We thought to introduce an innovative packing in the industry
1. What has been your experience in marketing Bharathi as a brand? What are the challenges?
It was challenging to launch new brand in 2009. Whereas, we have so many established players like multi-nationals, national players, local players & regional players in the market. Since we are coming as a new producer, we have thought of bringing a best consumer accepted product and packing. We have taken 3 important steps to launch this viz. Technology, Superior Quality and Innovative packing.
2. Explain the role played by packaging of cement in brand building. How in your case you have packaged the product? Tell us your experience on different kind of packaging.
During 1980’s cement was sold as a commodity and various companies’ were using jute bags initially. After some time, cement packing was partially converted with HDPE bags. There was lot of pilferage in Jute bags. While in HDPE bags pilferage has reduced to some extent.
We thought to introduce an innovative packing in the industry and we have found that PPL bags are used for cement packing in other countries. We decided to pack our cement in PPL, where we used this point as one of our branding slogan. Our branding slogan is “3 times better Bharathi Cement”:-
1. German technology
2. Robotic quality control
3. Tamper Proof Packing.
Not only PPL bags, some parts of markets in Tamilnadu, Kerala and Maharashtra use Paper bags also. The Paper bag has also given an impression to customer as better type of packing and it is also tamper proof bags. At present PPL and Paper bags are very well accepted in many markets as a tamper proof packing.
3. As a part of backward integration Bharathi Cement has gone ahead with setting up a production unit for bag manufacturing, what is the philosophy? Do you supply any quantity to other cement companies?
Since we could not get PPL bags in India, we have gone to Austria to set up 6 crores PPL bags manufacturing unit of Star Linger technology. With this we are able to consume 50% to 60% of production for our captive units and balance to other cement companies also.
4. Provide us some information on PP laminated bags and its superiority. Is the unit able to satisfy your entire requirement of bags? What is the superiority of PP laminated bags? Explain in details.
PPL bags have Less pilferage, it cannot be adulterated, once opened it cannot be re-packed / stitched. Bags are tuned to box type which cannot be adulterated and they look striking.
5. One important factor of brand building is advertisement, what medium of advertisement you would suggest? What is the future trend? How do you compare different mediums of advertisement?
Some of the mediums of advertisement are Print, electronic, digital, outdoor like hoardings, wall paintings etc. All these different media will help in brand building. One of the cheapest mode is wall painting. In future, digital branding will prove as most effective communication as it has the ability to spread through various digital channels such as online ads, search engines social media, websites and online activations. So from time to time as per the needs of market we need to adopt different mediums of advertisement.
6. While journey to brand building is fairly long, you need to work with the ad agency with more openness and give them reasonable length of time to do new things? Please comment.
Yes, when you are building best brand, we need to have a reputed AD agency and we can openly implement based on customer feedbacks like long term perspective, network, logistics distribution system etc. Primary role of an Ad agency is the creation of an advertising and marketing plan specific to product and brand. Ad agencies work with our business objectives. They pull all this together to provide a creative and compelling campaign intended to engage the attention of potential customers and get them to buy our product. Ad agency employs its creative team to work on our brand art works and other designs and also produces TVC’s. Initially we engaged South Indian Film Star Mr. Suriya as our brand ambassador to popularise product in the market and we produced many films with him which were telecasted accordingly.
As a reputed brand, we have implemented all these factors from inception itself and continue to follow till date.
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About M. Ravinder Reddy, he has over 34 years of experience in cement industry, holds B.com (Hons.) and MBA (Marketing) degree. During his tenure at Priya cement, he had introduced HDPE packing by replacing Jute packing. He joined Bharathi Cement as a Whole-time Director in September 2008, and he heads the company’s sales and marketing operations. He has successfully launched the ‘Bharathi Cement’ in premium segment. He is recipient of many national and international awards. In addition, he is an elected Chairman of Cement, Clinkers and Asbestos Cement products panel of CAPEXIL and also Vice President of South India Cement Manufacturer’s Association.