP News Network

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Rameet Arora, Vaibhav Odhekar and Kedar Apte with Team Reliance Jio

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Abdul Khan of 4 Marketing Technology Venture and Prasad Ranadive of HT Digital Streams with Team MIndshare India

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Agency of the Year Mindshare India team with Annurag Batra of BW Businessworld and exchange4media group, Shailesh Hegde and Rajiv Singh


RAPID FIRE

SUNDER MADAKSHIRA Head –Marketing, Adobe

De-stressing after a long day at work g Music, spendin d y an time with famil me s meditating help de stress.

Favourite vacation spot t the best Goa – It has go d the sand beaches, sun an t you say and the momen d goes into the ‘goa’, your min n. state of relaxatio

Favourite goto app

e plan my Slack – It helps m with my k work and networ . teammates

If not a marketer, what would you be? If not a marketing professional as a ‘practitioner ’, I would have been a marketing professional as a ‘Teacher’.

Favourite forms of entertainment

I love watching movies, particularly the ones that have humor content and also listening to music of all types.

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RNI NO: DELENG/2009/27694

Marketing Luxury  

How companies are using Experience. Digital and Influencer Marketing to Build Brands

Marketing Luxury  

How companies are using Experience. Digital and Influencer Marketing to Build Brands

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