We plan to peg our advertising budget at over Rs 50 cr by 2020: AK Shaji, MyG

Shaji, Chairman and MD of Kerala-based digital retail chain MyG, spoke about the brand’s journey so far, their advertising budget and bringing actor Mohanlal on board as brand ambassador

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Published: Oct 1, 2019 8:10 AM  | 4 min read
AK Shaji

Kerala-based digital retail chain MyG is aiming at doubling its turnover to Rs 1000 crore in this current financial year. They have opened South India’s largest digital showroom-MyG Future recently and roped in Malayalam superstar Mohanlal as their brand ambassador.   

The firm, which has 75 retail units, is targeting to open 100 stores by this financial year. The brand is also planning to launch their own product lines for mobile phones and television.

In conversation with exchange4media, AK Shaji, Chairman and MD, MyG, spoke about the brand’s journey so far, their strategy to withstand competition, their advertising budgets and future plans. 

 On the brand’s journey so far and the challenges faced

I entered the mobile retailing business in Kozhikode district of Kerala in 2006, a period when mobile phone usage was just catching up among the Kerala population.  During those days people used mobile phones as a talking or communication device and mobile data usage was not that popular or didn’t exist at that time. I started off with a small shop dealing with basic models and also ran the business of recharging prepaid cards. Then came a time when smart phones were getting popularised and I grew in that wave.  
Speaking about the challenges faced, the primary one was the competition I faced from the already established big retail players who could offer better discounts and prices. During those days people used to purchase advanced and latest models at better prices from Dubai and other Gulf countries. Remember Kozhikode and Malabar region has got a huge Gulf population. So, to sell high value model mobile phones during that time was a big challenge for me.

 On the strategies followed to withstand competition from e-commerce players

Generally customers in the middle and lower-middle segment still derive satisfaction in touch and feel experience while buying electronic gadgets. The online retail portals are being used primarily by young tech savvy people who would have understood the specs of the gadget through their tech knowledge and experience. So they are quite comfortable in online purchase. Moreover, the prices of the gadgets in the retail showrooms and those that are online do not have much difference. We also have our functional e-commerce store and revenue flows from the digital platform as well. Another key factor for customers to prefer retail showroom is the easiness in service requirements, retailers respond quickly to the service requirements of the customers. But I should admit that online sales is on a growth mode and myG is also gearing up to catch up to exploit this segment by updating our e-commerce platform.  

On the brand’s digital showroom-MyG Future

Customers now expect better shopping experience. The concept of retailing has changed drastically from product shopping to product experience. Large shopping spaces, larger product range, better display of products and modern service facilities all amount to a better shopping experience. So, I decided to give my customers this delight. This is how the idea of MyG future was born. I have high hopes on the success of such large format stores because of the reasons mentioned above and my thought process was proven right by the phenomenal response from customers.

On Mohanlal as the brand ambassador

Mohanlal has been the number one star in Malayalam cinema for more than three decades. He is a consistent performer. MyG as a brand is a market leader by far in the category. We have decided to give more emphasis to the brand communication than the tactical sale-based communication. We are also trying to initiate a wide range of consumer education programs. So there arises a need of a strong communicator for the brand and we believe Mohanlal is an obvious choice.  

 On the future of India’s electronic retail industry

India's electronic retail market is currently about 1000 billion dollars. Still about 60 per cent of the 130 billion people in India do not have access to the convenience various electronics products bring into their lives. And also regular updation of various existing products leads to growth in the segment which already has access to various electronic products. These reasons give huge growth potential in the electronic retail market.  

On brand’s marketing and advertising budgets

The current advertising budget of the brand is about Rs 30 crore.  In 2020 we plan to peg our advertising budget at around Rs 50 plus crore.

 What next for MyG?

By 2020 MyG is planning to enter the other south Indian markets as well as GCC. The brand is also planning to come up with its own product range in the coming years.



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