One of the renowned German brands and global manufacturers of high-end domestic appliances, Miele will soon be catering to the Indian market. Dhananjay Chaturvedi, Managing Director, Miele India shares his future plans…
Subhro Prakash Ghosh (SPG): What inspired you to foray into India?
Dhananjay Chaturvedi (DC): It is the progression of Miele, and that of India as a country that inspired the venture. We are present in 46 countries across the globe through our fully-owned subsidiaries and over 100 countries through importers and distributors. India was a rational choice, considering the economic growth, which the nation is witnessing and the changing lifestyle of the people with the increase in their incomes. These factors compelled us to consider India as a significant market for Miele.
SPG: Miele conducted some research on Indian customers for about 6 years before venturing the market. Share the insights on the preferences and likings of the Indian customers hence derived.
DC: Until mid-nineties, there were a few multi-national companies in India. The companies that entered India post that period, availed of the opportunity and redefined their product’s and service’s categories and have now become the market leaders. There is a remarkable change in the consumers’ preferences and also the kind of products available in any category. People are now buying large plasma screens, LCD-screen televisions, front loading washing machines, etc. Thus, the provision has already been made and we have entered now to take this provision to the next level.
SPG: Give us an insight into the product portfolio of Miele. Which Indian companies do you consider to be your major competitors?
DC: We manufacture and sell a diverse array of products under the categories like cooking oven, coffee system, dishwasher, fabric care system, kitchen appliances, commercial cleaning system, refrigerator, wine storage and vacuum cleaner. Considering the kind of products and positioning we have in India, we do not see any competition.
SPG: Did you do any product customisation to suit the Indian market? What is your strategy to promote your products in the Indian market?
DC: Yes, we have customised our products in terms of electrical standards and the accessories required to use them in India. We are offering the same products in India as that in Great Britain. Both these countries have 220-240 volt power supply with a frequency of 50 Hz. We cater different kinds of products with different electrical standards to other countries across the globe. Being an over-110-year old luxury brand of home appliances, Miele has already acquired a premium position. We promote our brand in a befitting way. Generally, we prefer focussing on the BTL activities as compared to ATL. However, we also look at the PR approach, and we share the product knowledge with the customers through our centres, making them aware of the quality of our merchandise.
SPG: How do you plan to retail your products in India? Give us an idea about the entry-level and the maximum price range of your products.
DC: We have selected three routes for retailing our products. The foremost is through the kitchen appliances dealers and we have already tied-up with renowned brands like Poggenpohl and Aran Kitchen World. Our second route for retailing is through multi-branded consumer durable outlets. The third route, is yet to be adopted, completely; we are about to launch an exclusive store at MGF Mall in Gurgaon. Our minimum price starts at Rs 23,000 for a vacuum cleaner. The maximum is Rs 20,00,000 for a master cool refrigerator.
SPG: How do you ensure global quality products in India?
DC: All the products of Miele are made in Germany. They are tried and tested in our German manufacturing unit for good performance and pleasing experience. As mentioned earlier, we customise the products to suit Indian requirements.
SPG: What is your retail expansion plan in India?
DC: Our initial plan is to be present in top seven cites in the next five years because we believe 90 per cent of our target customers reside in the top cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru.
SPG: How do you foresee your brand in India, five years from now?
DC: We want to establish ourselves in the best possible way akin to our presence in over 100 countries other than India. We want to be customer-oriented, bring innovative merchandise and most importantly want to preserve the essential elements of our brand as they are present in other parts of the world.