Pitch CMO Summit: Power lies in listening to consumers: CEO, VIP Industries

At the Pitch CMO Summit held in Delhi yesterday, Sudip Ghose shared the journey of re-inventing the brand

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:59 AM

At the Pitch CMO Summit, a flagship property of e4m Group, Sudip Ghose, CEO, VIP Industries, led an insightful talk on ‘Brand Love: Combining Trust & Magic’.

In his opening remarks, Ghose asked a packed audience, “How many of you love a particular brand?” Interestingly, very few raised their hand. He then proceeded to emphasize the concept of ‘Brand Love’.

“One can do enough digital advertising, but if your product is not great, nothing will work. In this highly cluttered market, the only mantra that can work for a brand is to make a great product. If the product is strong, it will give customers a good experience and they will come back to buy your product.”

“I keep saying this to my team: make the product so good that the customers are satisfied. If the customers are satisfied, they will recommend our product to more people. If the product is good, a brand does not need to spend much on advertising,” he said.

Speaking on the need to re-invent the business with changing times, Ghose pointed out, “If you look a few years back, we were a traditional company. But we realized that if we do not change our business model, we will be left too behind in the market and it will be very difficult for us to compete. Many companies make this mistake. They do not realize that the world is changing. We, as a brand, have always changed ourselves and that is how we launched Skybags. Today, we cover 65% market in India. Perhaps, we are the only Indian company which has been around for 50 years and is still the leader.”

According to Ghose, when VIP started changing business model, they did not know how to go about it as they were only used to making bags.

“We started listening to consumers and we realized that there were categories where we were not present. So we entered the backpack segment, and now we have sold 3 million pieces in just four years. Today, we are the biggest backpack seller in the country and we are not only competing with the luggage brands, but with brands such as Nike, Puma and Reebok.

Ghose, however, added that managing a youth brand is a difficult task. “Chasing the youth is difficult because a 16-year-old youth won’t be the same person after a year. So, it becomes essential to re-invent repeatedly to cater to the youth.”

Ghose noted that understanding the digital consumer is very different from understanding the traditional consumer.
“While changing the dynamics of the business, we thought where do we sell our products? “Earlier it was only on traditional channels, but now the scenario has completely transformed. We looked at all the angles and today we are the biggest backpack brand on flipkart. Hence, we learned and changed. Had we not done this, someone else would have seized the chance.”

“The power lies in listening to consumers. We did exactly that, and today we are No.1. If you want to survive in this world, change everything,” concluded Ghose.

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