A simple and straight forward insight into the nuances of Life

Why Duracell Batteries are Failing in India

Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing, Technology | No Comments »

Duracell was launched in India in 1995 and since then it has been about to capture only 1.8% of the dry cell market in India. Though Duracell claims 47 per cent market share of the Indian alkaline battery, it translates to a market share which is mere 1.8 per cent of the total 1,850 million units dry cell (zinc, alkaline and Rechargeable) battery market.

In India some of the major players in the dry cell battery market are Eveready Industries, Nippo Batteries, Panasonic India and Geep Batteries. Eveready is the largest player in batteries with a market share of over 50 per cent.

Market trends suggest that the Indian consumer is moving straight from zinc to rechargeable cells — skipping the stage of alkaline cells.

Let us also consider the devices/things in which a consumer would generally use a dry cell battery. Off hand devices like toys, Camera Flashes, smoke alarms, Walkmans (Which are now obsolete), dry cell battery operated MP3 Players (Again obsolete), Wall clocks etc come to the mind.

Now let us consider the Indian battery market. The Indian battery market is primarily a market for clocks and flashlight torches. In the first case long life is of no significance as a 4 Rupee cell (even of a low quality make) would run for atleast a year in a clock. In the second case of flashlight torches, the usage is generally of a C and D Size cell which Duracell does not market in India.

One other point to be considered here is that the consumer in India is very cost sensitive as opposed to quality sensitive and the fact that duracell costs almost 4 times as much as a normal cell is another reason why it will never be able to capture the Indian Market.

Microsoft Surface Tablet PC : Somethings Wrong

Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing, Technology | No Comments »

It was just very recently that I came across the Microsoft surface tablet PC while browsing over the internet. At the first look of it I wasn’t impressed and it seems the whole product will be a big failure and it will fall flat on its face, leave aside the possibility of taking over the ipad.

Here is the official video promotion by microsoft

So here is what could be wrong.

1. From the looks of it its neither a comfortable laptop, nor a tablet.
2. It seems a very odd looking thing with too much weight on the screen, which makes it a very uncomfortable sight
3. The inbuilt stand is just not fitting in to the picture and was not needed at all
4. There was no need to use the logo on the Touch button (Too Much Branding at the wrong place)

In my personal opinion the whole thing looks too complex to use and will not satisfy both tab and laptop users.

It may be a good thing to keep it simple like Apple did.

As said by someone “Millions of people bought iPads without knowing specifics. Most iPad/iPhone challengers that failed did so because they were too specific. Specs are for geeks”

Also Please comment on the other ‘not so right things’ for Microsoft Surface Tab and how could Microsoft Improve.

Why Future Groups SACH Brand Could Fail

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing | No Comments »

Recently while browsing through a Big Bazaar Store I came across a few products by the name of Sach. Strategically placed on the display shelves they caught my attention and being a FMCG product enthusiast I was drawn towards them.

On a closer look at the products I Saw the words ‘By Sachin Tendulkar’ written on them and did not quite accept it, however when I turned the product then I saw his photograph as well and it was then that i actually believed it was endorsed by or co owned by Mr. Sachin Tendulkar. Following my first instinct to explore I immediately picked up a few different products.

My first impression on the products was fabulous, I was sure that they will be of excellent quality, will have a soft after effect on skin and will be value for money. These are just the thinks you would probably associate with Sachin Tendulkar. The association however in this case was a blind faith and of the highest level of expectations.

The products however did not measure up to the image I had when I first bought them. There was a far larger gap between the perceived quality and actual quality than is with other products. This does not mean that the quality of Sach products is bad, but when you use a co branded name with the likes of Tendulkar the consumers expectations always start touching the skies. And in the case of Sach, Tenduklar is not just the brand ambassador, but the co owner of the brand. It is like the products are coming out of his own backyard.

One step that Future Group could take is to scale up the quality of the products and also improve slightly on packing. The labels and fonts on the products should be made to end in smooth corners. A little embossing etc could make a huge change. Try packaging containers probably like what Dove range uses, with soft corners but keep the colours standing out. Just these two qualities to keep in mind while deciding on packaging could help.

On the quality front do away with sharp smelling fragrances like lemon etc. Soft odours or even can come up with a odourless bathing soap. Softness and humility with a promise of the best performance goes well with Tendulkar and the products needs to reflect that.

Nevertheless, a first of its kind initiative in India and good to see development in the retail market. I hope Sach is a success.

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Nirma Shudh Salt: Why is it Failing

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing | No Comments »

Nirma is a group of companies headquartered in Ahmedabad, India and manufactures products ranging from detergents, salt, soda ash, LAB and Injectibles. In 2004, Nirma’s detergent sales approached a staggering 800,000 tonnes – one of the largest volumes sold in the world – under a single brand ‘NIRMA’.

Nirma was started as a single man company in 1969, by a Gujarati entrepreneur, Dr. Karsanbhai Patel. He began his first detergent making unit in the backyard of his home measuring all of 100 square feet, which did not quite size up to his ambitions. With bare hands and a bucket he would prepare the dry mix detergent powder that he had invented, pack it in polythene bags and then set off on his bicycle to sell the packets, door-to- door.

Since then there has been no looking back and in a span of 40 years it had only moved forward and became the largest detergent selling company in the world.

