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“We have a huge plan to double up our production capability”: Raja Mukherjee

In an exclusive conversation with Raja Mukherjee - President & Country Head, Luminaire segment, Bajaj Electricals Ltd. Sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.

Tags: Bajaj, Phillips, Crompton Greaves, Havells, CDIT, consumer durable

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  July 24, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
“We have a huge plan to double up our production capability”:  Raja Mukherjee
Raja Mukherjee

Recently, Bajaj Electricals Ltd., India’s leading player in consumer durables, fans, lighting and engineering projects company, hosted the second edition of ‘.nxt upgrade’ , under which the company lunches various Smart indoor solutions which are IoT enabled, Integrated building management solutions and connected outdoor solutions under the theme “Smart Indoors & Connected Outdoors”.  Also present at occasion Raja Mukherjee interacted with indianretailer.com

Today’s launches were focused around B2B space. Since, Bajaj is known as consumer durable maker in B2C space, so do we see the move as shift in organization’s focus. Also, what would be the share of B2B in entire product portfolio?

B2C is our strength that we will continue to push this segment with all capability. As I said the whole intent of the organization to make more and smarter products, for example, recently, we have launched IoT based products catering B2C space. Going forward we would continue to develop such products. Our focus is to develop both the verticals equally.

B2B segments constitutes more than 45% share of entire product portfolio.  Our B2B range catered to all sorts of industries and our range is spread across smart lighting solution, street lighting solution, smart in-door products, etc.

How do you see consumer durable (CDIT) market is growing in India?  Also CDIT as the category has start getting very good traction in the online space for B2C range. What kind of traction the company is getting from online channel?

In last couple of years decent brand penetration has been increased immensely. Now, the market is flooded with international brands in this space. Also, per capita income has gone up so people now have better purchasing power that is generating a lot of growth in this segment.

 Millennial are becoming more exposed to international brands and latest technology products. In fact, they are our biggest consumers.  Yes I do agree! Online buying has gone up and it is extremely popular channel among younger audience.

Though we are seeing a strong push from the online space, but offline continues to be our larger revenue generator.

So do you have any plans to come up with full fledged stores with tech integration?

No we don’t have any plans to come up exclusive stores. However, if you talk about our distribution especially in B2C space, we have discontinued the wholesale model and have start working with company appointed distributors.

In fact, now we have come up with range reach expansion programe (RREP) that basis means that distributor to have access to maximum range without blocking the inventory. Under this programme, the distributors will allow sale from the wider assortment, for example, a distributor appointed for fan and not other products used to loss business if customers the customer walks in with some other requirement, lets appliance or any other product, under RREP he can retain such customers. This programme is only mandate for B2C space.

What are the major challenges when you work with local distributors?

We have invested huge money in stream ling the distribution over last two years. The biggest challenge that distributors face is ‘brand pull’ and ‘stocks’, so we monitor the secondary sales  even up to the consumer level.  So we monitor the sale right from local distribution to retailer to consumers.

 In fact, it is the major step that we have taken in order to become more distributors’ friendly. Therefore, we are able to monitor distributors’ stock and we are not saying them to hold up. In facts, we are keeping the stock on their behalf, and making sure to make the stock available as and when it is required so they don’t need to block the inventories.

What kind of distribution you have in B2B space?

Even for B2B we are working with local distributors. We have 600 distributors.

How is your experience working with modern trade such as Croma, Reliance Digital amongst others?

There are certain products which are generating very good traction with such retail chains. For example, IOt based coolers are getting very good traction with such chains. Also, Morphy Richards for which we are sole distributor is retailed via modern trade and generating very decent response.

Who do you see as your completion in B2B space? What kind of market share Bajaj holds in this space?

There are many such as Phillips, Crompton Greaves, Havells amongst others. Since this segment is largely dominated by unorganiased players, so I don’t want to comment on market share. But, I can tell you we have a decent market share.

Is there any specific challenges specific to B2B retailing? Which is your strong category in b2b space?

Customers want prices to be very competitive, since there are many new entrants so price negotiation is really a challenge. Also entry barriers are very low in this segment so anybody can enter this space very conveniently.  In fact, at times we are forced to compete with unorganized players. 

Also this space is evolving so customers also get misguided by entrants is very easily since all customers are not very knowledgeable. So our endeavor is also to educate the customers and make good quality products.

We are pretty strong in the outdoor space; this is the category which actually requires decent amount of investment and technology.

What are the major growth plans?

We have a huge plan to double up our production capability. Also, many exciting product roll out will take place over next six months.

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