Cisco has always been on the lead front when it comes to innovation. Nupur Sharma, Head – Brand Strategy and Advertising, Cisco India & SAARC talks to 4Ps B&M about the edge that Cisco posseses in a market where competition is fierce.
 
It started as a vision in 1984 and soon became an outfit that specialised in manufacturing of consumer electronics, networking and communication technologies in the west. And now, Cisco Systems wants to replicate the success in the east. In a discussion with 4Ps B&M, Cisco’s head of brand strategy and advertising Nupur Sharma talks about how the company is poised to become the key market for Cisco’s dream on this side of the globe.

How do you differentiate yourself from other technology brands in India?
What we really do is that we believe in bringing people together on platforms for using our products and solutions where people can come together to share things. This really differentiates us from other technology brands. So others might come up with different kinds of products and solutions, but what we really do is that we connect people and then we bring them together, which enables them to share what they have and I think that is what makes things better for us.

Being a trusted technology brand in India, what challenges do you foresee to protect your unique brand identity?
From an advertising perspective we have been in India for a period of about two and a half years now. We started investing in the brand almost around the same period. What we really feel is that we need to continue to spend on building the Cisco brand in the country. Cisco has been very well known to the technology decision makers in the country, but not equally familiar with the business decision makers. So those are the people we need to reach to. We also need to communicate the strengths of our brand to the community at large.

What’s the inspiration behind Cisco’s ‘My Human Network’? What scope do you see for the same?
We thought of this idea almost six to nine months back as part of our brand initiative in the country to take the Cisco brand to the next level. We always believed that we need to do something different. So we wanted to develop a platform where people can connect to something which is close to their hearts. That is how we came up with this platform. It is a kind of social platform where people can interact and be affiliated to causes that are close to their hearts. So for example, if I believe in a cause and want to do contribute to the same, but alone can not do it, then I can create a community and invite interested people to contribute. There are social networking platforms which help people to connect with friends, but this a more serious place where people will actually come together for different causes.

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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.

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Zara plans a long haul in India but also respects the fact that this market has a very different approach to fashion to what the company is accustomed to
 
It has been over 100 days since the Spanish bon ton brand Zara has set its footprint in the land of elephants. For the €11 billion company Inditex that owns Zara, the prospects don’t look so bad at all.

Zara has done a lot of homework on product development and positioning before making its debut on Indian soil. So it’s not surprising that the brand has managed to increase footfalls per month in the malls where it has opened its stores by at least 10%. But this bon ton brand doesn’t believe in claiming or commemorating such success, at least so soon. It remains notoriously secretive and was guarded in revealing too much about its Indian business model on the day of launch in capital. But whether they reveal it or not, one thing’s for sure – Zara is betting for the big game in India.

But 46-year-old Inditex CEO Pablo Isla would be well aware of the fact that 100 days of success do not necessarily mean that the Indian market is there for the taking. Firstly, its global trend of driving new fashion in every season is not applicable in a country which predominantly has just one season – summer (or monsoon in certain parts). So Zara’s ability to get customers to visit and buy several times a year appears to be challenged here. Secondly, the product portfolio presents a problem of a different nature. In India bright colours are preferred as compared to the limited colour collections of Zara. Thirdly, the premium pricing might not work in India; so Zara has to tweak its model on that front as well.

Still, it appears that Zara does have its broad objectives clear for the next few years. As sources from the company confirm, India has a dozen cities whose populations exceed 3 million each and are suitable to have a Zara store (Jesús Echevarría Hernández, CCO of Inditex Group told us, “The Indian market promises substantial growth potential for Zara’s fashion and India is a very important country for us.”)

Zara realises that incremental and step by step expansion works better than launching a blitzkrieg. In India, most foreign retailers have struggled to build a strong franchise and probably that’s the reason why Zara has kept its retail penetration limited only to two cities – Delhi and Mumbai for now. Like McDonald’s, Zara is known for moving at a snail’s pace in whichever country they enter. Globally Zara’s expansion plan is based on a model that believes in opening a few stores first to get an understanding of the market. And the group is willing to wait for the availability of suitable locations. A spokesperson from Inditex (Communication and Institutional Relations Corporate Division India) admitted via e-mail, “When Inditex Group enters a new market, it never has a concrete objective related to a number of new openings or financial figures. Zara operates on a store by store basis. The brand’s expansion would depend on the feedback we get from customers.”

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).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
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....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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It’s perhaps the right route for this Japanese auto major to ensure a smooth journey in India
 
“Some people even ask us whether Nissan is an American company,” Abhijeet Pandit, VP – Sales, Marketing & After Sales, Hover Automotive India (a company that takes care of the Sales, Service, Parts, Marketing & Dealer Development functions for Nissan in India) tells 4Ps B&M. In fact, such a query from Indian consumers is more than obvious as they have not been engrossed with this Japanese auto major at a level at which they have experienced, let’s say, a Toyota or a Honda (Nissan’s Japanese counterparts) in the domestic market.

While the latter two made their way to the Indian shores in the 1990s, Nissan came in as late as 2005 with the launch of its SUV X-Trail, followed by Teana and 370Z. However, all three models were Completely Build Units positioned in the premium segment and hence attracted low volumes.

But with the launch of its first Complete Knocked Down (CKD) product, Micra, the company has got aggressive with its marketing plans for India and is trying to gain a considerable space in the minds of consumers. In fact, Nissan is targeting to sell close to one lakh units by the end of 2013 in the domestic market, which means a market share of about 5%. Although with sales of 6.1 million vehicles in 2009, the Renault-Nissan alliance ranks fourth in the world, it has somehow not been able to repeat that magic when it comes to India. This makes one think whether Micra really will be able to pull it up for Nissan in India? And that too when everything, from sales to service, has been outsourced to a third party? “For Nissan’s expats to come from Japan and understand the market would have taken more time. So Nissan decided to give the business to someone who understands the country, as vast as India, very well,” says Pandit.

In fact, Nissan has so far used exposure marketing as a very effective tool to increase the awareness among the Indian consumers. Be it the introduction of Ranbir Kapoor as the brand ambassador or the host of BTL activities done by the company, the Japanese automaker is ensuring that it gets up, close & personal with the Indian consumer. For instance, the company used the wired frame of the Micra and several kiosks to create the buzz before the product was actually launched in the market. In fact, the activities paid off well too as Nissan got close to 2,000 bookings prior to the official launch of the product in the domestic market. Going forward, the company is gung ho about its focus on the digital space to raise the awareness. “Digital marketing is a wise option to market the Nissan brand in the country as one can easily get to know how much return he is getting against his investments,” explains Pandit. In fact, the company is planning an online interactive campaign for the Micra in the coming months and will be doing similar campaigns for the other products and for the Nissan brand as a whole as well.

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).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

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....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management