Pranay Dhahbhai, MD, Akai India
 
After a decade of not-so-prominent existence, Akai is now attempting to revive itself. Any particular reason for the same?
Well, actually when Akai entered India, it re-wrote the dynamics of the Indian consumer electronics industry, specially the television segment. The product offerings of the company was fantastic with affordable price tags. But then, it entered into the licensing agreement with Videocon. Even at that time it was doing a business of `250-300 crore per year. So, the brand continued in the country as these numbers were not small by any parameters. But it prominently remained only in Tier II and Tier III cities. However, as this licensing agreement with Videocon is over now, we are trying to revive the brand with a new identity and make it big in the Indian market.

What are the major changes that you have tried to infuse into the company since you took over the responsibility of the company’s operations in India?
Changing the logo of the brand was my first initiative after I took over. I made sure that we write ‘Tokyo Japan’ in the logo. For long we had been feeling that somehow the brand was losing its rich Japanese heritage and we wanted to bring it back. Now I am very clear that this message is not only communicated to the consumers through our media communications, but it is also communicated in terms the company’s actions. As a first step, we have started this with our products. Now our products are imported. Though we modify them to match Indian requirements, we make sure that the quality and the looks remain international.

What has been the reaction of the consumers as well as dealers to these changes?
It’s really interesting. When we approached the stores, they themselves noticed the changes in Akai. We never felt the need to communicate them that the brand has changed. They noticed it in our business conduct only. As a result, today, some large stores have also started business with us.

Were there any initial hiccups?
One of the challenges that we faced was that when we approached some of the old distributors and dealers of Akai, they got the feeling that they could bargain huge margins from us as we were desperate. But, we showed patience and ensured that we would do business only when there is a win-win situation for both the parties. Another challenge for us was to re-establish the entire sales network. Now a lot of our channel partners are new as it’s a change of company and change of policies too.

A part from revival of Akai as a brand, what are your other targets?
Currently, we are generate a revenue of around `250 to 300 crore from Tier I cities, which is nearly 15% of our total business. But in the next 12 months we aim to increase this 15% to 25%, which will then translate to a turnover of `450 crore.

What’s your long-term vision for the brand?
I definitely look at Akai as a prominent player in the country over the next few years. Also, I will like the company to take up many more actions like what it did in late 90s which changed the dynamics of the industry. I believe that every brand has its own space in the market, otherwise so many brands would not have existed. So, we are not looking at a leadership position in the immediate future, but we believe that we would be able to create a space for us in the market. Moreover, with our plans to enter into new verticals like telecom, home inverters and IT products, we are bound to grow.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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Tadato Kimura , General Manager, Marketing, Sony India
 
The Indian consumer durables industry has been dominated by Korean firms that as of today capture over 60% of the market? Do you see the dynamics changing?
Of course! The Japanese firms are getting deeper involved and engaged in the Indian market than ever. Fresh marketing and distribution strategies are being taken up by them to achieve newly set targets. For instance, Sony India is committed to provide products and marketing strategies that make a positive difference to the lifestyle needs of the Indian consumers. It is due to these efforts that we are now the No. 1 player in the Flat Panel Category. Sony has reworked on its pricing and the company has also started looking at consumers in the `2-5 lakh income group.

Any specific reason behind this sudden change in the pricing strategy?
Competitive pricing has always been one of the key virtues of Sony India. We have always offered the best possible price to the Indian consumer and we will continue to do so in the near future.

Currently how much does India contribute to Sony’s overall turnover? And how do you plan to increase it?
India is a very significant market for Sony. We plan to expand our Indian operations in the coming years considering the always ‘better-than-expected’ results from the Indian market. We are committed to make a true and positive difference to Indian consumer’s lifestyle through the products and the marketing activities employed by us.

Market research firm GFK Nielsen has rated Sony as the market leader in Flat Panel Display sales in May 2010 with a market share of 32%. So, how did Sony managed such a phenomenal growth?
Strong product line up, effective marketing activities, innovative consumer promotions and a very efficient sales team have all resulted in this achievement. The company is reported to have sold more than 35 thousand units in May 2010. This is more than the sum of the LCD and Plasma TV units sold by any of its main competitors in May 2010 in India. What makes this achievement even more commendable is that we have been able to substantially increase the market share of BRAVIA category (by value) from 24.3% in January 2010 to 32% in May 2010.

