- July 4, 2017
- Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Abhra Rajib Banerjee, vice president, Havells India Ltd (HIL) and head of ‘Standard’ SBU, pulls out his office cabinet drawers full of switchgear pieces to show us how the company is breathing life into the conventionally dull-looking products by offering them in bright quirky colours of dark blue and orange. Standard, a revered name in the institutional business segment, had begun diversifying into fast-moving electrical products and transforming into a consumer-facing brand for the youth two-years-ago. It has now devised an aggressive strategy to grow its top-line from Rs 400 crore to Rs 1,000 crore by 2020, Banerjee reveals to SEL.
Unique Brand Positioning: We felt that brand Havells appeals to the middle-aged more-arrived, affluent and well-to-do people in the 40s, mostly in the metros and mini-metros. So, in 2015, we began positioning Standard as a brand for the youth in 25-40 age group, who are upwardly mobile and are either first-time house buyers or refurbishing their homes in tier II to V cities. We roped in Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt as a brand ambassador, to connect with, and manifest our core brand philosophy – Young Energy – to our target group. On pricing, brands Havells and Standard have the same price positioning with some fine tuning in some places.
Differentiated Décor: We are experimenting with colours and designs to appeal to the youth. Our heat-resistant wires come in bright red and yellow colours. Our fans are also available in a varied vibrant. Our switches are engraved with tattoos under the Crest range.
Strengthening Standard, Step-by-Step
2000: HIL acquires controlling stake in Standard Electricals Ltd
2002: Standard Electricals Ltd becomes 100% subsidiary of HIL
2011: Standard merges with HIL
2012: Standard launches copper flexible cables
2014: Premium fans hit the market under brand Standard
2016: Brand Standard re-launches, and positions itself with tagline ‘Standard – Young Energy’
Products sound Young & Smart: Standard has switchgear, switches, wires and fans in its product basket. It will diversify into water heaters soon. The company is embracing smart technologies as it is all set to launch IoT-enabled fans and water heaters. Our products should also sound youthful, and that’s why we are naming them after the Hollywood epic Star Wars characters. We have tentatively named one of our soon-to-be-launched water heaters ‘Droid’.
Fresh Channel: At least 70% of the channel for Standard doesn’t sell Havells. So, there’s very little overlap between Havells and Standard. Both the brands can be found only in some large-format stores, multi-brand stores, and branded stores. Traders who deal in unbranded products or those who notch up revenue between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1.5 crore range, and are aiming to touch between Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore are finding it appealing to work with Standard. The second-generation of long-time channel partners also prefer to deal with the brand. They know that the Standard brand has a quality assurance and is backed by HIL’s network of service. These dealers are also finding that their displays are becoming more colourful and attention-grabbing for their customers, owing to the trendy and vibrant colours of products. We will also augment our dealer count from 2,000 to 6,000 by 2020.
Store Expansion: We want to increase dealer-owned Standard ‘branded shops’ from 35 to 100 by 2017-18. These shops will be smaller in size with 400-450-sft floor space, located in high-footfall market areas. The mid-sized dealers will be able to invest in these small stores as realty prices of such stores will be low. They will also experience hassle-free maintenance of the stores. The space will be quite sufficient, as dealers will deal in our fast moving electrical products that will offer quick breakeven. We are also going to take the tally of our shop-in-shop from 75 to 250 by fiscal-end.
Promotion: We ran TVCs during the recently-concluded IPL tournament. We will launch our new TVC in August. Besides, we will keep on conducting meets for electricians and contractors.