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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 | Author:
Tag line of Nestle

Tag line of Nestle

Let’s start a self test.

Have you heard about Maggi?
How many of you have tried this humble dish at least once in your life?
How many of you like it?
Can you eat it any time when you are hungry?
Does the magical aroma of the tastemaker leave you asking who’s cooking?

If there are more yes’s then you are a self-proclaimed Maggi loyalist.

Despite loads of USP this humble snack contains Pickloo my friend adds, “this (Maggi) is going to ruin our traditional Indian eating habit” He gets infuriated, “It has no value addition, is this some kind of a food?”

His comment comes to me as a dasher, where in my mind I wish to put Maggi (at least for the younger and selective few from the older generation) as a national food. A national food? They have introduced a range to fit in the Indian bill such as Dal Sambhar, Chatpata, tomato, Vegetable Atta, Shahi Pulao, Bhuna masala, rice mania, Lemon masala apart from the extremely popular masala. Dry vegetables like carrots, beans and onions are also part of the growing strategy to penetrate deep inside the large undivided and hugely fragmented Indian market.

Are you wondering if Nestle has bribed me to write in favor of this? No, FYI Take this: the Maggi lovers at Orkut have 38, 251 and Facebook have 16, 252 members and growing. I am leaving that endless stream of bloggers and self-confessed Maggi lovers who have an online presence, I am sure that the numbers are astronomical at the offline world. For the meat lovers, Maggi, was basically a substitute ‘cheap Meat extract’. It also has over a 100 year presence in history and the origin lies in Eastern European countries – Switzerland, Germany and Austria were the first adaptors and random surveys shout ‘Indians are the highest consumers of Maggi’.

So what’s so special about Maggi? This humble 2 minute smacking item cuts across region, religion, caste, gender, creed, age and has remained a top choice for urban mothers and pampered children when it comes to that evening snack. Evening? We have really lived on this scrumptious food that’s easily available and cheap, an absolute delite for our unplanned breakfasts, impromptu dinners and planned brunches at various point of our lives. My friend Vikram previously had rebuked me to initiate any kind of experiments with Maggi-‘Milk Maggi’. But, my friend, I believe in this process and it is surely going to attract people some day.

What does it takes to have a bowl of it? Rs 10 and 2 minutes.Do you feel the same?

@ Pickloo is going to kill me

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Author:

Wherever I go and hear people talking about India Inc, the first thing I hear is “INDIA is the biggest growth market, next only to CHINA.” I do feel proud, as rest of my compatriots …. But, then I ask, why next to China? Why not the leading growth market? I believe that India has enough potential to overtake China in its pursuit for growth. Well, at least one person tends to agree with me on that respect. And, that person is none other than the CEO of the Google Inc, Eric Schmidt!!! In a statement made in 2006 (I know it seems slightly outdated, but India’s prospects haven’t changed in these years, have they?), he had emphasized that it is India and not China that is set to become the world’s biggest Internet market over the next five to ten years!!

INDIA – Where is the growth on the Internet?
I know you will be asking yourself (or me), if the above statement is true then – WHERE is the growth? India seems to be a rising star for the Internet but where is the presence of Indian companies on the net? When I go and search on the Google search engine, hardly do I see ads of Indian companies being displayed on the Google search page. Neither have I seen Indian companies utilizing one crucial tool offered by the web – Internet Marketing!! What to say of others, even the top Indian companies (the so called big wigs) are ignoring this powerful tool that can significantly enhance the visibility of these top-notch firms on the web. This is particularly disturbing given the fact that India has its share of high-quality Internet Marketing providers. And, these providers are increasingly being used by companies from world over to improve their net presence and customer awareness….

Popularity of Internet Marketing – The STATS
In fact, Internet Marketing is gaining strength over the other marketing media the world over. See the facts!! The Nielsen Monitor-Plus survey for 2007 (the year when cash crunch hit the US by force!!) has indicated that while the advertising spending in the country grew by just 0.6%, Internet ad spending rose by 18.9%. Don’t think I am US-centric. The rise in Internet marketing is not just limited to the US but is a phenomenon that is being seen in Europe and the UK. In fact, analysts in the UK are predicting that Internet will overtake television as the biggest advertising medium in 2009. Amazing, isn’t it? Or, is it “YAWN!! O come on Shalini, we have had enough of the stats! Can we now come to the punch line?”

Attitude of Indian Companies on Internet Marketing
Ok, so here I do. Let me get back to where I started. Where is India on the Internet Marketing scene? Except for being a country housing some of the most remarkable Internet Marketing providers, it is nowhere close to using this entire exciting marketing concept. When it comes to corporate biggies, they are spending millions on television, radio and even newspaper marketing, but when it comes to Internet Marketing, all they come up with is “This concept is interesting. We can use it later maybe but now, in this cash crunched market, we are not sure whether this we are ready for this!!” The difference in the marketing attitude of the cash-crunched West and the on-the-growth-radar India is palpable. And, so is the visibility and brand identity of Indian companies, which beyond doubt produce better products and services than their Western counterparts, but fall far behind in popularity and demand!! Need I say more on where India stands on the Internet and what it is missing?

I will be back with what Internet Marketing can do to our Indian companies, irrespective of their size, in my next blog!! Till then, cio.