Besides LCDs, on which other product categories are you betting in India?
We have high expectations from our product range of VAIO, Cyber-shot, Walkman and Handycam.

So, what marketing initiatives are you planning in the near future to stay ahead of the competition?
Sony keeps coming with various promotional offers for the consumers from time to time. Taking its commitment towards the enhancement of talent among children forward, Sony India organised Kaun Banega Dancing Star contest in various cities in April this year. With an objective to provide a real time experience of 3D Television viewing to the Indian consumer, Sony started a unique ‘3D World Road Show Campaign’ which involves mall and airport consumer activation activities in 31 locations across India. Even in the recently concluded FIFA season, we had an innovative promotion in which replica of the FIFA official Match Ball was given as a gift with purchase of any 26” LCD and above. In fact, to add zing and cheers to the festivities of Onam, Sony has recently announced wide range of consumer promotion offers for various product ranges.

Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM B-School Detail
IIPM makes business education truly global
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm - Planman Consulting
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IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
 
 
When we look at the history of consumer electronics, it has witnessed periods of domination from different geographies. First it was american and european. then it was followed by the japanese era. after a disastrous devastation in world war 2, the latter years of the past century were memorable for the land of the rising sun. just as in the automotive industry, the made in japan brand name stood for excellence and nothing less in the consumer electronics sector. but the korean wave was devastating, and took the japanese quite by surprise, particularly in the indian market. even as brands like samsung and lg strengthen their leadership positions in the country, a new chinese wave is gaining ground, which has compelled the koreans to move towards more premium positioning (blue ocean strategy). however, in the midst of these developments, we could witness a blast from the past, for the japanese are back! And this time, they are looking for the volume game, based on aggressive pricing. but can they win in a mode of warfare that is not their trademark strength? Neha Saraiya of 4Ps B&M takes a closer look...
 
The samurai class of warriors took shape in Japan after the Taika reforms of 646 A.D., which also enforced military service on one in every four Japanese adults. And the Japanese people have imbibed and retained much of their fighting spirit as well as their preference for honour above everything else till today.

So it’s not at all surprising that Japanese products matched, and even bettered the world class technology standards of the day in the 1970s and 80s. Even in the Indian market, Japanese companies like Sony and Suzuki had the brand power and presence to conquer the market long before the Koreans even planned an entry.

While Suzuki took the plunge early, brands like Sony and Panasonic were apparently not too optimistic about the Indian market even till the early 1990s. Without volumes and with myriad challenges of penetration, purchasing power and logistics, India was not a priority market. But Korean brands LG and Samsung came, saw and conquered, since they were far more optimistic of the market, and willing to get their boots dirty. That’s why they dominate the Indian consumer electronics market today; a market estimated to be worth around `32,000 crore.

To begin with, the Korean brands came to India after the government embraced liberalisation , which made setting up their operations relatively easier and less frustrating. By the time LG knocked for the third time on Indian doors, the government had made the amendment that would allow a foreign player to set up a 100% subsidiary in the country.

Secondly, home grown brands like Videocon, BPL and Onida were already facing internal glitches. This created a largely vacant place in the market as the Indian brands were not geared up to offer products with the changing times. For instance, the refrigerators sold by Godrej in the 1980s were also quite similar to the models sold by the company in the 1990s.

Thirdly the Japanese companies paid little or almost no attention to advertising, after sales services and distribution, which proved to be one of the key reasons for their failure. Toshiba, for instance, has operated in the laptops space in an association with HCL since the mid-1990s, but had just one liaison office in India till 2001. They have also retained precious few service centres in the country.

Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM B-School Detail
IIPM makes business education truly global
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm - Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri (IIPM Dean) – ‘Every human being is a diamond’
Arindam Chaudhuri – Everything is not in our hands
Planman Technologies – IT Solutions at your finger tips
Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri's Portfolio - he is at his candid best by Society Magazine

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
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