3M – Re­in­forc­ing The Re­tail Con­nect


Com­mer­cial so­lu­tions are in­te­gral to 3M’s of­fer­ings. 3M’s Com­mer­cial So­lu­tions Di­vi­sion of­fers a wide range of prod­ucts for store in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­sign. re­cently ap­pointed as the Gen­eral Man­ager of the Com­mer­cial So­lu­tions Di­vi­sion of 3M In­dia, talks about her new role, plans for year 2015 and the po­ten­tials of com­mer­cial so­lu­tions.

Su­jatha Narayan, Gen­eral Man­ager-Com­mer­cial So­lu­tions Di­vi­sion, 3M In­dia

For tra­di­tional graph­ics, we deal with the mar­ket­ing de­part­ments of com­pa­nies that are in­charge of brand iden­tity and man­age­ment. For re­fur­bish­ment or main­te­nance projects, it is the fa­cil­i­ties depart­ment that con­nects with us. For the rest, it is usu­ally the projects team. 2015 will be the “year of the cus­tomer” for 3M, where we will be even more fo­cused on meet­ing the needs of our cus­tomers and mar­kets It makes sense for the brand to be talk­ing to a sin­gle per­son at 3M. Our idea is to go deeper with the ac­count so we are able to iden­tify the prob­lems that our cus­tomers face on an on­go­ing ba­sis and pro­vide value to solve them.

How do you tackle the chal­lenges of op­er­at­ing in a price-sen­si­tive mar­ket in In­dia con­sid­er­ing you're not a company born in In­dia?

We lever­age the in­no­va­tions of 3M. We still find that im­ported prod­ucts per­ceived as ex­pen­sive have a mar­ket if the value propo­si­tion is strong. We are fo­cused on value. Lot many ac­counts are will­ing to pay what the prod­ucts cost be­cause they re­ally solve a prob­lem or serve a need for them. Value vis-avis what is avail­able is im­por­tant. We have prod­ucts for them as well. We usu­ally have prod­ucts that are termed tier A, B and C prod­ucts that serve dif­fer­ent kinds of cus­tomers. . We sell Tier A prod­ucts by con­vinc­ing the cus­tomer on the ROI. But there are cus­tomers who do not care about that. Then, Tier B and C prod­ucts come into pic­ture. That is also where lo­cal­i­sa­tion comes in. We may source it from other coun­tries or In­dia it­self. Hav­ing a com­pre­hen­sive range is im­por­tant. Cus­tomers come to us and they pick up prod­ucts meet­ing most of their needs from us.

What growth have you seen in the last 3-4 years?

If we talk about graph­ics, the dig­i­tal print­ing seg­ment has seen dra­matic growth. Even though there is com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket, the 3M brand prom­ise in terms of ser­vice and qual­ity that 3M comes with, ap­peals to the cus­tomer. Although we came into the business a lit­tle late, we have seen cus­tomers move to 3M. We’ve seen tremen­dous growth in our mat­ting business. We tar­get peo­ple who value qual­ity. The value sell­ing ap­proach works for us. Also, the clients we tar­get mat­ter. We don't go across the board sell­ing our prod­ucts. In­stead we pri­ori­tise and seg­ment the mar­ket be­fore we ap­proach our clients.

How would you com­pare the In­dian mar­ket with any other coun­try in Asia?

Look­ing back,

it has been a strug­gle. But

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