Mr. Sudhir Nair, General Manager, Berger Paints.
Mr. Sudhir Nair started off the panel discussion by saying the Berger Paints got a leverage over most other companies by utilizing the existing 20,000 labourers to improve the supply chain. The most difficult part, according to him, was the slow tuning of the supply chain to match up with the online competitors. Mr. Nair feels that the tendency of Indian customers to physically handle things before purchasing worked in their favour. The company, therefore, sent over samples to the customers to increase their satisfaction of purchasing. He feels that e-commerce is a very fundamental network which spins new segments to be tapped. But on the other hand, he says that the digital world can be very unforgiving. He concludes by saying that in today’s world of digitalization, a company’s mistake can cascade into a giant to bring them down. Consumers take online media to voice their negative experience which may discourage more people than it would usually do. Thus, a company in today’s world has to be very careful and cautious while serving their clients.
Mr. Sanjeev Marya- Associate VP Coca-Cola
Mr. Sanjeev Marya joined the discussion by pointing out the initiative taken about 4 years back- Coke2home which was introduced in six to eight cities before it was rolled out throughout the entire Indian market. He said that online presence is a platform which helps companies achieve the 80% fulfillment threshold. He stated that online presence gives a seamless supply SKUs which would tell a customer about the portfolio. He later illustrated the Coke Zero dry run, which was a tie-up with Amazon, ultimately landing 1 Lakh sales in 13 days. Mr. Sanjeev Marya quoted that “To make the product available within arm’s reach, you have to be where the consumer is.” He went on to state that a company should look into how digital marketing can fit into a brand’s strategy rather than the other way round. He concluded that the biggest challenge for an FMCG company is how to measure success and social media and digital platforms are proving very useful for the same.
Mr. Ramaswamy – Manager, Web Services, Himalaya Drug Company
Mr. Ganesh Ramaswamy stated that around 2008 e-commerce was the biggest challenge in supply chain management. He exclaimed that products are sold in a large margin only due to E-Tailing and retailing sectors. He said that Himalaya had opened an omnichannel strategy wherein onus is given to retail stores. He also stated that consumer experience has changed through years- from “Kirana” to modern retail stores to online experience. He also said e-commerce gives the platform to more varied info which is not possible in retail. He explained that the rise of e-commerce was the inaccessibility of the product. The initial website for Europe and then India. He concluded by stating that wherever availability is not present, e-commerce plays a large part.
Mr. Nitesh Kotian, Regional Sales Manager, Britannia Industries Ltd.
Mr. Nitesh started off by saying e-commerce is a growth industry. Then he went on to emphasize the importance of customer experience in the domain. He felt that the synergy between an FMCG company and an e-commerce retailer should be good to give the customer a good overall experience. He concluded by saying that the improvement of technology, internet speed and the introduction of mobile payment options are making e-tailing necessary.
Mr. M K Suresh, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Retail-More
Mr. Suresh began by saying that in the e-commerce industry the learning meter for everyone starts from zero. He then moved on to explain the concept of consumer journey mapping. There are many moments of truth in this journey. “Resolving and building mapping to address moments of truth in the consumer journey map is important”, he said. He felt that in the e-commerce industry repeat customers are a reliable measurement of success. In conclusion, Mr. Suresh said Omni business channel is the sustainable business model and the way ahead.