Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bamboo Cluster Village - Assam

Recently had the chance to visit a village which was into production of products out of Bamboo. Each house was specializing in some product. One has to see the skill level to actually appreciate it. A few photos from the visit..

Entrance to the Village

Sofa Sets being made

Bangles being made

Smaller Stools

Finished Smaller Stools

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Uber - throwing the Service Provider Away with the ....

I have been reading a lot of reactions on the banning of Uber in New Delhi after the unfortunate happening. I would agree that there would have been fault at Uber's end in verifying the Driver but does that mean that we will ban the service.

Let us come to the basic issue , why is suddenly that one finds these app based services becoming popular across cities in the country, first is the poor state in which our urban transport infrastructure is in. Second, is that the other formats of public transport like Auto or Cabs are very expensive and one has to rely on the whims and fancies of the drivers to reach your destination,. Anyone who has travelled in a Auto in Chennai or Bangalore will testify for that.

I was reading an article in the TOI in which the author lamented the fact that the incident had snatched away the sense of security which women use to have when one travelled through these app based services.

In terms of the verification process, we all know that how difficult it is to get a genuine verification from a authorities and the other way round too...

I think the solution does not lie is just banning these services but to reflect back on what processes can we have in place where the verification processes are more reliable and of course the overall safety levels improve....


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Forgotten Brands

It must be true for the other markets also, but I find this a little surprising when I see very good brands languishing in neglect in a market where there is a dearth of good brands. I saw one example yesterday in a shop and that triggered this post. The brand which I am talking about is catch, it use to a quite well-known brand a couple of decades back, but now I do not think many people would think of it is a strong brand. 

A more recent example is a brand in apparels - ColorPlus, it again use to a  very strong brand in cotton apparels , but now today I do not see it occupying the mindshare as it use to 10-12 years back.

One of the reasons is that these two brands were bought over by larger player like Raymonds bought Colour Plus, but then rather than leveraging the brands name , it has left to die, maybe some the internal dynamics of the organization would dictate that or the brand gets lost amidst  the numerous brands that the acquirer has.

The list of the forgotten brands is very long, Uncle Chips, Deccan Airways, Kelvinator...

Nokia will also join the list soon, at least in the mobiles....





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sachets and their role in increasing category penetration

Sachets are perhaps the most important innovation to happen in the Indian market in the recent times. They say that litmus test for a real good innovation is that after it is executed it seems very simple and apparent, that is true for the use of sachets in India. Another reason could be the fact that we are naturally used to buying in smaller quantities be it buying cigarettes in sticks, oil in loose , one just needs to go to the hinter lands to see what can be sold in smaller quantities.

The overall role of small packs in increasing penetration of categories like shampoos in rural India is an old story.

A few days back saw the small packs of Hershey's Syrup. My guess is that this is an adaptation for the Indian market. Will surely promote the trial of the product especially in India where familiarity with the category is low.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Nokia feeling Nostalgic

Yesterday was the last day for the Nokia factory in Chennai and when I saw the article in et and the models shown in it ...

The significance of the factory in terms of the output is not known to many of us

Monday, October 27, 2014

Can toothbrushes be further Differentiated?

Whenever I have think of tooth brushes, the first image which come to my mind is that of the toothbrush salesman moving from one shop to the other walking with bundles of toothbrushes.....

And feel that all that can be differentiated in a toothbrush has been done, no further ways to make your toothbrush different from the other..

But then time and again I see examples which remind me that a marketer can find ways and means of differentiating and continue doing it

The zigzag bristles, additional tongue cleaner and so on....are the usual ones

The most interesting one which I found was the idea of putting an indicator in Oral-B. It made sense because it helped both the company as well as consumers who would be reminded that it time to change the brush and the company obviously in sales...

The last visit to a large retailer brought to my attention a new offering from Colgate which is also equally interesting , the SlimSoft Charcoal , the website enlists two advantages, first the micro slim-tip bristles help reach deeper between teeth & along the gum-line and second  the charcoal infused bristles remove plaque bacteria.

The other toothbrushes also had something to offer, but this one stood out....

If some much can be done on a simple toothbrush, then the scope and limits are which are set by a manager not a product....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Markets blooming during Diwali

If one wants to experience the festivities during Diwali one needs to move away from the Malls and shopping centers into the traditional markets. Went to two of the older markets in lucknow, sharing some photos from the visit. 
Candles being Sold by Kilos



People busy Buying
Diya's Being Sold
Brisk Sale of Pooja Items

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Interesting full page ad

Saw an interesting print as so sharing

 

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