Change is what drives the economy. Change is the only constant in business and anticipating those changes is the key to survival in today’s scenario, said Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto and Past President, CII.
“Future usually comes slowly; it gives one enough intimation that it’s coming. However, we do not listen, we do not like what we hear and those in the game are too interested in the present to pay attention to the future,” said Bajaj.
In the slow moving auto industry, Bajaj has always emphasised on anticipating what can be changed or what cannot be changed. Arrival of Bajaj Motorcycles and the change of management from Rahul Bajaj to his son Rajiv Bajaj are some of the significant changes in his company that he cherishes.
A focus on what is about to come may help a company in making better estimates and getting better results.
Speaking about marketing strategies, Bajaj commented that we are a nation in transition. Transition from agriculture – industry, rural – urban, poverty – prosperity, lack of choice – competition, and domestic – global, markets in India are changing drastically. Marketing strategies should match with the reality and the aforementioned transitions. Strategies are fundamentals of a company and reflect the product, brand, price and distribution and thus should be formed with immense care.
There are many distractions for a company. Not getting distracted most of the times and getting distracted when a giant opportunity or threat arrives is a key task in managing a company. Bajaj pointed out that taking on opportunities and threats should be the decision of the company.
For instance, Bajaj motors focussed on two-wheelers and three-wheelers (basically mobility business) much to the disappointment of a lot of people. Also, it retained the independence of the organisation by not entering into any joint venture. These were some of the decisions that Bajaj Company looks at with pride.
In a bid to give clear understanding of importance of brand name and value, Bajaj said that Bajaj Auto has been a ‘value for money’ brand for 20 years now. Using the same brand name for various products creates a recall among the consumers. For instance, there was a serious debate over naming our product ‘Allianz Bajaj or Bajaj Allianz’, which was later named ‘Bajaj Allianz’ owing to the trust and loyalty the company has in the Indian markets.
Creating this kind of trust or brand loyalty is not easy. Bajaj pointed out that with a product, one has to deliver services. He says that balance between features and price is a work of art.
Marketers have to target premium segments and mass marketing segments. While presence in premium segments ensures prestige, presence on mass marketing segments ensures volume.
He strongly emphasised on consumer and human resource loyalty. According to him, people today believe in performance, whereas he believes in loyalty, since performance follows loyalty. He looks at it as the human side of marketing.
Bajaj was sharing his thoughts at the 12th CII Marketing Summit held on August 27 at Mumbai.