Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Acquisition Of Companies and Brands - Fmcg Sector


We have seen Mergers and Acquisition in FMCG sector as well as acquisition of lot individual brands. Here are few examples:

1. P&G and Gillette
2. Dabur acquired Balsara for 143 crores
3. Godrej Consumer Care bought Keyline Brands
4. Marico acquired HLL Nihar brand

I have done some research on this topic.

I want the following inputs:
a) Rationale for companies going for acquistions (strategy)
b) Please give more examples of acquisition of companies and brands
c) Do you forsee any future acquisitions in FMCG globally or in India? If yes, what is the rationale behind this?

News on this topic
1. Godrej joins other FMCG majors in shopping for cos abroad
2. Dabur India eyes acquisitions
3. Tata Tea arm to acquire Czech tea co

Please do comment. This question is also available at MarketingProfs and orkut community FMCG Marketers.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

360 Branding. What all does it take?

Business man/ marketers have used 360 prefix to many concepts in past, out of which one concept is 360 Branding. Others are 360 feedback etc. Now let me explain you how does a typical process of 360* brand engagement can be distilled into a clear 4-step journey:

1. Ensure that the top team know why they are embarking on the journey in the first place
2. communicate a compelling story to employees which explains the importance of the brand and its delivery
3. Help people to experience the story and understand the role they can play in making it happen
4. Reinforce it through the processes you use to manage the business

These points are taken Strategic Management.

Some organizations/ CEOs still focus of external brand buliding, cost-cutting, great customer service etc. But what about the people in the office. What percentage of this marketing budget do CEOs propose to spend internally on involving and engaging people to ensure to get a return on this investment? Meagre!!

It’s easy to get caught up in the language of brands as if they’re somehow separate from the organisations they represent. But brands are only sustainable when the things they stand for are consistently brought to life by the employee for the customer.

Attracted to the shop window by the promise created by PR and advertising, customers will naturally use that promise as the benchmark for judging the service they receive. What really matters is what happens inside the shop window. Where brand promise meets service reality. And in most markets customers will be unforgiving if the reality falls short.

Let me go back to service marketing model which consist od 3 things:
1. Internal Marketing
2. External Marketing
3. Interactive Marketing

Now most CEOs focus on external marketing to get maximux leads and attract customers. But what next? The exployees have to attend them and this is only possible through internal marketing which will lead to effective Interative Marketing.

SOme other points to keep in mind are as follows:
1. Bringing the brand to life inside an organisation demands more than just integrated marketing
2. Brand engagement cannot be conscripted - it can only be volunteered
3. CEO stands for Chief Engagement Officer
4. An engaged organisation is a talking, listening and learning organisation
5. Employees who choose to buy your products and services can be your best ambassadors

Monday, April 24, 2006

Why did Godrej bought Keyline Brands?


1. GCPL the ownership of several international brands and trademarks including Cuticura, Erasmic and Nulon in many countries
2. This acquisition represents the commencement of building a global presence in the international FMCG market
3. Access to a strong customer base that includes Boots, Sainsbury and Tesco. Supermarkets have long-term relationships with
local companies. Without this, it is difficult to penetrate markets such as the UK
4. Widen its geographical presence and access trade channels in developed markets including Europe, Jordan, Australia and
5. Keyline Brands, which has a personal care range that complements Godrej's (hair colour, talcum powder, shaving cream)
6. Learning: Dealing with modern trade, they will learn how to do business with supermarkets - the levels of discounts to offer, what to expect in return in terms of shelf space etc. GCPL also hopes to pick up important insights on planning and meeting global delivery schedules, apart from developing skill sets to introduce new products internationally

About Keyline: One of UK’s admired FMCG companies engaged in the manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of cosmetics
and toiletries. It has a strong portfolio of brands and a well-developed customer base in numerous supermarket chains.
But why are they targeting West?
1. Bigger Market: The size of the hair colour market in India is just around Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) at present. In the UK, the market is five times bigger. And hair colours as a category is special for GCPL. It contributes 35 per cent of GCPL's revenues and 65 per cent of profits.
2. While hardly 5 per cent of the FMCG offtake in India happens through this channel, the share of sales through organised retail chains is growing rapidly. To hone its skills, GCPL plans to send executives abroad to train and bring home the best practices. This also means that GCPL gains an opportunity to catch up with the multinational competition (Hindustan Lever,
Procter & Gamble), when organised retail takes off in India.

1. GCPL is hoping to cash in on the current craze for "ethnic Indian" by introducing sandalwood and ayurvedic variants of Godrej No. 1 in British supermarkets. And it believes there will be enough takers for the hair care range: powders will be positioned at the lower end and creams at the higher end.
2. Targeting Indian Market: Indian customers are familiar with two brands from the Keyline portfolio - Erasmic shaving products and Cuticura talcum powder. But the rights for marketing Cuticura in India is with a south India-based group. If the Medimix group is willing to sell the rights for Cuticura and the price is right, GCPL is definately gonna buy it. GCPL will launch the Erasmic range for men - shaving cream and after-shave lotions. Other products will follow later.
3. At present Keyline outsources about half of its manufacturing to various units in the UK. GCPL's manufacturing costs, points out Press, are "30-40 per cent lower than those in the UK. Given these cost advantages, GCPL proposes to shift some of Keyline's production to its Vikhroli, Mumbai plant.

Any comments guys!!

Whats there in a brand name?

There was a great article by Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll for chosing the perfect name for product company.

In this post, i will give you a flavour of examples from across the globe. Lets start with Apple. What does apple mean? Do anybody know? I think very few. But is it successful? Definately. So whats the reason.

Before moving on to that lets go back to the article and see what do the writer has to say. Consider doing these two things when searching for the perfect name:
1. Match the name with the business or product
2. Involve others to brainstorm

In point 1, when you say Play Station, it makes lot of sense. People will recognize it as video game consoles. And what about Nintendo? Ok many of you may know about it, but what does it mean?
Unless you have a HUGE advertising budget to get your meaningless but cute name (Yahoo, Google and iPod) out there, researchers find it's generally best to come up with something logical that people can relate to your company or product. The best way is to make people sit in a group and scratch their heads, and obviously the people who know something about the product or company and just start making a list of the uses, attributes and unique selling points.
Sheryl Kravitz, principal with SK Consulting, provides other suggestions:

1. Smart marketers must first seek to understand the business or industry segment and customers the name should resonate with.
2. They need to identify how the name will fit within the context of the organization
3. Third, the name should fulfill specific criteria—it must be relevant, lend a competitive edge, be easily understood and pronounced and be culturally appropriate in other languages.
4. It should be legally protected

Few more examples:

a) the name Beetle beautifully sticks to the car and to the mind. Mini became, over time, as equally cute and sweet in nature as they are in name.
b) When people think of Scorpio in India they think of the SUV from Mahindra and Mahindra
c) Nike is more famous for its logo - the tick mark
So brand elements in general matter a lot in the value chain of brand creation.

Can you give intersting stories of popular brands created in past or in the way of getting popular!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Why Marico acquired HLL Nihar brand?

