agencyfaqs! News Bureau
The Rs 800-crore Yash Birla Group launched a limited range of home appliances manufactured by well-known European company DeLonghi in the capital recently. The range of products includes cooking hobs, ovens, chimneys, coffee machines, toasters, electric kettles, citrus juicers, oil heaters, gas heaters and air purifiers. These will be marketed under the brand name Birla-DeLonghi Italy's No 1 home appliances company DeLonghi has a network in more than 50 countries, manufacturing facilities at 15 locations and turnover of over $1 billion. DeLonghi's products are displayed and marketed by most well-known departmental stores like John Lews of the UK all over Europe.
Initially, DeLonghi's products would be made available in northern India (J&K, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi) and Maharashtra. These products would be backed by after-sales services provided by DeLonghi through their trained technicians. Birla Electricals has already test marketed its heat radiators and air-purifiers in India and claims it has received an overwhelming response that encouraged the group to bring in more such products of DeLonghi.
The Delhi launch was announced with full-page ads in The Times of India, Hindustan Times and regional papers like Hindustan on December 13. On December 17, the Mumbai newspapers would have similar ads announcing the launch of the DeLonghi range. Birla-DeLonghi has earmarked a budget of Rs 1 crore in the launch phase, which will be concentrated mostly in print. "We are not looking at the audio visual media immediately. This is to avoid spoilage since our products are not national yet," said Shailesh Agarwal, vice-president, marketing, Birla Electricals. Added Vineet Neb, account supervisor, Foresight (the agency handling the Birla-DeLonghi account), "Now the task is to introduce the DeLonghi name and the product range. The task would be best achieved through print. While the print campaign would continue till March 2002, outdoor and PoP will provide secondary support. TV would definitely come in, but at a later stage."
Talking about the price and the positioning strategy, Agarwal said, "This range will be priced in the premium bracket, because we are not just selling appliances but solutions to household. In line with this stance we are saying that our products are the housewife's best friend. That will be our positioning strategy across product categories." He chalked out the company's growth plan as thus, "We will start off by importing and marketing the range; in the second phase we will take on the role of the assembler; in the third phase we will take to manufacturing and in the fourth and the last phase, we would try to develop India as the sourcing base for DeLonghi worldwide."
With its plans in place Birla-DeLonghi hopes to close its books on March 31, 2002, with turnover of Rs 6 crore. By March-end 2003, this figure is expected to go up to Rs 20 crore, said Agarwal.
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