Badal Suchak

Head VM Tata Mo­tors Lim­ited

VM&RD - - WHAT'S IN STORE? INDIAN RETAILER -

In Ret­ro­spect: 2012

TATA as a brand has al­ways been known for hav­ing pi­o­neer­ing vi­sion for which I have deep re­spect. I am glad to have re­cently joined Tata Mo­tors and be­ing in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing a de­light­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for con­sumers in show­rooms while at the same time fa­cil­i­tat­ing sales and achiev­ing busi­ness tar­gets. A VM strat­egy has been cre­ated and con­sumers have started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the dif­fer­ence at our show­rooms. Un­til now it was mainly the fash­ion and life­style cat­e­gory prod­ucts that have been fo­cus­ing on Vis­ual Mer­chan­dis­ing. In the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try, there was no deep involvement on the part of the brands in terms of vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing. The show­rooms have been plain and bor­ing with­out gen­er­at­ing any feel­ing of in­ter­est in the client. The fo­cus had been on sell­ing. This is sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing that this is a cat­e­gory where con­sumer spend is al­most as high as in the case of pre­cious jew­ellery. In fact, in a life­time on an av­er­age, a con­sumer buys five to six cars over a pe­riod of time. It is a huge in­vest­ment and de­spite this, the in­dus­try had not been fo­cus­ing on de­sign­ing a pos­i­tive and en­gag­ing con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence in the show­rooms.

Ar­rival of FDI

As in all other cat­e­gories, the mar­ket sce­nario in the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try is also com­pet­i­tive and highly chal­leng­ing. With the launch of sev­eral in­ter­na­tional brands, the pres­sure on In­dian brands to match up and of­fer features of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and stun­ning de­signs will be tremen­dous.

Look­ing Ahead: 2013

In this in­dus­try, ris­ing fuel prices and the in­creas­ing aware­ness of cus­tomers for be­ing en­vi­ron­ment friendly pushes brands to come up with ve­hi­cles with high fuel ef­fi­ciency and low car­bon foot print while at the same time en­sur­ing the life­style needs of the con­sumer.

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