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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Riding high on optimism...

Despite tough market conditions and drop in consumer spendings, Sony India maintained 20% growth in FY08. And the optimism is flying high this year around too as Takakiyo Fujita, GM-Marketing, Sony India, discusses its growth plans for the current year...

4Ps B&M: Given the current market scenario and the up-coming festive season, what are the key focus areas for Sony India?
Currently, we are focussing on product innovation, technology and investment in marketing communication across all our product categories especially BRAVIA LCDs, VAIO Notebooks, Cyber-shot Digital Still Cameras and Walkman MP3 Players.

4Ps B&M: What kind of growth are you hoping to achieve in the current fiscal?
We’ve set different growth targets for our various product categories and therefore have different strategies, initiatives and plans for the key segments. We aim to become the No.1 player in the LCD category in FY09 with 30% market share and for this, we are targeting a sale of 4,00,000 units in FY09. For cameras and camcorders, we plan to achieve a significant lead with 42% market share in Still Camera market with expected sales of 5,00,00 camera units in FY09. In the Walkman category too, we plan to capture 30% market share by 2010. We expect sales of 1,80,000 units in FY09 and target sales of 3,00,00 by 2010.

4Ps B&M: And how do you plan to achieve the sales targets for these product categories?
By offering unique products to our customers coupled with innovative technology, channel expansion and increasing marketing investments. The growth forecast is based on Sony India’s three pillar strategy of ‘Brand Enhancement’ by focussing on strategic marketing investment on growth categories, ‘ Channel Development’ that will effectively strengthen the wide distribution network and ‘Local Talent Development’ that aims at successfully nurturing employees to become high-quality local leaders thus improving the business infrastructure

4Ps B&M: Talking about channel expansion, how do you plan to go about it?
With 4,000 dealers and distributors, Sony has its footprints across all major towns and cities in the Indian market. We have 240 exclusive Sony outlets across 72 cities and our current plans are to consolidate these channels stores.

4Ps B&M: Given the intense competition in the consumer electronic sphere, advertising and marketing becomes imperative. How much budget has Sony India earmarked for the same?
We’ve planned aggressive advertising and marketing strategy for our key categories. We’ve designed an integrated 360-degree marketing strategy and our product campaigns include ATL and BTL activities involving print and electronic media, online, outdoor and shop-front. Our total marketing budget for FY09-10 is Rs.200 crore.

4Ps B&M: Why is that Sony India has never signed a celebrity to endorse its products, despite being in India for a long time?
Globally, we have a brand ambassador. But in India, we think that we don’t need a brand ambassador for our products because we have always let our quality speak about our credentials. Moreover, this is our strategy to differentiate from others.

Neha Saraiya

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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