Consumer aspirations have increased & Livfast will create its space: Gurpreet Singh Bhatia

Battery brand Livfast CEO talks about roping in Dhoni as ambassador and unorganized market moving towards established brands

livfast

Livfast, a new entrant in the inverter battery segment, has roped in Mahindra Singh Dhoni as the brand ambassador. The brand also launched a campaign ‘Faster hai toh hai’ featuring the cricketer. 

Gurpreet Singh Bhatia, CEO, LivFast Batteries Pvt Ltd spoke to exchange4media about the inverter and battery sector in India, their new brand ambassador, marketing mix and more. 

Here are some excerpts: 

With so many established brands already present, do you think there’s a space for a new entrant like you?
Inverter and Inverter battery space is a Rs 15,000 crore p.a. market and predominantly a duopoly and still with close to 50% unorganised. With the arrival of GST, we have seen a significant move of the unorganised market towards established brands, thereby expanding the opportunity. Unlike the past 5 to 6 years, the market has remained stagnant in terms of products and service innovation. Consumer aspirations have increased and Livfast inverter products with its differentiated value proposition will create its space in the market. 

Why did the company think of giving a celebrity face to the brand and how MS Dhoni is a perfect fit in the brand’s vision?
Dependability, innovation, trust and speed are the brand’s core values and there is no better person than MSD who personifies these values. He is the only captain who has proven himself and won all formats of the game, and demonstrated innovation. He has always been trusted as a finisher and helped is several wins. He, thus, clearly personifies the brand values. We are very proud to have him as a brand ambassador.  

What were the insights behind launching the campaign?
Consumers needs electricity at all times and there are areas with frequent power cuts. Through our 25% faster charging inverters, the battery is charged faster and hence has a 25% higher backup to provide electricity in the event of the next power cut. Hence the campaign – 25% Faster charge: 25% Higher Backup, Faster Hai to Hai. 

What would be your marketing mix and how are you gonna leverage the true potential of digital media?

Our campaign will be a mix of ATL, BTL and digital. Since distribution and dealers are very critical we have installed over 7,000 signages, attractive POS and in-shop. We have conducted over 50 launch meets across the country. Our ATL campaign that starts on 22nd December has been targeted at reaching our target group in key markets through genres of news and entertainment. We have done extensive understanding of our target group and their digital behaviour. Since this a category driven by intent, research and brand awareness, we are focusing on search, social and native for this campaign. 

The inverter and battery sector relies heavily on offline medium. Going forward, what would be the strategy to scale up the distribution? Are you looking towards online sales model as well?
You are right and it matches with our estimate that even now 70-80% of consumers rely on the dealers for their brand choice as this category requires after-sales service. Hence, distribution is most critical to reach these consumers. We already have historical relationships and have established a network of over 300 distributors and over 15,000 dealers to reach our consumers. There is a small online segment for inverters which we will explore with a distinctive proposition by mid-2019. However, for batteries, considering the nature of the product, it will remain a challenge for online sales. 

Finally, according to you, what has been the major challenge as far as retailing of battery products is concerned?
After-sales service of batteries is very critical. Until now, customer had to bring the battery to the dealer’s premises but Livfast has now overcome this challenge by giving customers doorstep service in more than 125 locations.

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