4 Unconventional ideas from brand Onida thru deep Indian consumer insight

1) PreCool AC – Switch on your AC sending SMS

Waiting for 10 minutes to get the room cooled itself is a big inconvenience for many consumers in the severe Indian summer. Onida addressed this problem with its Precool AC that can be operated from anywhere by sending an SMS. So you can switch on your AC as you drive and get the room cooled before you reach the home.

2) Sparkle – Washing Machine with an in-built brush

Even with washing machines at home, people do wash clothes with hands using brush to remove the stains. Onida used this customer insight to innovate and introduced Sparkle range of washing machines with an in-built brush to give clean wash.

3) Scratch-proof DVD Player

Knowing that large number of Indians watch rented CDs/DVDs that will not be of high quality, Onida marketed its DVD player with inbuilt scratch guard feature as the one that can play any CD/DVDs with scratches on them.

4) Chef and Dietician Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens were not used to cook traditional Indian foods as people were not comfortable to do all the settings to do full fledged cooking. To address this concern, Onida introduced Microwave Ovens with more than 100 Indian auto cook touch menus including North Indian, South Indian, Bengali and many regional menus. This helps the North Indians to taste south Indian foods and the South Indians to cook North Indian food items with the touch of a button.

It also comes with Calorie-meter technology that displays the calorie count of the food being cooked satisfying the needs of the increasingly health conscious consumers.

Soft Toys for boys – Will Indian soft toy brand Play N Pets market stuffed cars and bikes for kids?

What comes to your mind when you hear soft toys? Its teddy bears, dogs, cute babies and other pet animals right. Most of the soft toy market today is focussed on girl kids. How about soft toys of sports cars, planes, trains and bikes.

There are kids who go to beds with cars. A big huggable stuffed car or bike would let them enjoy their sleep without getting hurt. However the change from the machines to stuffed toys will not happen overnight. Toys have to be attractively designed and brands need to have a good marketing strategy to sell plush toys to boys.

Will India’s leading soft toy maker Hanung toys think different and sell soft plush toys focussing boys?

Buyout Sellout Exchange for small business

From Ranbaxy to Religare and Fortis Healthcare, Singh brothers were able to sell their family’s stake in the pharma business to build and focus on new business of their choice. Many next gen small business owners would love to have such option in their life.

There are many reasons for the small business owners to sellout their business.

Lack of succession:

Children who are well educated and working as professionals in big cities might not be willing to move back to towns to run a small business.

Lookout for new opportunities:

Next gen family members might not be interested in running the old business their parents had built, but willing to take risk and start new business of their choice.

Business Plan Failures:

Owners seeing the gaps in their business plan built on assumptions after the initial launch period and realizing the chance of business turning profitable is slim in the foreseeable future.

Competition from Big Business:

Big organized players coming near the small business stores might significantly affect their future growth.

Despite the number of reasons it is not easy for the small business owners to sellout and move on. So they are forced to run inefficient business without any passion or vision and losing their capital gradually. You could see many small medical shops, textiles, retail stores, hotels where there is very little growth yet the owners running it for years.

An online exchange to list small business interested in selling out would give them a great opportunity to exit losing businesses and start something new. These exchanges can offer professional services to value the small business and and ask the owners interested to sellout to file a detailed red herring prospectus. Such details can be shared with interested buyers at a fixed cost.

Will someone create such online exchange to provide an exit option for small business owners.

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Online directory service to list brands and products Made in India

Now a days there is an increasing interest from the consumers to know where the product is made before they make the buying decision. But there is no single place where they’ll get such info for all the products. An online directory for “Made in India” products across different categories like Home Appliances, Consumer electronics, Toys, Automobiles etc will help those buyers.

There are lot of factors to categorize like the components getting manufactured outside and only the product is assembled in India or the product is designed in India but manufacturing is outsourced or only the brand is owned by Indian promoters and the entire product is conceptualized and built outside or the product is designed and built in India.

