Onida Aims to Fine-Tune its Strategy for Eastern India Region

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Onida said that expanding in Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 markets is a major challenge. It also believes that omni-channel presence is the unspoken necessity in today’s world

Onida, a consumer appliances brand that had built a strong brand recall value through its unique TV advertisements in the Indian market, is aiming to focus on the Indian states located in the eastern region. The company’s head of marketing, Pratyush Chimoy (PC), told EFY that Onida’s major share of revenues, comes from the offline sales channel. He believes that adding more institutions to the sales channels always helps.

Pratyush said that expanding in Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 markets in the country is a major challenge for the company, but it is of critical importance too. Pratyush also believes that omni-channel presence is the unspoken necessity in today’s world.

Here are some more interesting excerpts from the interaction

Que – Take us through Onida’s journey since its inception in India? How has been the last two years for you?

Pratyush Chimoy, Head of Marketing, Onida

PC – Since our inception in the early 1980’s, we have been one of the most loved brands across the country. Onida has been a market leader in televisions segment and has ruled the market for close to three decades.

Onida has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. In terms of brand awareness, salience, innovation and other brand metrics, we have outsmarted the industry. Sound proposition in TVs, and cooling/smart features in AC are our core strengths

Que – A lot of international and local brands are entering the consumer electronics in India. Do you think these companies have had an effect on your overall revenues from TVs, Washing Machines, ACs and Microwave oven verticals?

PC – New challengers and competitors are the norm, that’s what makes our industry so unique and challenging. Established players like us have felt some heat in the short-term due to ultra-aggressive pricing of the new players, but we know that with well-built innovative products sharply focused on consumer preferences and strong service network, we would keep leading in the long-term.

Que – Are you following any particular strategy to make a comeback in the market?

Our overall strategy is two-prong: Start by delivering world-class top-line quality products, manufactured locally, with pan-India presence. Second – nurture and grow primary dealer/distributor network pan-India by proving strength in products, logistics, offers and transparency.

Apart from that, we have invested in best minds in the consumer durable industry who can help us jump-start to the next level. Our strategy has already started showing good results.

Que – Which sales channel will Onida be focusing on in 2019 – online or offline? As of now, where are your major sales coming from?

PC – Major sales are coming from offline channels. Online channel is contributing close to 10 per cent of the revenues right now. We have identified growth in both the channels and are equally focused to reach out to the right consumer at the right time.

As a company, we believe that as long as the consumer is being delivered with the product the way he wants, Onida will not hesitate in expanding into different channels.

Que – You highlighted growth of distribution channel as critical, how important is your sales channel to you? Which Indian states are you strongest in?

PC – Sales channels are very important for any consumer durable brand, with omni-channel presence being the unspoken necessity in today’s world. So, we continue to see which channels can deliver us the right connect to the consumers in the most optimal manner, adding to our top and bottom-line.

We are present pan-India, with strength across all states, except the eastern region where we are fine-tuning our strategy.

Que – Do you have any plans in place to expand in other Indian states as well? How are you planning this expansion? Will the expansion include adding more retailers, distributors and re-sellers in your sales network?

PC – Yes, plans are in place and implementation work is going on at top speed. Expanding to Tier-2/3/4 is still a bit of challenge given the current infrastructure and fragmented retail network. However, these are the towns that will drive our next wave of expansion, both in terms of sales and profitability.

FMCG firms such as HUL and ITC have done it beautifully over the last decade, then why not us! Adding more network always helps, we are continuously focused on that.

Que – What are the criteria a business must fulfil to be added on to your sales network?

PC – We carefully choose our channel partners based on reputation, capital funding capacity, cash/credit ratios, consumer connect, counter location, aesthetics, manpower, etc. We do understand that each of our partners is different in some way or the other, and hence, follow different strategies. However, we also make sure that our brand shouldn’t take a hit at any of the counters we are associated with.

Que – Why should retailers, re-sellers and distributors join your sales network? What support, in terms of sales and after sales, do you provide to your channel?

PC – We have key dedicated RSMs (regional sales manager), ISDs (in-store demonstrators), ASMs (Area sales manager), and BMs (branch manager) in each of our market to cater to our channel in terms of services, sales support, pricing and availability. These front-line soldiers always ensure that there’s no stone unturned in the sales or after-sales quality.

Que – What USPs should your sales force focus on while addressing potential customers?

PC – For TV line of products, we have in-house developed proprietary PIE technology and KY Horn Technology which deliver both picture and sound quality ahead of our competition. We, very strongly believe that with multiple quality tests, such as picture, sound, durability, cold/hot temperature tests, strength, wear and tear, being done on each of our TVs, they will always be way ahead in quality from the present products being imported from other countries. Our washing machines and ACs have the least amount of complaints from consumers.

Onida is a long-standing company built on trust and quality, with surprisingly thoughtful innovative features. This is what Onida as a company, and our sales team, jointly focus on.

Que – What about Onida’s after-sales service approach? How important is that to you?

PC – After-sales strategy, for us, is purely about ensuring consumer delight, whatever be the cost. We have stipulated very strict timelines of resolution of complaints. This time has been marked as maximum 48 hours or earlier.

Unlike many other consumer electronics brands who sign up with third party vendors for after-sales service, Onida has its own service network. We keep training our technicians and keep a close watch on their performances. Also, our digital channels are monitored for any complaints or escalations.

At the heart of it, we know consumers have spent their hard-earned money and hence we want to ensure that they get the best product with the best of services, without any compromise, whatsoever.

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