Ananya Pathak

When a tyre marketer sells masks...

Here's a quick chat with Amit Tolani, chief marketing officer, CEAT Tyres, on coping with the current times.

These unusual times have led to unprecedented developments as far as brands are concerned. There's handwash manufacturers Lifebuoy, which is insisting on the use of ‘any’ handwash in an ad for its product. Then, alcohol brand Diageo used its plants to produce sanitisers. Riding on the current wave, tyre manufacture CEAT has now entered personal protective equipment (PPE) business.

Cavi Elettrici e Affini Torino, commonly known by the abbreviation CEAT, introduced GoSafe S95 face mask as a part of its newly launched sub-brand ‘CEAT GoSafe’ earlier this month. The GoSafe S95 masks come with a formidable six-layer filter protection.

The innermost layer is made of soft antibacterial fabric. The next three layers provide microbe protection, and consist of small particle filters for added safety. The air mesh in the outermost layer filters particles and contaminants. The adjustable nose clip makes them breathable and splash/droplet resistant, ensuring safety and comfort.

GoSafe S95 face mask
GoSafe S95 face mask

The Mumbai-headquartered brand’s CMO Amit Tolani told afaqs! that the launch of the GoSafe range is a part of CEAT’s commitment towards its motto - Safety First. The objective of foraying into the business of PPE, he says, “is to plug the paucity of safe and reliable products, like masks, especially at a time when the country is battling the Coronavirus threat.”

Amit Tolani
Amit Tolani

The masks are designed for everyone – be it bikers, housewives, children, and even the elderly. It comes in a multi-utility cloth bag, which can be used to store your mask, or personal devices.

Priced at Rs 249, these anti-pollution S95 masks can be washed and reused up to 30 times. They are available across CEAT Shoppes (exclusive branded stores), and on leading e-commerce websites, such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Seniority, and many more.

When a tyre marketer sells masks...

We asked Tolani about the kind of impact the pandemic has had on the tyre industry in India. “There has been a significant impact, even for the tyre industry, and we witnessed a slump in sales in April.”

“Due to the diverse range of automobiles we cater to in the replacement market, and with the easing off (of) lockdown in most parts of India, we believe we have been able to tide over the crisis period, and the demand curve would be steeper henceforth,” he added.

Tolani shares that the brand will soon introduce more products under the CEAT GoSafe range, and expand the existing mask range to play an active part in this battle against COVID-19 pandemic in the times to come.

"One good learning, or rather a reinforcement, has been that we have to be nimbler to keep pace with the changing dynamics of the marketing world."

“Given the crisis, every brand is trying to foray into healthcare to provide safety to consumers. The society is traumatised. Health has become the top priority. Home is where the consumer is feeling safe,” he states.

One good learning, or rather a ‘reinforcement’, in these times, according to him, has been, “we have to be nimbler to keep pace with the changing dynamics of the marketing world.”

Tolani tells us the brand plans to do extensive communication on digital media for its existing products, and the upcoming launches. There will be a targeted campaign on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms to generate interest. “The endeavour is to move closer to the consumer. Digital helps in doing that, and plays a key role in sustaining the connect between the brand and the consumers.”

He adds that the brand will keep adapting its communication plan basis the customer response, and product range.

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