Marico's Turnover: Rs. 1155 crores
Current annualised turnover of Nihar = Rs. 120 crore Catering 2 segments: coconut oil and perfumed hair oils
— this acquisition marks the first acquisition by Marico for over Rs. 100 crore
- process involved competitive bidding among select fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies
- transaction envisages transfer of the IPR and other rights associated with the brand in India and other parts of the world.

Locical Reasons: HLL people have a logic for this exercise, which is brand rationalisation. They will continue to operate brands other than Nihar in the value added hair oil segment. On the other hand Marico expects to reap significant synergies from Nihar. Its strengths in the East, especially its distribution reach in Bihar and Jharkhand, will provide Marico a platform for its other brands. Nihar’s regional strengths will complement Marico’s presence in this Rs 800-crore category. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and Managing Director, Marico, said, "Nihar elegantly complements Marico's strengths in both coconut oil and perfumed hair oils."According to industry sources there will be effecient supply chain, larger scale of operations. High focus on coconut oils and hair oils will also enable Marico to drive cost advantages.

This will definately help Marico to climb the next peak of Rs. 2000 crores and may be someday cross Dabur, whose present turnover is around Rs. 1500 crores. Also, all those guys who track FMCG stocks, Marico is definately a destination to look for and reap benefits in long term.

Its really a win-win situation for both the FMCG players!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

8 days to reach top 100 marketing professionals

Hi people,

Let me tell you what i have been doing from last few days. Apart from work out hard in gym to get off that extra flab i was fully into Its a portal where there are discussions on diverse topics in marketing - Branding, adv, taglines etc.

Actually i was reading lots of articles on Marketing esp FMCG, and suddenly saw Puru's blog: Read between the Ps after a long time. And in the rightmost column there, i was a box mentioning current expert points=22000 and current international rank: 19. And at the bottom was a link for an interview in KHE news. I was perplexed and searched more about marketingprofs and came to more about it.

Briefly, as soon as you register, you are awarded 250 expert points and then you start your iternary with either asking questions in forum or get points by answering others questions. So i thought of experimenting and asked a question on Chyawanprash brand Extensions and got decent inputs on that.

But there was catch of not asking questions without earning more expert points. Suddenly my eyes stop on the right most column mentioning "top 25 experts" and Puru's name was there. So how could i resist myself of not being a part of the list. And then i started answering every open question.

I was the happiest person to have got the first congratulation letter mentioning "you earned X points" and was more than eager to check my profile for increase in the cumulative expert points cell.

Today (Night, 21st April) my score touched 4000. Thats like the fastest ever in the history of marketing profs with accepted answers within 30. But the milestone in front of me was 4108, expert points earned by an american guy, ranked 100 in the expert list. I was waiting for few more congratulation emails. At that time my score was 4098, just 10 points behind the 100th expert. And Bingo!! Got a mail for 150 points and my present score is 4248 and i am the 98th guy.

Its a great feeling to be a part of the elite group. Definately will boost anybody. And can you believe guys ... just 8 days to reach top 100 marketing professionals. And the next big milestone is to be in top 25, which ask for present more that 20,000 points, i.e. 5 times from now. I know its tough before joining ITC (1st June).

Visit top 100 experts list: and click to check my profile:

I am at the top of the world!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

List of interesting and contemporary topics

1. Blogs for Marketers: We have seen that 26% of CEOs in US use blogs and many marketers are using it as a powerful as mentioned in many of the articles. Is the hype justified? Can blogs ever replace TC commercials?
2. Niche Marketing: We have seen that marketers these days are targeting a specific set of people having a specific need. But they get apremium for this. Can these niche players be able to stand against mammoth players?
3. Industry Convergence: As product spaces become modularized, componentized, and compartmentalized to address the individual, customized, targeted needs of markets, the correspondent market space, and the value chains in them become more integrated. In a sense, products become disintegrated while markets become integrated. The future belongs not only to the convergence of devices, but also to divergent (i.e., specialized) devices.
4. Private labels vs Brands: Right now 1 out 5 brand sold in US is a private label. Is this ratio going to increase in future with effecient SCM by big retail giants?
5. Internet Marketing/ Email Marketing: Are marketers still spending money from their advertising budgets on it?

Which one is the most inn one?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Emami sinks its teeth into oral care !!

Article from Economic Times

Emami, the Kolkata-based personal care and cosmetics major, is marking its foray into the oral care segment by launching a toothpowder called Nirog.

“We are making investments of Rs 6 crore for marketing and R&D for the tooth powder and two other products in the wellness segment — a blood purification syrup and a uterine tonic,” said Aditya Aggarwal, MD, Emami group.

The market size of the toothpowder category is Rs 250 crore approximately, of which, Emami is targeting a 10% market share in three years. It plans to grow its presence in this category to Rs 5 crore in the first year of launch. If successful with the test launch of the tooth powder — priced between Rs 12 and Rs 15 for a 50-gm pack — the company will introduce a tooth paste in the next 2-3 months. “All three categories (tooth powder, blood purification syrup and uterine tonic) are not very big, but with marketing initiatives, we plan to grow the categories along with our brands,” said Mr Aggarwal. Emami’s other brands include Boroplus antiseptic cream, Navratna oil, Fair and Handsome and Sona Chandi Chyawanprash. “The company has been growing steadily in its personal care category and faces competition from multi-national as well as domestic players. Its foray into the oral care category will help it to grow, provided the products are marketed in the right way,” said an FMCG analyst.


I really dont understand why Emami in first place not gone for toothpaste. If Emami's strategy is to be a regional player and target the rural India, it makes lot of sense. So then it will be in the league of Dabur Red Tooth powder.

But overall i feel this is not the appropriate category to enter into at this point of time, as the growth rate os bleak and doesnt look promosing.

But it makes huge sense to enter blood purification syrup, as there are not many players known and if Emami can create a brand for itself in this category, they can reap benefits.

It looks as if Emami is getting desperate to get into any product category. No offense. I wish Emami huge success.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Brand Name For Aroma and Home Products

QUERYHi, I need to find a brand name for our aroma, spa products. This brand will sell our fragrance lamps, aroma diffusers, perfume oils, candles and later we will sell other home items , like bed linens, towels..
I thought of the name "Ambroisie a la maison". From the English word "ambrosia". Meaning 1 a : the food of the Greek and Roman gods b : the ointment or perfume of the gods
2 : something extremely pleasing to taste or smell
It's in French because our fragrance oils are imported from France but then I realized, the name is kinda hard to remember and pronounce for some. Something that sounds and looks nice. Doesn't really have to be in French. The look and style we are going for is simple elegance.

SOLUTIONBefore deciding on the brand name for aroma and home products, lets see what all areas can you focus on, which will help us find the right keywords in the Brand Name.

1) You can focus on Lifestyle or generally something which pleases life. You have to come up with an emotional attribute for these type of products. So here emotional marketing is more successful and not the rational one. You have to search for intangible. You can use tip- top as a brand name, smart

2) You can focus on luxury as well. I mean in all your campaigns you lauch it for premium customers, then you can use elite word in your brand. The different keywords can be - aristocratic

3) If your products are different from that of your competitors - you can focus a lot on novelty and unconventionality

4) You can also say that we have the best spa products .. so you can use words top-notch, tops

5) As you also mentioned the brand name can be a combination of smell+taste. I would suggest that you give a value proposition to your customer that it not please one or two sense .. it please your all 5 senses. So the brand name can be fivesense, 5sense, sensory spa products.

6) You can focus of the feelings, emotions, anxiety etc

I think ambrosia wont fit for this as it focus on just one aspect and doesnt have an emotional appeal. You have to have a name which is much broader and doesnt restrict your customer and force them to visit you again and again.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Chyawanprash Brand Extensions

The 250 crore chyawanprash market has seen lot of innovation happening in form brand extensions from Dabur and Emami Sona Chandi. We have seen the above companies launching Dabur Chyawanshakti and Sona Chandi Kesar Chyawanprash. Do you think that Indian market is ready for the launch of the above brands or is it too early?

This discussion is also available on MarketingProfs Portal - ... Please feel free to post ur comments

Is six sigma possible in Marketing ?

I am a double six sigma green belt certified from KPMG and Birlasoft Limited. My project was on reduction of load time of a webiste

I think that six sigma can be applied across different sectors and across several functional areas like Marketing, HR, Finance etc. One thing which is required is data. As most of you will be aware about DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control) ... so here if one has a data there is no issue

Just take an example of Brands .. the most popular topic in Marketing. Suppose company like ITC want to check the success of its new launch last year - May, 2005 of Sunfeast Pasta. So if Marketing manager sit with his team and analyze the steps from idea generation of sunfeast pasta to its final execution, we can get data on the different consumers behaviour like the per capita consumption of snacks - maggi, noodles and pasta ... what all attributes consumers look for before buying snacks ... why would they want to buy a branded pasta. The above is just one dimension to it. We can get data about different regions and see their consumer behavior ... and see whether the value proposition of sunfeast pasta was in syn with the consumers.

Because brands are in the mind of consumer. So here in six sigma terminology, the marketers may have undergone some defects. So now if a company like HLL want to enter into branded pasta .. they can analyze this day and remove the defects and have a successful lauch.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal set-up Marketgate Consulting

The exit of Coca-Cola India's VP-Marketing and Director-Marketing, Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal, respectively, was bit of a jolt for the cola major. The two ex-colleagues then joined hands to explore the hitherto uncluttered market consultancy space. The consultancy is expanding and Nadkarni and Agarwal are ploughing in all their experience to become a trusted partner of clients and ensuring strategic marketing solutions.

With Coke India for the past four years, Nadkarni has been associated with some memorable advertising campaigns including the thanda matlab Coca Cola campaign featuring Aamir Khan. Nadkarni will continue to be with the company to co-ordinate all the advertising and marketing campaigns for this summer.

Nadkarni is also credited with having successfully integrated this punch line with the five-rupee price point strategy Coca-Cola decided to promote over the last two years, again using Aamir Khan to convey this message to its consumers.

Arvind Mediratta .. 12 years of FMCG experience

Arvind Mediratta, vice-president, marketing, Whirlpool India, has spent 12-and-a-half years in the FMCG industry, his first and longest stint being with FMCG giant, Procter and Gamble (P&G). When he wanted to break free from the "structured organizational setup at P&G", Marico Industries welcomed him as marketing head. In the two years that he spent at Marico, the company improved its topline growth, with new products contributing nearly 17 per cent of the turnover in financial year 2003 (up from about 12 per cent the previous year). Whirlpool India attracted Mediratta for one very simple yet strong reason - 'consumer focus'. Mediratta's current agenda is to further the 'homemaker' partnership with the consumer by providing her relevant technology.

Interview with Arvind Mediratta and check out why he shifted to Consumer durables !!


SANGITA SINGH is Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President, Strategic Marketing, WiproTechnologies, the Wipro group's flagship IT services company. In a typical day at work, Ms. Singh will challenge her team of MBA degree holders to come up with innovative ways of selling IT outsourcing and offshoring to various clients.

She is based in Mountain View, California, said as large global clients begin to consolidate operations across locations, they look to a service provider like Wipro to meet their entire technology requirements.

Sanjay Dube

Joined as direct recruit in 1993 and worked in various sales and marketing assignments. His marketing experience spans across categories including exports, personal products and fabric wash. He has also had key stints as category head of mass markets and head, market and consumer development (detergents). He was appointed vice president, sales and customer development (HPC) in May 2004.

Manvinder Singh (Vindi) Banga

Manvinder Singh Banga has held a variety of positions in Unilever since he joined in 1977. He was senior vice president, Hair and Oral Care from 1998 to 2000. From 1995 to 1998, he was the director for Detergents, Hindustan Lever, as well as category leader for Soaps and Detergents for Unilever’s Central Asia and Middle East Region. In 2004 he was business group president for Unilever’s Home and Personal Care business in Asia. He is also non-executive chairman of Hindustan Lever. In April 2005, Vindi joined the newly formed Unilever executive (UEX) and was appointed president Foods.

He is actively involved on the boards and managing committees of many trade and non-trade bodies including the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. He is also a director on the board of Maruti Udyog Ltd, India’s largest car manufacturer.

He is a gold medallist of the Indian Institute of Management where he completed his postgraduate degree in management. Before that he gained a gold medal at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, where he completed his bachelor of technology (Mech Eng) in 1975.

Vindi is a keen golfer. He is married with two sons.

Career Path
1977: Joined Hindustan Lever
1979: Area Sales Manager, Detergents
1980: Area Sales Manager, Personal Products
1981: Brand Manager, Personal Products
1982: Branch Sales Manager, North
1985: Moved to Lever Bros, UK as Brand Manager, HHC
1986: Lever Bros, UK - Sr. Brand Manager, Detergents
1987: Dy. Marketing Manager, Fabrics, Hindustan Lever
1988: Branch Manager, South India
1990: Marketing Manager, Fabrics and HCC
1993: General Manager, Personal Products
1994: Div.Vice President, Personal Products
1995: Director, Personal Products
1995: Director, Detergents
1998: SVP, Hair and Oral, Unilever PLC, UK
2000: Appointed Chairman of Hindustan Lever Ltd.
2004: BGP, Home and Personal Care Asia
2005: Appointed president foods

Nitin Paranjpe ... identifying new growth engines for HLL

Executive Assistant to the Chairman of Unilever, JBIMS, 1987

I joined HLL in 1987. Since then I have been through a number of assignments - each unique, personally challenging and enriching. In the last couple of years, I have been an Area Sales Manager and a Brand Manager. I have represented Central Asia on the Global Home Care Category team and I have also been the Branch Manager for South India.

Two years back, I joined the Millennium team charged with the responsibility of identifying new growth engines for HLL. At the end of that assignment I moved to London to be a part of the team responsible for recommending the reorganisation of Unilever's top management structure. Today, I assist the Chairman and ExCo of Unilever PLC, by providing them background and analysis that they would need to discharge their responsibilities effectively.

The range of experiences that HLL provides, and the thrill of setting stiff goals and beating them year after year has been an exhilarating experience. I am delighted to be a part of a team of managers who are not only the brightest, but also the most wonderful human beings. It's not often that one finds all of this in an organisation. I feel proud to be a part of HLL.

