Your Korean competitors have made a rapid shift towards high-end and technologically advanced products. Are you doing that too? With what products?
We will cater to products on both ends of the market - mass and premium. Our new Frost Free range of refrigerators (Protton) has a 3-door model that is very high on design, features and aesthetics, which will appeal to the premium end of the market. Similarly, the Aviator model line-up in our Air Conditioner range, which has a sliding panel and other unique features, is also aimed at the high end
But which are the new product/product categories that you are looking at aggressively?
We are very focused on Air Conditioners this season. We are small players in this category but 2010 will be a defining year, as we intend to treble our volumes and thereby make our presence stronger. It is with this intent that we launched 40+ SKUs in January, concentrating our new range in the fast-growing spilt segment.

Today many consumer durable players are focusing on rural markets for the sales of their products. How much do rural areas contribute to your overall sales currently? Are you taking any specific initiatives for rural areas this year? And what are your expectations from these areas for this year?
If you mean “Rural” as defined by the Census, it does not contribute much. However, the demand in small towns is definitely increasing. Our focus in 2010 is on 700 towns with a population of 50,000-500,000. Our reach there (at 50%) is less than what we reach in towns with >500,000 population (70%), which is what we want to equalise. We expect to add another 100 distributors to achieve this objective.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

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

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