N. Shatrujeet

Six agencies in the fray for Rs 10-12 crore Onida business

Contract, Bates, Lemon, McCann-Erickson, St Luke’s and chlorophyll have been invited to pitch for Onida’s new line of washing machines and air-conditioners

Mirc Electronics, the Rs 750-crore manufacturer of the Onida brand of colour televisions (CTVs), has invited six agencies to pitch for a newly constituted business. The agencies are Contract Advertising, Bates India, Lemon Communications, McCann-Erickson India, St Luke's and chlorophyll.

Confirming the news to agencyfaqs!, V Chandramouli, vice-president, sales & marketing, Mirc Electronics, said, "We have called for a pitch for our new product lines that essentially comprise washing machines and air-conditioners. The pitch is not for our existing CTV range, which continues to be with O&M."

O&M handles almost the entire range on Onida CTVs, including Onida Black, Onida KY Thunder, Onida Gulliano Bellini and Onida Profile. Bates is in charge of Onida Igo, an ‘economy range' of CTVs. Bates was also responsible for the advertising of Onida Candy, a brand which has since been discontinued. Chandramouli, however, adds that Onida Igo is also being put under the scanner, as "Igo will be integrated with the new business". He estimates the size of the new business to be in the vicinity of Rs 10-12 crore.

According to a senior industry observer, Mirc has a lot at stake vis-à-vis this pitch. "On the one hand, it would want to jump-start the Igo brand, considering the brand is taking on the regional and unorganized CTV market with a value-for-money proposition," he says. "Igo has to get it right. Also, so far, Onida hasn't made any serious efforts at getting into new product categories, although Onida washing machines have been around. Multiple brands or a presence in multiple categories is very essential in the durables business, as that is what gives you volumes - which offers clout over the trade. Onida's competitors, be it a Samsung or an LG, have benefited from multiple categories. Onida seems to have woken up to this fact."

With so much riding on the pitch, the speed with which Mirc is acting isn't surprising. "The pitch process has started, and as of now, we are focusing only on the six agencies we have invited," says Chandramouli. "We should be in a position to take a decision on this by the first week of February."

It's a decision six agencies would be awaiting with bated breath. As an aside, for those wondering why O&M has been kept out of the pitch, the answer is simple: O&M's Delhi office is the incumbent at Swedish white goods giant, Electrolux. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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