Reebok's Marketing Whiz - Muktesh Pant - quits to start yoga biz

Micky Pant recently left Reebok to set up a business in the field of yoga instruction and accessories. Prior to that, Micky was the Chief Marketing Officer of the Reebok brand, the flagship division of Reebok International Ltd. Promoted to this position in November 2001, Pant oversaw the marketing of the Reebok brand globally. In the past year, he has overseen several successful marketing campaigns, including "Terry Tate, office linebacker", and the creation of "Rbk", a new urban collection of footwear.

Pant joined Reebok in 1994 as Managing Director for Reebok India. In 1996, he was named Regional Director for new markets, and in 1999 was promoted to Vice President of Global Marketing, a position based at Reebok’s corporate headquarters. He relocated to the United States and was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Prior to joining Reebok, Pant served in various marketing positions for PepsiCo and Unilever.
Pant earned his master’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, where he also was the recipient of a national scholarship.
"Athletic shoe and clothing maker Reebok International Ltd. said on Monday that its chief marketing officer Muktesh 'Micky' Pant had resigned in order to start a yoga-related business in India and the United States .

The company said Pant had decided 'to pursue his life-long dream of establishing a business that connects him to his roots in India , a country where wellness of the mind, body and spirit is held in high regard and serves as the very essence of the Indian culture.'

Pant told Reuters that he would return to India to start his new venture, which would be built around yoga. 'Because of the growth of e-mail and voicemail and instant communications, there's a lot of growth in stress,' Pant said, 'Deadlines have shortened. People are moving faster in a direction that they don't pause to think about.'

Professionalism in Yoga is not gona take long.

Bharat Puri ... The chocolate man

Cadbury Schweppes Asia Pacific has announced the appointment of Anand Kripalu as managing director of Cadbury India. He is taking over from Bharat Puri who has been appointed as commmercial strategy director for Asia Pacific, a company spokesperson said. Kripalu, an IIT-Chennai and IIM-Calcutta alumni, will take up the new assignment on October 28. Before the current assignment, Kripalu was overseeing Unilever's East Africa operations. Rajiv Wahi, president of Cadbury Asia Pacific, said: "I am delighted that Kripalu is joining us. His expertise in general management of consumer goods will be significant in taking Cadbury India to the next level of growth."

Click for details

Rajeev Bakshi ....

Mr. Bakshi has a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) Honours Degree from St. Stephens College in Delhi and an MBA degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

At present Mr. Rajeev Bakshi is the Chairman of PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. in India in which position he has responsibility for the company's business in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Mr. Bakshi has served Lakme India in a range of sales, marketing and general management assignments. Also, Mr. Bakshi has successfully handled several assignments with Cadbury Schweppes Limited in the capacity of Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Cadbury India Limited, Regional Marketing Director, London, Managing Director, India/South Asia and finally Managing Director, Cadbury (Pty), South Africa.

He was Vice President (Sales & Marketing) in Cadbury from 1992-1996 and the Regional Marketing Director of Cadbury Schweppes Plc, London for a year. He was designated Managing Director of Cadbury India wef January 1998.

Comments on chocolate industry

Vibha and Sanjay Rishi ... most interesting couple !!

Vibha grew up in Bombay, Delhi and Corporate India. She joined the Tata Administrative Services right out of business school and became one of the nucleus group that worked on the birth of Titan Watches. She greatly enjoyed the creativity and freedom of expression as she worked on the marketing and design of the first range of watches.
Life, and baby, took her to Delhi where she joined the start up team on the Pepsi project in early 1989. A 14 year roller coaster ride later, during which Brand Pepsi became the #1 cola and Mirinda and 7UP gained leadership in their categories, she moved with her family to PepsiCo Headquarters in Purchase, NY.
Her current responsibilities include managing a clutch of PepsiCo brands internationally, primarily 7UP, Mirinda and Mountain Dew. She loves to read, garden, travel and listen to young people around the world.

Along with Vibha, her husband, Sanjay Rishi, too shifted to New York on a huge promotion: from being vice president and general manager in charge of the American Express service centres in Asia since early 2001, he has been made senior vice-president, service network partners.
In his expanded role, Rishi is directly responsible for overseeing service partners globally for American Express' US operations, while continuing to manage American Express' customer processing operations across Asia.
The list of Indian expat managers is getting longer by the week. And the trend is visible across sectors like FMCG, banking, pharmaceuticals, information technology, publishing, consulting etc.

Vibha and Sanjay have proved that a balance between personal and professional life is very much possible.

Harish Manwani ... President, Asia Africa - Unilever

Harish Manwani is an honours graduate from Mumbai University and has a master's degree in management studies. He also attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
He joined Hindustan Lever (HLL) in 1976, becoming a member of the HLL board 1995 as director responsible for the Personal Products business. As category leader for Personal Products, he also held regional responsibility for the Central Asia and Middle East business group.
In 2000, he moved to the UK as senior vice president, Global Hair Care and Oral Care, and in 2001 was appointed president, Home and Personal Care, Latin America business group. He also served as chairman of Unilever’s Latin America Advisory Council.
In 2004, he was appointed president and CEO of the HPC North America business group, and in April 2005 joined the Unilever Executive as president, Asia Africa. He is also non-executive chairman of Hindustan Lever and is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business.
Harish is married and has two daughters. He spends his leisure time with his family and enjoys playing golf and an occasional game of bridge.

Career Summary
1976: Joined Hindustan Lever
1994: Divisional vice president marketing, Detergents
1995: Joined board of Hindustan Lever Ltd; director for Personal Products
2000: Moved to UK as senior vice president Hair Care and Oral care categories; executive vice president, Latin America business group
2001: President, Home and Personal Care Latin America
2004: President, Home and Personal Care, North America
2005: Appointed president Asia & Africa

Sir, all hats off to you for ur splendid performance in last 30 years !!

Marketing Stalwarts ...

1. Vindi Banga - Unilever
2. Harish Manwani - Unilever
3. Vibha Rishi - PepsiCo
4. Bharat Puri - Cadbury Schweppes Asia Pacific
5. Muktesh Pant - Reebok to Yoga
6. Nitin Paranjpe - HLL
7. Sanjay Dube - HLL
8. Sangita Singh - Wipro
9. Arvind Mediratta - Whirlpool
10. Manu Anand - PepsiCo
11. Sharda Agarwal and Shripad Nadkarni - Coca Cola to Marketgate Consulting
12. Rahul Malhotra
13. Himanshu Khanna
14. Saugata Gupta
15. C K Ranganathan - Cavinkare
16. Harish Bijoor Harish Bijoor Consults
17. Rajeev Bakshi
18. Sunil Duggal - Dabur
19. Atul Singh - Coca Cola

Why were all these above people were successful - Most had the professional aggression and the marketing acumen to get to where they are, but some attributed their success to the people around them.

I will keep posting about them in next set of posts !!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Saugata Gupta ... FMCG marketing guru

Saugata Gupta, chief-marketing, Marico Industries, started his career with Cadbury’s India as a brand manager, where he was instrumental in launching the Perk brand. Later, he moved to ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. His desire for challenges made him shift back to the FMCG sector to explore new categories.