Building such directory service will not be an easy task as lot of companies might not be willing to provide all the details to categorize and list online. As a first step it would be more than good to get the details from the brand owners who are interested and prepare the Made in India directory for few chosen product categories and build on from there gradually.

There are lot of companies providing online classifieds and business directory services in India. Will someone choose this niche and develop a good Made in India products portal?


Brand Jungle Magic – Will Piramal expand the market from perfumes to kids bath soaps?

Piramal Healthcare recently introduced Jungle Magic perfumes in natural fruity fragrances available in strawberry, orange, green apple and chocolate fragrances targeted at children in the age group of 5-10 years.

Jungle Magic is positioned as a vitalizing perfume for children helping to improve concentration, increase alertness and refresh the young mind with the aromas of essential oils in the perfume.

Apart from the strong brand positioning with its vital benefits it is also presented in unique animal shaped bottles denoting the perfume range in different variants thru three unique characters  Crawlly (Caterpillar), Doggy (Dog) and Penggy (Penguin).

Brand Jungle Magic can be extended to kids bath soaps category as well as the core brand position and unique presentation of the perfumes can be applied to soaps too. Today there are strong baby soap brands in India from Johnson & Johnson, Himalaya, Chicco and Sebamed but there aren’t any soaps that is specifically targeted towards the children in the age group of 5-10 which is Jungle Magic’s prime target group. So Jungle Magic can create its own niche market in the kids bath soap segment.

Also Piramal Healthcare is not new to the personal care space as they do have successful brands like Lacto calamine and Tri-Activ – anti bacterial soap in that segment already.

Will Piramal Healthcare move fast and expand the brand portfolio of Jungle Magic to soaps and other categories?

White label ATMs – Branding opportunities for NBFCs

ATMs play a significant role in connecting the customers with the bank. Most people hardly walk into the banks after they open the account, instead it is the ATMs they frequent for their banking needs.

Recently RBI allowed non-banking entities to own and operate ATMs on behalf of banks which will be called as White label ATMs. This provides excellent opportunity for the Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to be part of the every day transaction between the banks and the customers and use it to enhance their own brand.

Having large ATM networks in itself will implicitly create positive brand image, differentiate with other NBFCs and build trust overtime as people use them for their daily transactions.

Apart from the transaction fee, NBFCs can also use these white label ATMs to create awareness about their products through advertisements inside the ATMs.

Already NBFCs Muthoot Finance and SREI Infrastructure Finance have announced their plans to setup White label ATMs. Lets see how the NBFCs innovatively use their ATM networks to build their brands and sell more of their service.

Airfryer – Will Philips India try promote the brand with restaurant chains?

Fried food, but no oil – That’s a dream come true for many foodies who love to indulge. Philips India has launched a new product, Airfryer few months back that fry food with air using their patented Rapid Air technology  instead of oil. It definitely appeals to the health conscious instantly as they can eat fried snacks with much less fat now. However priced at around Rs 15k I don’t think this will become a mass product in Indian households anytime soon even if there is a discount of 40-50%.

But still Philips India can take this brand to the masses, not through their homes but via hotels. They can tie-up with big restaurant chains and fast food outlets and can have a specialized menu of oil free Air fried items like French fries, Fried Chicken and more. This will help the brand to be more visible to the buyers with very little advertisement. That way they could also win over the critics who doubt whether air fried items would taste as good as oil fried ones and have them buy one for their home use too.

As a first step, they could target the cafeterias or canteens in corporate hospital chains, as the selling point for oil free fried foods would be very easy there.

Will Philips India try?

Toy tablet for kids – Will Micromax and HCL compete with LeapFrog and VTech in the digital toy market?

Children these days are used to play with smart phones from a very young age even before they start to speak fluently. There are lot of apps targetted for this pre-school group to listen to rhymes, paint cars, draw shapes, learn alphabets, play with animals etc. Its better to have one for the kids separately so that parents need not worry if their smart phones got scratched or the kids called someone in their address book accidentally while playing.

