Veetika Deoras is Deputy Vice President – Brand Marketing and Corporate Communication at Tata Capital Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd. Deoras is a TAS officer working in the Tata Group for nearly nine years. Prior to Tata Capital, she has worked in the areas of Brand, Marketing and PR in Tanishq, Titan Industries Ltd and Tata Indicom, Tata Teleservices Ltd.
In her current profile, she is overseeing the Tata Capital Brand and handles Internal Communication along with Media Relations.
In conversation with exchange4media, Deoras speaks about the development of the Tata Capital brand, the brand philosophy, using customer centricity to one’s advantage and more…
You have been associated with Tata Capital for almost a decade now. How has the journey been so far?
I have been with the Tata Group since 2002; Tata Capital was formed in 2007. In the financial sector, I think one of the biggest insights has been that this sector has tremendous impact for the customer. Hence, it’s a sector that is very high on involvement, where functional aspects play a big role; and when we started going deeper to figure out what Tata Capital should probably stand for, we realised that there is an emotional aspect of the sector, which doesn’t get spoken about as much as in other sectors. For example, we have cola drinks being sold on an emotional peg like passion or fervor. So, at the base of the sector there is a huge customer insight. We realised that everybody in the sector is selling to the customer, but nobody is really serving them. Unlike the other sectors, where post sales are an important phase, in our sector it is pre-sales that are imperative.
The journey so far has been quite exciting. I was involved with Tata Capital even before it was formed, so I have been basically working on this since 2006. When Tata Capital was formed in 2007, I moved out from a strategy role into my current role. It’s been very exciting to work on a brand associated with something as reputed as the Tata Group and our ‘marriage’ has been full of highs so far. We knew Tata brand was behind us, which in itself is a privilege, but we were all aware that like any good child, we were supposed to add back to the parent brand and, therefore, we were very clear from the beginning that Tata Capital would stand on its own feet in the financial sector, hence we needed to carve our own propositions as well. So, I think that the biggest high was envisaging the whole brand promise. The second high was of course the ‘hatke’ campaign that we did for Tata Capital.
What makes Tata Capital different from other players in the market?
I think our biggest USP is our ‘customer centricity’. We have worked towards putting in enablers which can help us achieve this promise of customer centricity. Be it our IT systems, our CRM, or training of our employees – all these factors are working towards the single piece that the customer is the center of the model for us and we will only do what is right for him. Customer centricity is a less visible, but more of a strategic advantage that a brand can have and that’s what we plan to achieve. So, when it comes to the variety of products, we are bang on – we have personal loans to private equity. Thus, we crafted the brand promise for Tata Capital, we realised that we need to connect with these customers not as customers of a particular product, but as individuals. That’s when we looked at building a meaningful connect with everybody as an individual first, and for the same, our promise is a very simple basic human promise of ‘Karein wohi jo ho aapke liye sahi’.
What is your thought process behind your new TVCs? Do you feel that the emotional element connects better with the masses?
The brand very clearly has to rest in the customer’s heart and mind and, therefore, an emotional connect works far better than a functional connect. Having said that, if it is emotion for the sake of emotion, then you land up falling flat on your face, therefore, it has to be a very relevant emotional connect.
When we crafted ‘Karein wohi jo ho aapke liye sahi’, we were faced with a lot of questions as to what exactly is this ‘sahi’ and who defines this ‘sahi’, and that’s when we crafted a brand charter. The first line of the brand charter is that we put the customer’s interest first. The first point of the brief given to the agency was that it must state the brand promise of Tata Capital. The second point was that it must build on meaningful human connect. It was not just about hard selling, but building a connect with the viewer. Even at our end, when we look at business, we are looking at the customer in a very strategic manner and we are looking at understanding his needs, recommending the right product to him and building a deep and long-term relationship. So, we are working towards giving a single view of the company. Our systems talk to each other, the field force talks to each other, and our CRM talks to different modules.
With a large number of players in the field and new ones coming in as well, what strategy does Tata Capital apply to deal with the competition?
There is a firm belief that when there is a lot happening around you, you should just focus on yourself, and that’s exactly what we believe in. We are conceptually and strategically clear about what we want to stand for, what the customer needs, and that’s where the play will happen. The competition is obviously there and some of them are exceptionally nice brands themselves, and there is always a constant learning that will happen from them.
How important is the role of marketing for a brand like yours?
People are very skeptical. When we customer tested the brand promise without our logo, everybody immediately rejected it, saying there is no one in the sector who does this. Then we exposed the promise with the logo, that’s when a lot of ‘magic’ happened. Then the people sat back and said that maybe if you are saying it, it’s true. So yes, marketing is important, but we have to truly follow what we say. As a marketing medium, we have gone heavy on television, we are also looking at outdoor and online as other mediums. We are spending a good 10 per cent on digital and radio.
Which are your creative and media agencies?
Leo Burnett and Lintas Media.