Btech: IITK
Previous CMO at Marico: Mr Arvind Mediratta quit to join Whirpool

Click for interview (a journey from FMCG to insurance to FMCG)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

FMCG stocks at all time high ... Whats there in future?

If i go back 4 years, I see FMCG sector in shackles, but now the sector is back on track and is on the path to recovery. Growth is being witnessed in urban as well as rural areas.

Major Drivers: With the implementation of VAT from 1st May 2005, it was a shot in the arm for organised players, as brands will become cheaper in times to come. Owing to this, smaller and unorganised players might lose the competitive edge, which in turn will benefit larger players. Organised retailing has brought a new lease of life to the FMCG sector. With income growth prospects looking strong, FMCG demand is likely to trace GDP growth in the next three to five years.

Some stats: Index grown from 1636 to 2211 (35% growth) ... investors are bullish on it and still forsee appreciable growth

Suggestions: I think the investors to caution at current valuation levels. Investors should look at long tern i.e. three to five and should have the appetite to withstand any sharp decline in stock prices in the near future.

Competitive strengths: FMCG companies’ success is often attributed to their marketing and branding skills. Ability to continuously create successful brands and advertising which gets the message across often spells success for a company. Once a brand is successful, it easier for a company to piggyback on its initial success introduce more products and associate them with the known brand. As they say, ‘nothing succeeds like success’.

The consolidated topline in the last quarter of the top 5 FMCG major (HLL, ITC, Nestle, Britannia and Colgate) has grown by an enthusing 22% YoY, indicating that the FMCG sector is on the path to revival, with both rural and urban markets contributing to its growth. Infact, rural growth has outpaced urban growth in the past six months.

When compared to 5 smaller FMCG companies (including the likes of Godrej Consumer and Marico), the larger companies have clearly outperformed as far as the sales growth is concerned. Though the net profit growth of the smaller FMCG majors combined has outpaced the likes of HLL and Nestle, in the long-term, i believe that the FMCG sector is a volume game (market share). In a downturn, when consumers tighten their pockets, there is a possibility that consumers can be more 'pricey'. In the long-term, the challenge before FMCG players is on two fronts:
1. Increase the consumer base - Here the semi-urban and rural market is an important leg
2. Increase consumption of products per person (including upgrading existing customers to higher priced products in the same category)

Future of FMCG: HLL expects the FMCG sector to triple in value by FY10. As per NCAER estimates, consuming class will touch nearly 50% by FY08 and much of this growth will come from the rural hinterland. With the modern retail sector expanding at a faster clip, FMCG companies are most likely to benefit. Currently, only 4% of industry sales are through the organised retail chains, which is expected to touch atleast 10% in the next three to five years. However, the profit margins are likely to shrink, albeit by around 100 to 200 basis points. But again, the FMCG sector is a volume-driven game i.e. growth at margin.

So it is recommended that investors should choose those companies that have the ability to maintain market share (despite the ups and down in consumer spending) and have the ability to launch products on a continuous basis. By the way, FMCG sector/stocks are defensive in nature and therefore, returns are likely to be stable over the long-term.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Harish Bijoor .... a journey

Harish Bijoor is a prolific blend of an entrepreneur, author, quizzer and brand manager, all combined in one. Harish Bijoor was in Cottons between 1974 and 1978 and belonged to Pakenham Walsh. After Cottons he joined St. Joseph’s Arts and Science College, Bangalore. Later he sat for the Civil Services examination where his rank in the UPSC was eight hundred and sixty five, thereby qualifying him for the Indian Audit and Accounts Services. As this was a rather dull option, Harish Bijoor participated in the campus recruitment of Brooke Bond-Lipton and started his career as a management trainee in the sales department. After four years, he rose to the position of Product Manager for coffee. Thereafter, he spent another three years as Senior Product Manager in charge of tea brands. After seven years at Hindustan Lever, Harish Bijoor switched to Tata Tea Ltd., joining them as General Manager – Marketing in 1993 with the chief responsibility of monitoring operations of Tata Tea’s newly acquired coffee business. Perhaps, this is where Harish Bijoor really blossomed as someone who could project a brand to its ultimate, which is his USP.

Harish Bijoor masterminded a series of memorable and innovative campaigns during his stint with Tata Tea, and later, Tata Coffee. These include printing “Tata Coorg Pure Coffee” on three million eggs, knowingly hanging banners upside down and printing “Tata Kaapi” on papads! However, his most outstanding innovation was the creation of the world’s largest coffee mug in Bangalore, which event coincided with fifty years of India’s independence.

At Tata Coffee, Harish Bijoor soared to the post of Vice President – Marketing Operations and was responsible for enhancing its brand image and revenues. However, to preempt any semblance of monotony, Harish Bijoor left Tata Coffee to assume the position of Chief Operating Officer, Zip Telecom Limited. Zip Telecom is a subsidiary of the Mauritius-based Zip Global Network. The Zip Phone, the propriety product of Zip Telecom, is a state-of-the-art pay phone device that combines the display attributes of a television with the internal functioning of a computer, and includes internet and credit card compatibility. It is perhaps the first of its kind in the world. At Zip Telecom, Harish Bijoor is responsible for the pay phone business and marketing. He is commonly regarded as being responsible for the unmistakable presence of the Zip Phone in most cities in India.

After pioneering the Tata’s foray into the coffee market, Harish Bijoor has earned an unshakable reputation as one of India’s best-known coffee marketers. With an emphasis on market study and consumer behavior coupled with instinct and intellect, Harish Bijoor is highly effective in the field of marketing. He has studied threadbare the technical aspects of growing, harvesting, roasting, grinding and packaging coffee and has made presentations at several international symposia related to coffee. Harish is reputed to be an excellent HR person as well, with a vastly personalised rapport with his employees.

Harish Bijoor models himself philosophically on Mahatma Gandhi and teaches at several institutions including Indian Institute of Management and the Indian Business Academy. He also writes regularly for columns in leading newspapers, especially on branding, and is currently authoring two books. Widely travelled, he has authored Marketing Trends, a book meant to stimulate consumer interest in marketing–specific issues. Harish Bijoor has the uncanny ability to combine technology and ground reality, and consequentially enhance the mass appeal of a brand. He intends to retire at forty, and pursue other passions such as quizzing, writing and travelling.

C K Ranganathan, CEO of CavinKare: Rags-to-riches!!

C K Ranganathan, CEO of CavinKare is somebody who changed the rules of the FMCG game. He is widely regarded as the man behind the sachet revolution. The FMCG business is becoming increasingly complicated with the biggie HLL competing with regional players in various parts of India. HLL battles it out with CavinKare in most of the Southern markets. CavinKare has registered tremendous growth and has ambitious plans to expand its product portfolio. CavinKare acquired Ruchi Food Products (known more for their pickles!) about two years ago and is currently making a foray into international markets.

History: 1983, C K Ranganathan started selling shampoos in a sachet with an investment of Rs 15,000 and dared to take on the multinationals, Lever and P&G, the unquestioned leaders in that segment.

Present: This year, Ranganathan’s company, CavinKare, ended up with a turnover of a little over Rs 500 crore. Ranganathan is positive he can touch Rs 5000 crore in the next 10 years and can emerge as an Indian multinational.

