If Electrolux can do it, Whirlpool wants to do one better. Each is trying to outdo the other in recognising the success of the Indian woman, claiming the idea was originally its.
Close on the heels of the Financial Express-Electrolux’s Women In Business Awards, Whirlpool, in association with the television magazine Gr8!, will reward women achievers not just in business, but in other walks of life, including politics.
“It’s a way of strengthening our relationship with the home-makers. Electrolux is nowhere near Whirlpool in terms of association with women in India. We have a relationship with them that is seven years old. They are just trying to make a beginning,” said Raj Jain, managing director, Whirlpool India.
While the Electrolux awards were given to women in business only, Whirlpool has identified three nominees each for 19 different categories like fine arts, business, television, politics and entrepreneurship.
There will also be a special “Pride of India” award. “This is the first time that the accomplishments of women across genres is being celebrated,” said Jain.
On his part, Electorlux-Kelvinator India CEO Rajeev Karwal said with women being their core customers it was essential to reach out to them in as many ways as possible.
“A home-manager is not too different from a business manager. Both have to handle pressures and take tough decisions,” he said. The two companies have decided to make the events annual ones.
Electrolux and Whirlpool manufacture a similar range of products like refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens, targeted at women.
“It is always the housewife who makes the buying decisions when it comes to home appliances and we realised that all communication for this category of products in India was technology heavy and male oriented. We were the first to address women with out advertising and marketing campaigns,” explained Jain.
Almost all of Whirlpool's Rs 50-60 crore adspend is directed towards TV programmes that have women protagonists.
Electrolux, too, has decided to focus its communication towards the women by severing is association with the rather "more manly" events like the Wisden Cricketer of the Year awards.