Kids Tablets are increaingly getting popular in the Western markets. There is LeapPad Explorer from LeapFrog, InnoTab from VTech and there are Android based kids tablets Nabi, Lexibook, Meep and to add to that this holiday season Toys R Us, leading kids toy store plans to sell its own branded kids tablet Tabeo.

In India there aren’t many kids toy tablets available now. Key thing to be successful in this segment in India is to get the pricing right that inturn will drive a lot of demand from the parents. Price below Rs 2000 would be ideal to attract more parents away from other electronic learning toy options available now.

Micromax already had a popular Android Tablet for students – Funbook. They can design one specifically for pre-schoolers and can remove all the additional features like camera, multiple net connectivity options and can even reduce the screen size by an inch or two to bring the product price close to Rs 2000.

HCL is already in the digital toy market with its HCL ME Topper educational laptop and is also in the K12 segment with its smart school product Digischool and learning tablet for students HCL MyEdu Tab. Having a good kids tablet will have them associated with the children right from their early age and will have good brand connectivity for their laptop and other educational products.

Will Micromax or HCL venture into the digital toy market with exclusive tablet for kids?

PURA 2.0 – Will India Inc uplift Rural India?

Infrastructure in Urban India got uplifted through various Public Private Partnership programmes in building new airports, metro rail systems, bridges, expressways, water and power distribution projects and many more. However there hasn’t been any such transformational work in rural India by private enterprises. Ministry of Rural Development wants to change this with PURA 2.0.

PURA – Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme that aims at rural infrastructure development with economic re-generation activities. PURA 2.0 is a revamped model of the earlier PURA scheme that went through pilot phase. Private partners selected to undertake PURA projects will identify a Gram Panchayat or a cluster of geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats for a population of about 25,000 – 40,000 to implement this scheme.

PURA is a Central sector scheme where Private partners would be required to provide amenities like water supply and sewerage, roads, drainage, solid waste management, street lighting and power distribution and undertake some economic and skill development activity as part of the project. In addition private developers can also provide additional revenue-earning facilities such as village linked tourism, integrated rural hub, rural market, agri-common services centre and warehousing etc that will provide livelihood opportunities to the rural population and help in reducing the urban migration.

PURA 2.0 has received good response from private developers and the Expression of Interest documents have been received from 99 companies. Government is going through the process to review and shortlist them now. Success of the PURA scheme lies not only in the rural infrastructure development but how well the private enterprises are able to generate revenue and provide livelihood opportunities to people in rural areas through their add-on projects. Such commercially viable and people centric projects will help in the sustained economic growth of rural India.

Will India Inc step up and deliver more than what is expected from the rural ministry and help bridge the rural – urban divide?

Brand Chhota Bheem – Will Green Gold Animation build real Dholakpur world?

Brand Chhota Bheem popular Indian toon character has moved succesfully from TV serials to movies, toys, books, clothes and other stationeries. Green Gold Animation, producer of the Chhota Bheem animation series make effective use of Bheem’s popularity with various marketing initiatives and has ambitious plans to roll out exclusive Green Gold stores across India
thru franchisee route to sell Chhota Bheem merchandise.

There is still one missing component to make the brand Chota Bheem eternal, that is to build a real Dholakpur village for kids to play with Bheem and co. And it should not be just another theme park but should really standout and recreate the Dholakpur magic in the real world.

For building the Dholakpur fun world Green Gold can very well reach out to Jaypee group as it has thousands of acres of land available for development that they got from the Yamuna Expressway project. It will be a win-win deal as for the Jaypee group it will increase the traffic in the Yamuna Expressway and also will help in getting better value for their near by land for other projects. This Chhota Bheem fun city can be an extension to the Jaypee Greens sports city too.

Will Green Gold Animation think about building Chhota Bheem Theme park for kids?