So how did Ranganathan become a tycoon? His father, Chinni Krishnan, a school teacher, had an entrepreneurial streak in him. He was also an inventor of sorts. He had started a small-scale pharmaceutical packaging unit and gone on to manufacture pharmaceutical products and cosmetics. The father may not have become a big time businessman, but he had a few radical ideas about the Indian consumer. He wanted the common man to have access to what was then termed as rich man’s products. He also believed in packaging for single-time use. The sachet which was to revolutionise FMCG marketing was his creation.

When his father passed away, Ranganathan, a fresh graduate entered the family business. His brother C K Rajkumar had been the brain behind Velvette International and the successful launch of Velvette shampoo sachets in the early eighties. However, Ranganathan wanted to branch off on his own. He had clear ideas about how to do business. He started Chik India as a small partnership firm, Chik being an acronym for his father’s name. The partners were his mother and grandmother. Chik India started off by offering a single product, Chik shampoo. Ranganathan took the then shampoo market by storm, selling his Chik brand of shampoo at a much lower price than other shampoo sachets which were selling at Rs 2. He targeted rural and small-town consumers who used soaps to wash their hair. Didn’t he offer his sachets at an unbelievable price of 50 paise? How could he have made any money? Ranganathan says he didn’t start off with 50 paise pricing. He introduced the sachet at 90 paise. Only by 1998 the 50-paise pricing happened. And that’s when the multinationals sat up and noticed him. This was one regional player who was there to stay and also was giving them a good run for their money. With the volumes he had built up by then, his margins became quite healthy in spite of the low price. He would never admit to it, but his company was obviously cocking a snook at Lever when it changed its name from Beauty Cosmetics to CavinKare ( CK). The folks at Calvin Klein, a Unilever brand, were surely not amused. In an earlier interview Ranganathan has said the similarity to the original CK was coincidental though not entirely unwelcome. Says he: “It is a tribute to my father Chinni Krishnan. Also, Cavin in ancient Tamil means beauty and grace.”

From the beginning, Ranganathan was quite sure he wanted to have his own distribution network. He did not want to piggyback on some larger manufacturer’s set up. (His elder brother had burnt his fingers by tying up with Godrej). He said in an interview four years ago, “I was very clear that I did not want to mess up my focus by getting involved in production when there are highly skilled and competent people to do the job for you. My focus was to build brands, be hands-on where marketing and distribution was concerned.” He now says, “I had a basic product, the shampoo. I played around with these ideas.” How did he do that? “I introduced the concept of fragrance. Which was a revolution then. If you opened the sachet, the entire room would be filled with fragrance.” This obviously appealed to his target consumers. This was a period when the small company had no money for advertising. But understanding that the concept of fragrance worked, Ranganathan targeted the stockists. “When we went to visit them, we use to spray fragrance outside the packs. The stockists couldn’t help noticing the lingering fragrance.” They did this till Chik shampoo became an established name. But what really worked was the ‘bring empty sachets and take shampoo sachets in return’ offer. His competitors sneered. They said he was giving away sachets as charity. But Ranganathan proved his critics wrong. Sales zoomed from 35,000 sachets to 12 lakhs. “Initially we took any sachet, but after three months we restricted it to Chik sachets. But the idea had caught on, and it didn’t make any difference to the popularity of the offer.” With increasing cash flows the company finally got some funds for advertising. The next step was the introduction of floral fragrances like rose and jasmine. The sales rose to 35 lakh sachets. “From then there was no looking back,” says Ranganathan.

People who have worked with Ranganathan say that he has an intuitive understanding of the consumer and the market, particularly the South Indian consumer. Says Suguna C Swamy, a senior advertising professional who has worked on campaigns with Ranganathan, “Show him a commercial, he will know how people will react.”

Today Chik is the second largest shampoo brand after Clinic Plus.

Ranganathan then moved on to selling pickles in sachets. Now putting pickles in sachets is not as simple as it sounds. There is oil, pieces of pickle and spices — all of which have to be packed in pouches. Consistency in quality and standards has to be maintained. It can’t be allowed to leak. Ranganathan managed to create the right sachet and packaging. And he became the market leader in Tamil Nadu within a year. The next launch was Nyle herbal shampoo in 1993, which faced tough competition from the existing manufacturers. This was targeted for the middle class, and established itself within three to four years and has gained respectable market share. Then there is Meera hair wash powder, easily the market leader. As Ranganathan explains it, he looks for products which fulfill a felt need. Another launch during this period was the Fairever cream in the fairness segment. Lever’s Fair & Lovely is the market leader. CavinKare found that people were not ready to accept a new brand. There was a lot of resistance. “We did our research. We had to have a USP to promote the product. We discovered that milk and saffron worked well to lighten the skin with external application too (It’s usually thought that drinking milk with saffron makes you fair).” Today Fairever is the no. 2 brand in the fairness segment.

A lot of work was done to popularise the Indica hair colouring as well. “Actually we thought of the name Indica before the Tatas came out with their car,” he says. Again this was not an easy market to break into in 1998. Once it was decided to turn into herbal hair colouring, the sales picked up. Ranganathan has not achieved success in everything. For various reasons, his foray into perfumes and deodorants have not had the same acceptance like the other products. However, Ranganathan is not the kind who lets failures faze him.

Says Nandakumar, “He is an avid listener, he doesn’t talk much. You can tell him there are flaws in some of his ideas. He will buy it, work on it, refine it and come back”. Ranganathan gets up everyday at 5.30, sorts out his day’s activities, swims for half an hour (he is a fitness freak), spends time with his three young children and is off to work. He reads only management books, likes to watch comedies and takes short holidays with his family every three or four months. At other times, he thinks about becoming an international company. “I like challenges,” he says. Challenges are what he is looking forward to in the next few years.

A few months ago, the company launched Tex, a toilet cleaner (short for toilet expert) in, of course, a sachet. Now toilet cleaners have a corrosive base: it is near impossible to pack them into a sachet. But CavinKare has achieved this. When first packed in a sachet, the cleaner was oozing out. A lot of work went into it again to get the package right. A little known fact about CavinKare is that one of the group companies is a very modern packaging unit. It supplies to many big names in industry like P&G, Henkel, ITC, Britannia, Godrej, Kelloggs and so on. Tex is doing very well in Tamil Nadu. There are two new hair oils to hit the market soon, Meera and Nyle. Nyle is an up-market product with a very different packaging. Herbs are kept in tubes, which are placed inside the oil for constant interaction.

Going global is the next priority. CavinKare already has fully owned subsidiaries in Indonesia and Bangladesh. It is seriously looking at all the neighbouring countries, the Gulf and Egypt. Plans are being finalised to enter the US market this year. Food products will possibly become even larger than the personal care products. Then there are the exclusive CavinKare Salons, Green Trends and Lime-Lite and which have been set up already in three metros. Ranganathan feels the salons offer a tremendous opportunity. He dreams of setting up 1,000 salons in the next 10 years. They will be the vehicles for top of the line products. Will he be able to achieve all this? “My strength is I deliver on my claims,” he says gently. For more details: click here

This guy is gona create new HLL !!

