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Anish Srikrishna

Senior VP - Marketing | 19 Apr 2010

Our brand mantra is to be the best airline with great services, always conscious of the needs of our customers. This philosophy is reflected in the bouquet of services that we offer in addition to affordable pricing. Our new tagline – ‘Get more when you fly’ – very effectively highlights our service objective. Our goal is to induce top of mind recall and ensure that our brand communications underline differentiators beyond just the price-points.

Anish Srikrishna has over 16 years of experience in Marketing and Sales. His achievements include spearheading Samsung’s foray into sports marketing. In his last assignment as Head of Marketing for The Oberoi Hotels, he was responsible for global branding initiatives for the luxury brand. He has also worked with Coca Cola India and Hindustan Lever.

As Senior VP, Marketing, with SpiceJet, Srikrishna has been at the helm of building the brand in India and strengthening its operations in the domestic market.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Pallavi Goorha Kashyup, Srikrishna talks about the growth of the SpiceJet brand in India and its future plans.

Q. There are some very strong competitors vying for the Indian market. In such a scenario, how is SpiceJet shaping up?

The domestic airlines sector has a huge potential and is expected to witness a 10-12 per cent growth in demand as the economy starts growing at around 8 per cent. The success graph of SpiceJet has been very encouraging. In the quarter ended December 31, 2009, we registered Rs 109 crore net profits, while net sales were at Rs 642 crore. We are the second-largest low-cost carrier (LCC), with a young fleet of 20 Boeing 737-800/ 737-900ER and hold a market share of 12.5 per cent in the domestic market.

We are trying to further strengthen our domestic operations and have recently added Agartala as the 19th destination as part of this drive. Moving forward this year, SpiceJet will be completing five years of its operations in India in May and is looking forward to commencing its international operations by June 2010, making it the first domestic budget carrier to fly overseas. Initially, we will focus our international operations on short haul destinations within South Asia that are complementary to our domestic operations.

We recently took delivery of our 20th aircraft and are likely to receive eight more airplanes by 2012. We are quite optimistic of achieving our targets as charted and will continue to strengthen our presence in the markets that we operate in.

Q. What is the brand USP of SpiceJet?

SpiceJet is India’s most preferred airline with strong financial and operational presence. We are already a known name among the frequent fliers. According to our research, most of our customers keep coming back to us, not only because of the affordable pricing, but also for the different services and features that we offer. Be it assistance for unaccompanied minors, or web check-in facilities, our USP lies in the fact that despite being a budget airline, we believe in offering greater value to the needs of our passengers. Our campaign line – ‘Get more when you fly’ clearly defines our commitment to address our customer’s needs for greater value at a competitive price.

Q. What is the essence of the marketing strategy of your airline?

Our brand mantra is to be the best airline with great services, always conscious of the needs of our customers. This philosophy is reflected in the bouquet of services that we offer in addition to affordable pricing. Our new tagline – ‘Get more when you fly’ – very effectively highlights our service objective. Our goal is to induce top of mind recall and ensure that our brand communications underline differentiators beyond just the price-points.

Building on this ideology, we recently introduced a five-series TV campaign using ‘reverse testimonial’ approach to highlight the benefits of flying SpiceJet. We have also explored other communication channels, including print, radio and out-of-home to amplify our reach. We also recognise the importance and relevance of digital medium in today’s fast-paced era and intend to intensify our efforts in this space.

Q. What is your ad budget for India?

Over the years, we have expanded our advertising portfolio to make sure that we reach out to a larger consumer base. We began with print advertising in the initial phase and elevated to TV advertising in 2009 with the launch of the five-series TV campaign. We are committed to invest about 2 per cent of our revenues in building our brand, which will include our advertising and marketing (both ATL and BTL) initiatives, together with our alliances.

Q. Are you planning any new print or TV campaign?

We believe that the ‘Get More When You Fly SpiceJet’ campaign is very extendable and provides us a good platform to highlight our brand/ product/ service offering. Based on need, we will introduce campaigns across media that will highlight these. At present, we will communicate our new flights to Agartala and Guwahati.

Q. Please share something on your marketing strategies?

We are currently in a good demand cycle and our marketing strategy obviously is to maximise our share of business through optimum load and yield management. On the brand front, we will consolidate our gains from 2009 activity before we launch our 2010 campaigns.

Q. What are SpiceJet’s future plans for the Indian market?

SpiceJet is all set to take its success to the next level in the times to come. We have recently added Agartala as the 19th destination to our domestic operations in India. The flights began operating from April 15, 2010. We have also increased the number of flights on certain routes, in sync with the increasing demands from our passengers. We are at a very exciting phase of growth now. We have recently inducted our 20th aircraft into our fleet. Once we complete five years of domestic operations in May this year, we will be eligible to begin international operations. In the initial phase, we will be flying to SAARC countries and check for synergies with other destinations. We will also be adding eight more aircraft to our fleet by 2012, which will be used both for domestic and international operations. All I can say is that the SpiceJet passenger can expect lots of excitement and fun with us going forward!

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