SYSKA ADDS TO ITS POWER

Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director of the SSK Group (Skyska) talks about its foray into the Wires and Cables segment with Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador, as well as the brand’s aggressive 360-degree marketing strategy

06 Aug, 2018 by DIPALI BANKA

Q] You have extended the brand into the Wires & Cables category. What is the rationale behind this, how does it fit into your overall company vision?
We are already in the electrical goods space because of which our distribution, manpower and brand is already in place. Also, our brand recall is quite high. We wanted to bring in other products with which we can increase our topline and bottomline. Also, house wires are a high value item and we wanted to get into homes of consumers with this category. The funnel is ready and stays the same, we just need to keep adding products to it and they will sell automatically.

Q] Which other products do we expect to see inside this funnel?
We have other products in line like Miniature Circuit Breaker(MCB) and Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB). We have already launched dyers. We want to bring in electrical products as much as possible. Switches are also something that we are looking at. But it’s a long process and will take two-three years time to introduce these products.

Q] You have signed on Amitabh Bachchan as your brand ambassador for Syska Wires & Cables. Reportedly, you are going to spend about Rs 30 crore in three months for the launch campaign.
Yes, the advertising campaign is designed by Percept and we plan to go all out with digital, television, newspapers and magazines with this campaign from August 10.

Q] What is the USP of Syska Wires & Cables? How are you positioning the brand in the market?
It will definitely be about more power-saving and of course, being fire resistant, which is the need of the industry today. However, the rest of the features will be revealed when the product is launched.

Q] Whom are you targeting with your communication?
Our target audience will be a normal customer. Our relationship with the offline retail channel is pretty good. We are more focused on the small retailers and not big project customers. So, those are our target customers. We are proud that we have a good distribution channel.

Q] Even your LED lights had a big launch, and achieved great brand recall since then. Do you plan to follow the same model for your Wires & Cables business?
Our spends for Syska LED were higher because we had to put a brand in place. It was important to set up a brand at that time. Now that the brand is already established, we have to tell the customer that we are not only a LED or a personal care company, but we are also a house wire company.

Q] The Wires & Cables category has now become a brand as opposed to a commodity earlier, thanks to the groundwork done by other brands like Havells, Polycab, V-Guard, etc. How do you view the market now?
Yes, that is true. However, the difference is that in the first year, we are not focusing on competition. We are targeting around Rs 400-500 crore of business in the market. Our production line is also at about Rs 100 crore a month. We are targeting only players who were buying from the unorganized market, because after GST, unorganized players are marginalized and a larger market is being created for organized players. That is the space that we want to focus on right now. Post that, we will slowly target the bigger players.

Q] Has the distribution channel been the key to Syska’s success so far even with the LED lighting and mobile accessories business?
Our core competence lies in setting up a distribution channel and having a good relationship with the dealer network. That is key to our success and of course brand recall is also a big plus point. We spend more on advertising than any other player in the category.

Q] With Irrfan Khan as your brand ambassador for LED, you had a first mover advantage. The market was all about CFL then. How did you think of LED and making such a big brand out of it?
Yes, we got the first mover advantage in a sunshine industry and today this category is growing at almost 40-50% every year, so it’s a good business. We are focusing more on retail, rather than on the government or project side. So, that is the biggest advantage we have. We got the chance to set up the distribution properly. Even in the personal care business, we have created a brand and it’s doing very well. However, while it is currently online, we have recently shifted focus to the offline market.

Q] What is your view about the consumer in the Indian market today? What is your key learning about the industry?
Never compromise on quality. Always give good products at a good price. I think that is the success formula for a happy customer. Customers only want that.

Q] You were into trading electrical appliances and mobile accessories and now you have got into manufacturing and building brands out of it. Through this entire journey, what has been your key learning?
We were into trading, but we partnered with Samsung, Whirlpool, Nokia and LG and saw them start from scratch and steadily climb the ladder. We saw Samsung grow its appliances business to become a No.1 brand. So we adopted the same policy for our brands as well. Working with a lot of MNCs in the early days really helped us.

Feedback: dipali.banka@exchange4media.com Category: CMO File Volume No: 15 Issue No: 9

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