Indian brands value growth higher than global brands: David Roth, The Store, WPP

The CEO shares his thoughts on the rising trends in India, increasing premiumisation and what makes Indian shopper different from others

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 8:57 AM

Since its launch five years ago, the total value of the BrandZ Top 50 Indian brands grew 110% to $146.1 billion, as observed by BrandZ™ Most Valuable Indian Brands analysis by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. This compares to a rise of 76% for the BrandZ Top 50 Chinese brands and 60% for the BrandZ Global Top 50 over the same period. David Roth, CEO, The Store, WPP, EMEA and Asia shares his thoughts on the rising trends in India, increasing premiumisation and what makes Indian shoppers different from others.

Excerpts:

While coming out with BrandZ report for India, China and other countries what differences have you noticed between them?

China’s top 10 brands are dominated by technology and internet service providers (social network, search companies and e-commerce). India's top 10 is dominated by financial services, which are banks and insurances. When we started ranking China eight years back it was dominated by financial institutions. So there has been a significant shift to entrepreneurial and technology company. One would expect a similar shift over the next five years in India to technology-related brands, which will become more important in ranking and the value that they create.

When it comes to the rest of the world, the last 12 years has seen a gradual shift in the global rankings from FMCG to big technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Twitter and Facebook. It will happen in India as well. This year itself we have Flipkart and payment app Paytm. So watch this space.

Around two-third of brands in 2018 India ranking score high in premium. Your comments on the trend?

It’s a very interesting trend because it's more and more difficult to convince your consumers to pay more in terms of raising your price for the same product. But I think they are more willing to pay. Premiumisation is a very good way to demonstrate superior value. Products themselves need to be better. Both in India and China there has been a growth of premium sector.
As consumers become more sophisticated and have disposable income, the right brand with the right proposition will enter premium sector of the market, demonstrating product superiority and innovation.

HDFC Bank as been the undisputed leader in BrandZ report. How are they getting it right?

I would say constant focus on the consumer, a way of understanding of useful innovation to the customer and consistency. Consistency is the essence of great and valuable brands. They demonstrated true consistency of what they stand for, which is over and above making profit.

Apart from HDFC which brands have cracked the code when it comes to brand value?

There is Flipkart. Maruti Suzuki has a really interesting proposition. Surf has been consistent, and has been taking a very different stand.

Value of top brands soars 34% on year in BrandZ Most Valuable Indian Brands. What are the factors?

The companies have been doing well financially in the last few years. Also majority of brands are performing significantly better in customer research and bonded well with customers. It's a double whammy because it's both finance and brand. That brought significant increase in brand value.

Sum up the report of this year for us in three points.

The Indian brands value growth over the last five years is significantly higher than both Chinese and global brands. The second point will be the importance of innovation. The third point will be importance of driving meaningful differentiation.

How is the modern Indian shopper different from the rest?

The modern Indian shopper is more price conscious. They have access to small retail stores (in grocery sector) from whom they get tremendous service. This is unmatched by any other country. Those stores give fantastic service of great value and customer satisfaction. I think that’s one of the reasons why organised trade and internet have found to difficult to enter this sector and compete.
Also, Indians are becoming increasingly brand conscious.

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