Shreyas Kulkarni

CII session: "The biggest challenge today is not demand, but the supply chain..."

Rasna's CMD Piruz Khambatta offers more such insights on demand and supply, marketing, advertising, and ad spots...

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), an industry association founded in 1895, "... works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes."

Piruz Khambatta
Piruz Khambatta

Yesterday (May 19), CII held a virtual session on 'Strategic Marketing Post COVID-19'. One of the panellists, Piruz Khambatta, CMD, Rasna, gave his insights on this topic.

Edited Excerpts:

'Namaste' is the new normal, and I will start with it. The English gave us the suit, the Chinese gave us the PPE suit (a dig at Coronavirus' origins). We shouldn't remember 2020 as the year of the virus, but as the year when India became 'atma nirbhar' – Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to help India become a self-sufficient manufacturing and export major.

CII session: "The biggest challenge today is not demand, but the supply chain..."

Rasna is known for its emotional messaging, which marketers must return to, because the value proposition isn't as effective as it was before.

Consumers will respect brands that are active in their CSR activities, and brands which fight the enemy (Coronavirus) will win. The brands that offer products made of natural ingredients will stand out in their (consumers) eyes.

The biggest challenge today is not demand, but the supply chain. So, integrated social media e-marketing by using B2B and B2C platforms gives us a huge benefit. I think B2C, B2B, and e-marketing will rival brick and mortar marketing.

Value for money brands will have a distinct advantage because customers are uncertain about their jobs. They will save money and prefer affordable prices. We, at Rasna, believe it should be for the masses, so, we're Rs 1 for two glasses...

My interpretation of PM's 'vocal for local' is 'be Indian, buy Indian'... I am proud that we (Rasna) are one of the few Indian companies that have a higher market share than all multinationals put together in our category. So, why not talk about it?

In the last two months, as per viewership data, five out of the top 10 most-watched programs are from Doordarshan. Rightly so, because people want to see the content it (Doordarshan) offers. Second and third repeats are getting excellent viewership numbers.

In the last IPL final, I paid Rs 15 lakh for a 10-second ad and got a TRP for 5. 'Mahabharat' and 'Ramayan' sold a 10-second spot for Rs 35,000, and the TRP jumped to 10. Double the price of IPL and look at the TRP. Doordarshan has now increased its rates to Rs 60,000. Now other channels, like Colors, are running mythological shows...

Once, we got a presentation from an expert marketer. He said that he will get us a lot of social media presence, views, and charged us Rs 4-5 lakh, and then made videos of Rs 10-20 lakh. We got a million views and it came to around Rs 4 per view. But, now I see that there are people who visit videos on social media platforms using Rasna... They are getting views free of cost. Brands should look at organic content and use it without spending a single paisa. It's happening across platforms... Word of mouth is the biggest thing.

CII session: "The biggest challenge today is not demand, but the supply chain..."

Speaking of celebrities, today the real ones are the frontline workers. Let us respect the doctors, nurses, firemen and even farmers, who ensure there is food on our table. And most important, Air India. The people who rejected it for foreign airlines are now flying back in India's national airline. It shows who's taking care: the pilot and air hostesses.

Consumers today are cooks, and companies who can integrate these things... For instance, you can make mocktails with Rasna and 'sherbets' for Ramadan. Marketers should concentrate on this as more and more consumers make delicacies at home.

What's saving us is the neighbourhood 'kirana' store, which have has ensured that consumers get the basic items. We should salute them. Companies that were able to reach these 'kirana' stores have gained immensely.

At the end, I will say this, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And, I once again say that 2020 should be remembered, not for COVID-19, for how our government, bureaucracy and corporates have performed. Let us all work together and make India a manufacturing destination for the world, and make 2020 the year of 'atma nirbhar Bharat'.

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