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We always innovate ourselves with every new car: Sumit Sawhney, Renault India

08-December-2017
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We always innovate ourselves with every new car: Sumit Sawhney, Renault India

Renault India MD and CEO, Sumit Sawhney, had some rather relevant points to make with regard to marketing and brand building as they stand today. “I believe marketing today is more of a conversation than communication; we are in a changing world. I have been in the industry from an era where customers used to be in queue outside the dealer shop to get his car, by paying a premium, and today the customer is king,” he said.
Sawhney was speaking at the India Brand Conclave, Leela Ambience, Gurugram, where he was the keynote speaker. He was also part of a fireside chat with Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group.

He touched upon various topics ranging from how important it is to maintain a good relationship with customers and how marketers should engage consumers in a more powerful manner.
Believing, as a marketer, that things have completely changed over the years and that in the new era it is extremely difficult to build strong brands using conventional ways, he added, “If you have to build a strong brand, it is important to build it from the heart, building a strong brand is like raising your own child.”
He also said that if one must win, you have to succeed first at the bottom of the pyramid because that’s how you build loyalty with customers.” After Duster’s launch we are immensely working on two (more) categories. Whatever you have, manage it well, get the best result and profitability out of it and another thing is to be disruptive, before innovation,” he said.
Speaking particularly about his role at Renault, Sawhney added, “At Renault, my first mission was to build a strong foundation and in India if you have to succeed, then the brand should focus on five rights; Right product with right value, with right feature, with right timing and with right strategy.”
For Sawhney, disruption is the key factor to make your brand rise, and according to him, marketers should always think out of the box. “In the innovation sector, we always try to come up with new offerings for our customers,” he said.
Stating an example, he admitted that the biggest risk he has taken in his 25 year-long career was to create the ‘Virtual Showrooms’. Elaborating further, he said, “We didn’t have a single car at the dealership store, there was not a single-car for a test drive and the festive season was round the corner. The idea came up and we created virtual showrooms where people logged-in and we demonstrated the car, they even had the option to compare the car with others. After the successful launch of our ‘Virtual Showrooms’, we thought of selling the cars online and in a short span of time we got a request for 23,500 cars.”
Sawhney also had a quick word of advice for marketers dealing with consumers today, particularly millennials. “In today’s world, the audience doesn’t want to be told what to do and how to do it, you have to be simple, short, to the point, consistent, so that one can stick to it. The important thing is to get the attention of the millennials; you have to encourage people, especially the younger generation, to validate the strategy. It is important to understand the perception of the audience because it is from there that the purchasing power comes. My mantra is to listen to others,” he concluded.

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