The two-day CII Marketing Summit 2008, commenced in the Capital on August 19. The 9th Summit puts the spotlight on ‘Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid’ and how relevant it is and in what measure it is achievable in the Indian context. The welcome remarks were by Suhel Seth, Chairman of the CII Marketing Summit 2008 and Managing Partner, Counselage India. The key note address was delivered by KV Kamath, MD & CEO, ICICI.
In his address, Kamath said, “How did we build the ICICI brand? This story started 11 years ago. In 1996-97, India was under stress and the liberalisation process had started. I started talking to experts and we needed to create an identity. We couldn’t have six logos for six different companies. We created branding, infrastructure, skill sets, technology. The next question was - Where is the market? We wanted to be the universal bank. It became next big challenge for us. The entire consumer finance market is Rs 10,000 crore, and this market needs be serviced.”
He further said, “At the bottom of the pyramid, a lot of aspirational markets can be created, but innovation is need in reaching this market. The product pricing should also be right.” Kamath also emphasised on the need to expand banking in villages and among the urban poor.
Seth said, “Marketers who are true visionaries look at market creation. Marketers have a responsibility towards the robust economy and not just the brands.”
The session on ‘Chasing the mirage, the great Indian market place: the promise and the potential’ saw speakers like Thomas Puliyel, President, IMRB International; Arvind K Singhal, Chairman, Technopak; and Anil Dua, Senior VP - Marketing & Sales, Hero Honda Motors Ltd. Session moderator was Raju Narisetti, Editor, Mint.
Puliyel said, “CK Prahlad estimates five billion people living on $2 a day. World Bank estimates 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day. How large is the base of the pyramid in India? We estimate the base of pyramid in India is 60-100 million households. But the lower social classes are also driving the growth.”
Singhal of Technopak said, “We want to sell something to make profit. Actually there’s no pyramid in India. There are 22 million people who exist and 30 million households. We can’t ignore this 22 million citizens of India. They also have aspirations.”
Commenting on Hero Honda, Dua said, “We have completed 25 years of Hero Honda. The two-wheeler market is the second largest in India. Hero Honda has increased the prices of its products across various models by up to Rs 1,500 owing to increase in input cost. The company’s high-end bike Karizma will now be costlier by Rs 1,500, while the mid-range comprising Splendor Plus, Passion Plus, Hunk and CBZ will see a price hike between Rs 600 and Rs 850. However, we have kept the price hike of the entry level bike CD Deluxe at just Rs 100.”