Right passage to enter India ... Its not replication!! (Market Entry Strategies)

India, for some time now the focal point of the global trend toward strategic offshoring, has simultaneously become appealing as a market in its own right. With GDP growth more than double that of the United States and the United Kingdom during the past decade, and with forecast continued real annual growth of almost 7 percent, India is one of the world's most promising and fastest-growing economies, and multinational companies are eagerly investing there.

Yet the performance of the multinationals that have tried to exploit this opportunity has been decidedly mixed. Many of those notable for their strong performance elsewhere have yet to achieve significant market positions (or even average industry profitability) in India, despite a significant investment of time and capital in its industries. Why? Perhaps because the market entry strategies that have worked so well for these companies elsewhere—bringing in tried and tested products and business models from other countries, leveraging capabilities and skills from core markets, and forming joint ventures to tap into local expertise and share start-up costs—are less successful in India.

Different researches (By Mckinsey) suggests that the most successful multinationals in India have been those that did not merely tailor their existing strategy to an intriguing local market but instead cut a strategy from whole cloth. In short, they have resisted the instinct to transplant to India the best of what they do elsewhere, even going so far as to treat the country as a bottom-up development opportunity.

With less of a focus on the initial entry and with a longer-term view of what a thriving Indian business would look like, the more successful companies have invested time and resources to
1. understand local consumers and business conditions
2. tailoring product offers to the entire market, from the high-end to the middle and lower-end segments
3. reengineering supply chains
4. even skipping the joint-venture route.

The reward for this effort?

Of the 50-plus multinational companies with a significant presence in India, the 9 market leaders, including British American Tobacco (BAT), Hyundai Motor, Suzuki Motor, and Unilever, have an average return on capital employed of around 48 percent. Even the next 26 have an average ROCE of 36 percent.

Getting local in India
India's per capita income is half of China's and one-fourth of Brazil's, and as much as 80 percent of Indian demand for any industry's products will be in the middle or lower segments. As a result, multinationals must resist the temptation merely to replicate their global product offerings; the products and price points that are competitive in India are often considerably different from those that work well in other countries. In particular, in India companies must reach into the middle and lower-end segments or they may end up as niche high-end players, with insignificant revenues and profits.

Multinationals that understand the Indian consumer's expectations and price sensitivities can tap into what is often a large and promising market, but they shouldn't assume that the lowest price tag will always lead it. Indian consumers, even in the lower-end segments, will pay a premium if the value of superior features and quality is seen to far outweigh their cost.

Case Study: LG Electronics, reengineered its TV product specifications in order to develop three offerings specifically for India, including a no-frills one to expand the market at the low end and a premium 21-inch flat TV for the middle segment. By keeping the price of the latter offering to within 10 percent of the price of TVs with conventional screens, LGE persuaded many consumers to buy it. These innovations have led the company to a top-three position in the country's consumer durable-goods and electronics market in a little over three years, with revenues of nearly a billion dollars in India.

Case Study: Toyota Motor captured nearly a third of the multi-utility-vehicle (MUV) market by offering a significantly superior product at a limited price premium.

Case Study: Very often, however, companies need to develop completely new products to compete at target price points set by local competitors, as Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), a part of the multinational Unilever, did with its low-priced detergent brand, Wheel. Responding to local competition, HLL lowered the active detergent content of its existing product, decreased the oil-to-water ratio, and then launched the new detergent at a 30 percent discount to the price points of the company's more traditional detergents. Today, Wheel accounts for 45 percent of HLL's detergent business in India and for 8 percent of total HLL sales.

Case Study: companies must significantly localize their product offerings to meet Indian consumer preferences. Hyundai, for example, spent several months customizing its small-car offering, Santro. Because Indian consumers attach significant importance to lifetime ownership costs, Hyundai reduced the engine output of the Santro to keep its fuel efficiency high, priced its spare parts reasonably, and made more than a dozen changes to the product specifications to suit Indian market conditions. In contrast, other global automakers entered the market with vehicles that had low gas mileage and high repair rates and after-sales service costs.

Companies can bolster their profitability by reengineering their supply chains. Hyundai, for instance—in contrast to other global auto manufacturers in India, which source only about 60 to 70 percent of their components locally—buys 90 percent of its components from cheaper Indian suppliers rather than importing more expensive parts from its usual suppliers elsewhere. Multinational pharmaceutical companies outsource a large share of their production to third-party manufacturers within India—an uncommon practice for major pharma companies elsewhere in the world. And both Hyundai and LGE have built global-scale manufacturing facilities to capture economies, making India a global manufacturing hub that can serve other markets as the local market develops.

Using extensive third-party distribution also helps. In India, organized retail distribution systems reach less than 2 percent of the market, so there is considerable pressure to find innovative ways of reaching retail consumers. This third-party distribution system is crucial to capturing demand created by the superior price-to-value offerings available in smaller cities and rural areas, which make up a large share of the Indian market. In fact, successful multinationals—such as Castrol (acquired by BP in 2000), LG Electronics, and Unilever—have built deep third-party distribution networks that serve second-tier cities and villages. Here again, a local strategy is crucial. One multinational company, for instance, used to own its entire worldwide distribution infrastructure, including warehouses and trucks. Applying that business system in India, where large companies face high labor and overhead costs, made it impossible to attain nationwide reach. Moving to a third-party distribution system employing a network of dealers and agents proved very successful.

Finally, in contrast to companies that rotate expatriate managers in and out of the country every two or three years—often a recipe for failure—most successful multinationals, such as Citibank, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unilever, have an Indian CEO in their local operations. Given the need to tailor products, supply chains, and distribution systems to local markets, local managers tend to be more effective. If the CEO is an expatriate, combining longer postings with a strong local second in command, as in the case of the South Korean giant Hyundai, seems to be crucial to success. In addition, multinationals such as Castrol have benefited from strong local boards to counsel, challenge, and help local operations.

Skipping the joint venture
Multinationals entering new markets have traditionally struck up joint ventures with local partners for a variety of reasons, including their ability to influence public policy, to bring into the venture existing products as well as marketing and sales capabilities, and to comply with regulatory requirements when foreign participation was restricted to less than 50 percent of a business.

While joint ventures are still crucial to gaining access to privileged assets in some industries—metals and mining, for example, and oil and gas—our research shows that, where possible, multinationals are better off going it alone. Of the 25 major joint ventures established from 1993 to 2003, only 3 survive. Most foundered because the local partner couldn't invest enough resources to enlarge the business as quickly as the multinational had hoped. As a result, most of the multinationals that initially entered the market through joint ventures have exited them and pursued independent operations. Multinationals, such as Hyundai and LGE, that have achieved real success in India have bypassed joint ventures entirely, and newcomers are increasingly entering the market on their own. Even when a joint venture is unavoidable, successful multinationals ensure from the outset that they retain management control and have a clear path to eventual full ownership.

Participating in the regulatory process
Multinationals in deregulating industries often need to be flexible and patient during the natural process of regulatory evolution. Regulations governing the mobile-telephony sector, for example, have been amended several times since 1994 as it has grown; it had two licensed operators per region back then and now has as many as six. Although most multinationals left the sector when the regulations governing it changed, Hutchison Whampoa continued to invest in India. Ten years later, Hutchison Essar is one of the top three telcos in the country (as reckoned by market share), and interviews with industry experts suggest that the company enjoys strong profitability.

If regulations are a crucial factor for an industry, the CEO needs to spend a lot of time managing them. The most successful multinationals haven't relied on third-party legislation managers or joint-venture partners to address regulatory issues; instead they have invested much time and energy to identify and understand the key policy makers, to formulate robust positions for investment, and even to suggest regulatory changes. In addition, these companies have garnered support from constituencies such as state governments, which compete for investments, and industry associations that lobby for similar regulatory changes.
Clearly, any entry into a new market requires a certain degree of tailoring to its specific needs and conditions. But for some companies, the entry into India has forced a fundamental rethinking of product offers, cost structures, distribution systems, and management teams. Companies that successfully tap into the promising Indian market often ignore conventional wisdom, including the need for joint ventures.

Be careful before entering into India !!

Gyan for MBA students before you join ur summer internship organizations ..

Obviosy 4Ps, 3Cs and other models will help u to have a structured approch ... but for any marketer the most important thing is to feel the market by understanding the grassroot realities ... i.e. the consumer behavior .. i mean qualitative research

The normal process is in this order ...
1. start with secondary research ... googling
2. Focused group discussion (FGD)
3. Qualitative and qualtitative research ... to get some stats
4. validate the research
5. Design Marketing Strategy/ key insights

One important thing is that sometimes researches fail ... and common sense works

The best marketer is one who is fully involved in the product/ brand !!!

Toughening up the chain .. by Susan Tsang

Supply chain management (SCM), which holds the promise of reducing supply costs and raising product margins, is becoming even more of a necessity as technology develops.

SCM is the planning and execution of supply chain activities to ensure a coordinated flow both within a company and with integrated companies.

The advent of the digital age has powered business to Internet speed. Buyers go online to surf the world in search of what they want, at the best prices. Retailers are racing to keep up with consumers.

Manufacturers no longer have the luxury of taking years to develop, market and sell their products. For instance, mobile phone makers have seen their design cycle shrink from 18 months to just 6 in the last few years.

As customer preferences and demands shorten the lifecycle of a product, manufacturers have to produce shorter production runs to ensure minimal inventories in the supply chain to reduce product obsolescence.

Further complicating matters is the evolution of the manufacturing process itself, which is becoming more global in terms of suppliers and customers. As manufacturing becomes more diverse and spreads across countries, both from a production and distribution perspective, manufacturers require improved visibility and real-time information if they are to successfully manage the supply chain and respond rapidly to market and customer demands.

Manufacturers in the region are still adopting traditional SCM products in areas such as supply chain planning, factory scheduling, demand forecasting, transportation planning and warehouse management.

However, as they find themselves having to respond quickly and provide information in collaborative environments, manufacturers realize that improvements are needed within their own operations.

Venturing beyond traditional SCM products into new areas of:
1. supplier collaboration
2. customer collaboration
3. radio frequency identification (RFID)
4. product lifecycle management (PLM); may be in the offing.

Pranav Kumar, research director of enterprise application software, with research firm Gartner Asia Pacific, estimated that collaborative planning applications, which enable the sharing of planned demand or supply data with trading partners, will take two to five years to realize its

With RFID, where tags attached to pallets, boxes or items enable
objects to be tracked throughout the supply chain, Pranav projected that it
will take 5 to 10 years before it becomes pervasive.

A very exciting innovation for the manufacturing industry is is PLM. Such systems tie everything together, allowing engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and outside suppliers and channel partners to coordinate activities.

PLM is a process that leverages product information to guide products from concept through retirement. The software makes use of product information and business analysis to support the product’s portfolio strategies, lifecycle planning, activities management, and the execution of the activities through each phase in a product’s life.

By providing a unified collaborative environment, PLM enables the collective knowledge of the extended enterprise to add value at any stage of a product’s lifecycle.

PLM allows downstream players to participate in the earliest stages, which can determine up to 80 percent of a product’s development cost. It can manage all of the intellectual capital to support the entire product lifecycle, including product, process, resource and supplier

The Top 10 Most Common Mistakes that Retailers Make by Brian Azar

1. No Business Plan
If you rely purely on instinct to guide your business instead of a written plan, you're headed for trouble. A plan helps you focus on where your company is, where it's going, why and how you're doing along the way. Creating a simple plan is a must.
2. No Sales Plan
Without a sales plan, there's no serious way to gage the financial growth and progress of your business. You need a realistic map for where the sales will come from, how they'll come, from whom, how often as well as: how much selling is needed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually! Included in your sales plan is a "Selling System" which gives you immediate feedback during your sales cycles, especially during your "Sales Interviews". Your "Selling System helps you keep score.
3. No Marketing Plan
A marketing plan creates the kind of attention you need to get in front of the right types of people, companies, etc. It is what attracts people to you! There may be as many as twenty five ways to market your business at no or low cost. A good marketing plan implemented effectively, efficiently, elegantly and consistently, will eliminate the need for "cold calls."
4. No Mastermind
A MasterMind is like an unpaid board of advisors who have similar, related, successful businesses, which are noncompetitive. These professionals are positive, somewhat like-minded, and open-minded. They are an excellent resource, brain trust and support system. Eventually, they can even provide introductions and endorsements to others for you. They're part of your team.
5. No Cash Reserve or Real Cash Flow
During the excitement and euphoria of starting a business, it's easy to overlook the gap between making the first few sales and banking the money. Often, the wait can be too long and without some cash reserve many companies may stall or even fail without any planned cash flow coming in.
6. Ignoring the Numbers
As an entrepreneur-business owner, your primary goal is to make a NET PROFIT! If you do not know how you are doing until all the money is in and all the bills are paid, then it may be too late! You need to know where you stand on a regular basis, especially with regard to income versus expenses! Having a timely system in which you can record the appropriate key data and quickly analyze the information, is of the utmost importance! There are software programs that can help.
7. Not Being Automated
With the low cost of personal computers today and the very positive productivity impact they can have on your business, it is essential to become automated! With a computer, modem, a fax, and access to the internet for e-mail, a wealth of information and electronic commerce, you will be keeping up with your competition and staying current.
8. Not Knowing Your Customers
Changes in your customers' preferences and your competitors' products and services can leave you in the dust unless you get to know your customers well, what they want now and will likely want in the future, what their buying patterns are, and how you can be a resource for them even if you don't have the right products or services for them now.
9. Ignoring Employees
Motivating, coaching and managing your staff is probably one of your toughest challenges as an entrepreneur/business owner today! Without your patience, persistence and "people skills", your problems can multiply quickly. Morale, productivity AND PROFITS can easily be destroyed! Be sure to get help if you assess objectively, that these are not your strengths.
10. Being a Lone Ranger
You might be the key to everything BUT you cannot DO everything and grow at the same time. Even modest success can overwhelm you unless you do the following: hire the right staff and delegate responsibility, work with a business coach or mentor, and finally, create several positive business exit options for the future to make the ultimate transition smooth and planned.

These mistakes are not only done by Retailers .. but by every business man .. So try to implement the above and thank Mr. Azar.