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Dinesh Jain

CEO | 04 Nov 2011

Our focus has always been on understanding customers’ needs. Nissan cars have been priced so well in the market that the customers have to pay less interest rate to the bank… We have been successful, but we are hungry and want more success.

Hover Automotive India is Nissan Motor’s Sales & Marketing Partner in India. Nissan recently launched Sunny, adding to its portfolio that includes the hatchback Micra, already present in the country. Initial reports say that Sunny has been seen encouraging sales since its launch, supported by its campaign that stretches to call it a ‘caaarr’ to emphasise on the spacious interiors.

Dinesh Jain is at the helm of Hover Automotive India as its CEO. He had begun his professional journey in 1986 with Hindustan Unilever as Sales Manager/ Business Manager – Exports. He moved on to Unilever Arabia as Marketing Manager in 1994. After a two-year stint there, Jain joined Remy Cointreau/ Highland Distillers as MD – India and Area Countries in 1996.

Jain then ventured into the media industry with his move to ABP Pvt Ltd as Vice President, Marketing, in 2003. In 2007, he joined Zee Turner Ltd as CEO. He joined his current assignment at Hover Automotive India in November 2010.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Suraj Ramnath, Jain speaks about Nissan’s marketing plans for India.

Q. Post its launch, Nissan Sunny has been seen encouraging sales. Do you plan to do a bit more aggressive marketing or advertising?

Pre-launch our campaigns were strong and the result is seen in terms of sales for Sunny. We will be doing 360-degree marketing for Sunny. Also, we would focus on digital aspect of marketing, where people would able to experience in the virtual world. We introduced Sunny in the market with advertisements saying that it is not just a car, but a ‘caaarrr’, which got a lot of attention.

Q. What are your market spends for the launch?

Our total launch spends were about 60 per cent of the total expense and it has proved very effective. We have got 42 per cent more impact than our rivals, who spend around Rs 52-55 crore for their car launch.

Q. What is the media mix that you have used?

The focus has mainly been on television and then print media. The ratio between them is 60:40. But in overall terms, we have done 360-degree marketing. In terms of digital space, we have spent around 7 per cent.

Q. What are the factors that will drive your marketing strategy?

The experience and feedbacks of customer will drive our marketing strategy.

Q. The Government of India has decided to increase fuel prices yet again. How will this affect Nissan in terms of sales?

The rise in fuel price will have a direct impact on the automobile industry. The growth was just 30 per cent last year in terms of sales in India, but now we expect it might get worse and go to a single digit.

Q. With continuous rise in interest rates, how does Nissan prepare itself to retain customer’s interest and boost in sales?

Our focus has always been on understanding customers’ needs. Nissan cars have been priced so well in the market that the customers have to pay less interest rate to the bank. ‘Micra’ has been doing well for the same reason in the Indian market and till now is the bestselling car for us.

Q. Do you plan any new launched in the near future?

We have plans to launch new cars in different segments. These cars will have unique features.

Q. With diesel cars being preferred in India, is Nissan considering manufacturing more diesel cars?

Diesel does contribute value to our vehicles. ‘Micra’ also has a diesel model. ‘Sunny’ is going to come up with a diesel variant very soon.

Q. What has been the success rate for Nissan in India?

We have been pretty successful. As mentioned before, Micra has done well for us. Sunny has made a big splash in the market. The awareness is higher. We have been successful, but we are hungry and want more success.

Q. Where do you see Nissan in the Indian market in five years’ time?

It would be one of the major players in the Indian market. We would be in the Tier II segment and significant players.

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