In 2002, however the company decided to introduce edible salt into the market. This was done under the Brand name Nirma Shudh. It has been close to about 10 years that Nirma’s edible salt has been in the market, however it has failed to make its mark. Nirma Shudh is only the second vacuum salt in India and is manufactured using the world-class Akzo Nobel technology but still nothing close to what other salt brands like Dandi Salt have been able to achieve.

So what went wrong.

The answer is pretty simple. Nirma is a Brand Associated with Detergents in the consumer market and suddenly when you come up with a Brand like Nirma Shudh Salt, nomatter how many times you use the words ‘shudh’, ‘pure’, ‘refined’ etc, consumers will always relate it with detergents. In fact the first thing or should I say taste that come to my mind when i hear Nirma Salt is of mild detergent powder in my mouth.

This is exactly similar to what happened to Nirma Bathing Soaps and the brand name was changed to Nima. Nima though not the best brand name for a bathing soap was much better than Nirma and helped consumers see it different from ‘Nirma’ and as a cosmetic product.

One thing for sure is that Nirma Shudh Salt, no matter how aggressive is the marketing will never take off as a salt brand. Just delink it from Nirma and see the sales grow.

Some of the suggested brand names that I can come up with are Tez Shudh Namak and Swad Shudh Namak, ofcourse marketing guys at Nirma can certainly come up with a million better options.

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Lucknow’s Culture of ‘Tehzeeb’ why is it fading!

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Society | No Comments »

Lucknow has always been known as a city where people had immense respect for each other. This was evident not only by the words spoken but also in the actions. Lucknow’s Tehzeeb also had its fair mention in old stories (some of which I read in school) and movies as well. Being in Lucknow most of my early life I did have a few chances to witness this culture by my very own eyes.

Well this was true only until recently when I came back to Lucknow for starting up a small venture. For the past one year whatever time I have spent on the streets, markets and other establishments of Lucknow I have realised that the ‘Tehzeeb’ of Lucknow is not only lost but is replaced by a so called ‘neo modern culture’ where people love and feel proud to use gaalis after every sentence they speak and being hard headed & rude is in fashion. Today’s Lucknow has been striped off of its ‘tehzeeb’ completely. I have seen people fighting on the streets, Government officials including the police abusing and misbehaving with people and vomiting their fantastic egos on helpless individuals with the least of provocation.

Well how did all this happen in a city of peace loving and high self esteem individuals. In a span of maybe a decade everything Lucknow was respectfully know for is lost. Of course Lucknow has other things to boast of like Chikan work and… well nothing else, and even that may be lost if it goes on like this.

There are a few reasons and the biggest of them could be the culture of swearing and the unjustly called ‘being bindaas’ that is promoted by one of the biggest reality shows on a famous music channel. The kind of people who turn up on the show, mostly losers in their respective spheres of life (both professionally and personally) are made to behave in a very carefree manner. The definition of carefree in this case has been replaced by ‘I don’t give a damn, attitude’, and, of-course, there is a huge difference between the two (I hope it needs no explanation!). Well one might say that this reality show is aired all across India and why has it affected only Lucknow. There are two reasons that I can think of, firstly Lucknow had a lot to lose as it was very rich in the mannerism culture and of course you will find one of the highest unemployment rates in UP coupled with tremendously high aspirational values, which results in a very nascent and immature brain that can be easily molded.

The second reason could be the absolute high handedness and misuse of power by the ones who have it. You will see the largest number of laws and rules broken by the very people who are supposed to implement it, and most of it is done in Lucknow. A few examples would be parking in a no parking zone and on top of that always trying to justify it, beacons placed atop private vehicles, Vehicle registration plates reading ‘Judge’, ‘Magistrate’ ‘Adhyaksh’ etc and the list could go on. And somehow these people are still respected in our society!.

The worst problem comes when the lesser beings or the common man starts aspiring for the same status in social life and starts believing that the best way to earn respect is by being rude, corrupt and looking down on other people. Such a feeling may also arise from the fact that being respectful and soft-spoken is always taken for granted and if the person in front of you is rude what joy is there in being soft-spoken to him. Each of these feelings coupled with some bad experiences lead to people who lose their faith in being good. This then becomes a cycle and its a chain reaction. This might not be true for most of the people who may be reading this article as the basic set of people who read on the internet (specially in English) are somewhat well off in their lives and interact with a very restricted social group. But go to a Government office for some work, ‘as a common man’, and there you have it.

A third issue might be the constant migration of people, some of them who are not so mannered, from outside Lucknow. Of course this is not a bad thing as this means that Lucknow is better developed than its neighbours, however when people migrate without knowing or learning anything about the culture of the place they are going to, they usually start mocking it when they do not have the ability to understand it. As a result the ‘Tehzeeb’ of Lucknow starts getting mistaken with idiocy and it loses its place in the society.

A recent Initiative by the CM of Lucknow (in April 2012) has aimed at improving all this by trying to educate vendors, porters and taxi drivers on how to behave with tourists. A great initiative but what about the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’. The people have to see to believe it and unless the government sets an example by following it themselves, it is difficult to bring about a change. One good thing that could set a lasting impression would be to see police officers going out of the way to help the needy and the not so needy right on the roads. But nevertheless, in the past few months, it is good to see things starting to move in a positive direction in Lucknow and I wish not just the old glory, esteem and respect of Lucknow is restored but it becomes a good example for the rest of the country to follow.

Please remember that even if the person in front of you is being rude for whatsoever reasons, give him a chance and do not be a reflection of his behavior. In most of the cases you will get a gentler and a soft response, and even if you don’t there is a difference between you and that person… maintain that!.

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