AIMA’s 3rd National Marketing Summit on
“Reinventing the Market Place: Focusing on the Consumer”
20-21 April, 2007, Hotel Taj President, Mumbai


Rajeev Karwal an old friend from long ago, was the chair person and had roped us in on this.
Speakers – Suhel Seth; Mr. Saraangi of IOCL;  Salil Kapoor of Samsung & Anaggh Desai of Damas

Suhel Seth claimed to need no support of any presentation and spoke on

Mismatch between Brand & transactions
Customer readdress
Customer desire/centric in basic retail architecture
Price denoting class & character
Training on Price Value equation
Pragmatism on Questions that retail needs addressing.

Mr. Saraangi of IOCL
·         On IOCL taking retail in the rural initiative and how the rural consumer is also turning demanding.

Salil Kapoor
·         A good text book presentation on Retail: Business of detail with a long tail

My Presentation for AIMA2 is attached for whatever good it can do.

Other points that were debated during my presentation were:

Q   Suhel is a great speaker, honest, pragmatic with incomparable knowledge – How much of it is true?
A    But whilst everyone agrees with what he says, a lot of marketing & product managers would loose their jobs if they share the actual  consumer research & insight.  And GOD forbid CEO’s loose their Bonuses if the act pragmatic in front of the Board

Q   Salil, With LG & Samsung taking away the livelihood of those who sold Assembled AC’s & repaired, what would become of them.

Surprisingly, I asked that I answer the Question, which surprised Salil and the Audience.

A   A decade plus ago, people preferred assembled AC’s primarily because of the huge difference in price & the problem of importing, since India did not have many brands who manufactured. Once LG, Samsung came in, started providing better AC’s suitable for Indian market, over the years the difference in pricing with the Assembled AC’s started shrinking, At the same time with imports becoming easier, the margins started shrinking, hence the pressure on selling more began on the assemblers. It was at this time, the brands realized that Indians do not discard or exchange AC’s in 2-3 years but continue using it for at least 7+ years given the fact that it is used less than 10 hours a day. However, it was also a fact that these needed maintenance and the brands were not equipped to handle that. And, they started converting the assemblers into different service companies, taking the burden off from the service element. Brands pushed and increased sales; with increase in Sales there was increase in maintenance & so it was a win win for them both. As manufacturing facilities increased, so did the requirement for qualified diploma engineers & the second generation was happy joining.

Some of my other relevant comments/answers

  • Online retail in India is still 5 years away – maybe travel and sub Rs. 1000/- purchases are increasing – but most Indians still use it for   emails; chats; surfing!
  • Today still 87% of visitors to a Mall; Departmental store walk away without purchasing anything.
  • SPECIALITY RETAIL is a MIND GAME between Volume & Value with categorization playing a important role.
  • Damas in India shall be 36 stores; 135 crores; 500 employees by 2008
  • Women & relationships are the communication platform for Damas.



Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends