Category — Market Entry
Gillette, a unit of Procter & Gamble, sells an India-specific razor, the Guard for 15 rupees, or 34 cents, and each razor blade is just12 cents. Guard has grown share faster than any other P&G brand in India. And Gillette’s market share for razors and blades in India has grown to 49.1 percent, according to Euromonitor.
The Daily Mail reports that Gillette has sold razors in India for over a decade. Offering its high-end Mach3 razor, which costs about $2.75, and a stripped down Vector two-bladed razor on the lower end, which goes for about 72 cents.
Gillette failed with its early version of the Vector in 2002. The version of that razor had a plastic push bar that slid down to unclog the razor. The bar was added because Indian men have thicker hair and a higher hair density than their American counterparts. But this was not enough.
Gillette, which is based in Boston, wanted to test the product among Indian consumers before launching it, and took the short cut of using Indian students in the local area as testers. But when Gillette launched the razor in India, the reaction was different. Executives were baffled about why the razor flopped until they traveled to India and observed men using a cup of water to shave. All the Boston area students had running water. Without that, the razor stayed clogged.
‘That’s another ‘a-ha’ moment,’ Carvalho said. ‘That taught us the importance that you really need to go where your consumers are, not just to talk to them, but observe and spend time with them to gather the key insight.’
Carvalho decided to bring 20 people, ranging from engineers to developers, from Gillette’s U.S. headquarters to India for three weeks.
The resulting Guard razor has one blade, to put the emphasis on safety rather than closeness, compared with two to five blades found on U.S. razors. One insight from filming shavers was that Indians grip the razors in many different ways, so the handle is textured to allow for easy gripping. There’s also a hole at the handle’s base, to make it easier to hang up, and a small comb by the blade since Indians hair growth tends to be thicker. Next, the company had to figure out how to produce the razor at the right price. ‘We had to say ‘How do we do this at ruthless cost?’‘ Carvalho said. P&G scrutinized the smallest details. It cut the number of components in the razor down to 4 compared with 25 needed for Mach3, Gillette’s three-blade razor. They even made the razor’s handle hollow so it would be lighter and cheaper to make.
‘I can remember talking about changes to this product that were worth a thousandth, or two thousandths of a cent,’ said Jim Keighley, the company’s associate director for product engineering.
How this matters
It is easy to jump to the wrong conclusion when addressing the India market. Gillette designed the Vector for Indian skin and hair type but neglected to consider the environment in which Indian men would use the product in market. American companies stumble like this often.
January 7, 2014 No Comments
India has overtaken China as the most attractive investment destination, according to Ernst & Young (EY), with the sharp depreciation in the rupee and opening up of new sectors to foreign players boosting the South Asian nation’s allure. This according to report published on CNBC. Companies are most likely to invest in India, followed by Brazil (2), China (3), Canada (4) and the United States (5), EY’s ninth bi-annual Capital Confidence Barometer – a survey of 1,600 senior executives across more than 70 countries – showed. Other nations in the top 10 are South Africa (6), Vietnam (7), Myanmar (8), Mexico (9) and Indonesia (10).
Sectors with the highest level of possible deals in India include Automotive, Technology, Life Sciences and Consumer Products.
The survey reported that 38 percent of the respondents feel that Merger and Acquisition volumes in India are expected to improve over the next 12 months, while 30 percent believe that these will remain stable. “The investor outlook for India remains positive, despite the challenges the country’s economy has faced in the recent past. At the same time, the improved condition of the world economy has helped increase confidence amongst deal makers, prompting them to take a bolder stance toward executing transactions,” said Amit Khandelwal, National Leader & Partner — Transaction Advisory Services, EY. “After two years, European countries (Britain and Germany) have made a comeback on the potential investment destinations list for Indian companies,” the report said. In August, the Indian government announced relaxation in foreing investor norms in many sectors, including multi-brand retail and telecom.
December 11, 2013 No Comments
Under Canada-India scientific and technological cooperation agreement, both the countries will soon begin collaborative research and development in biotechnology including life sciences and medical devices as reported in PharmaBiz
The program aims to stimulate innovative R&D projects, engaging small-to-medium-sized companies and/or larger, well established firms, that address a specific market need or challenge; demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential; and aim to deliver benefit to all participants, and more broadly, to both nations. These projects help participants to become more competitive by developing global research-based alliances with the potential to foster increased or expanded international R&D collaboration.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) from India and International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), an NGO selected by the government of Ontario on the Canadian side, have called for proposals from eligible scientists for the project. Researchers and managers of Indian companies, academic institutions, research hospitals or other R&D institutions that are headquartered and operate in India can be part of the project.
Each proposal must include an eligible lead from Ontario and from India. Although it is not mandatory, projects that engage a technology developer and a technology end-user/first customer will strongly be encouraged. Each proposal for the project must identify an eligible lead from Ontario and from India who will be responsible for the development and submission of the joint application within their province or country; be innovative and market-driven, leading to the proposed development of a new product or process leading to commercialization.
November 3, 2013 No Comments
Stan Lee, the comic book legend who co-created such enduring superheroes as Spider-Man and the X-Men, shared plans for his latest creation: an Indian superhero named Chakra.
Lee’s POW! Entertainment has joined forces with the Cartoon Network and Graphic India—a comic book and animation company based in Bangalore —to produce Chakra: The Invincible, a 66-minute, made-for-TV movie that will premiere next month India’s Cartoon Network.
The story follows Raju Rai, a boy living in Mumbai who’s given a magical body suit that activates his yogic chakras and gives him superpowers. In a statement, Lee promised that the “thrill-a-minute superhero saga” will “captivate audiences in India and around the world with his adventures.”
October 25, 2013 No Comments
Yum! Brands Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky, the owner of the KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains, will spend $10 billion over the next seven years adding restaurants in emerging markets to tap increasing demand for eating out.
The investments will help Yum increase its outlets in these countries to more than 20,000, Chief Executive Officer David Novak said. The company, which opened its 40,000th store in Calangute Beach, Goa, India, said sales from its own and franchise outlets in India will reach $1 billion by 2015. “We’re on the ground floor of global growth in a lot of countries, particularly the emerging markets,” Novak said, speaking in Goa. “In the United States, for instance, we have 58 restaurants for every million people. In emerging markets, it is two.”
The fast-food company gets less than 1 percent of its revenue from India, where CLSA said the market for restaurant chains will grow to $6.5 billion by 2018. Yum is developing menus in India to cater to local tastes, said Novak. It sells rice balls with curry flavor and chicken that’s spicy, he said.
October 25, 2013 No Comments