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Brands 2017-06-24

Are international names really a big competition?

A continuous bout between desi and videshi brands is certaining turning on the heat in the market. Who’s leading and who’s lagging behind, let’s find out..

By Ekta Sharma Feature Writer

Global brands are rapidly foraying into Indian market and are raising competition levels. But how far Indian brands are affected by this in real sense? Are international brands really impacting the growth of different brands across sectors or Indian brands are capable of survival in their own leadership space? Does this affect the creation of business opportunities too? Let’s peep into different industries and know from the experts that what lies behind the competition with international brands entering India via franchise route.

Indian brands like Lakme, Royal Enfield, Airtel, Amul, Raymond and many-many more like these are standing tall and giving a tough fight to International brands. On the contrary there are many foreign names too that have scored high on innovation and other features as compared to Indian counterparts. But what is the actual truth? Do our brands learn from them, compete with them, or happily exist in their own space? More than 50 global retailers are planning soon to enter India within the next 6 months, as per data compiled by Franchise India - that is helping these brands launch in India. Kaustabh Chakraborty, Sr. VP - Customer Operations & Retail, Urban Ladder confidently tells us: ‘Actually, they’re a big source of learning for us and will allow us to become better at what we do. If before I had to travel abroad to study an IKEA store, now I can do it locally, in a more cost efficient and convenient way. They are far ahead of us when it comes to understanding products and how they approach a market from a consumer standpoint. So, if we can pick up any of those learning along the way that will only help us improve. Because the Indian market is so large, there’s room for multiple players as long as each one continues to improve the customer experience.’

Quoting an example he says: ‘When Starbucks came to India, there was a lot of talk that CCD would take a major hit. But the opposite has happened and CCD has continued to grow and improve, and the two brands have managed to coexist and grow equally well. The customer has benefitted the most with having those options.’

Does not impact overall market
Established in the 1977s, New Delhi based, Orient Bell Limited is one of the largest manufacturers of ceramic and vitrified tiles as well as the first to manufacture ultra-vitrified tiles in India. Orient Bell has a successful market share of 6.0% (7th largest) within the organised market segment, marking an overall market share of 50% in the tile market. Orient Bell embraces COCO and FOFO models. Ashish Mehta, President of Sales & Marketing for Orient Bell is happy with the quality of products produced by Indian brands. He says: ‘International players are active only in small segment of the industry and are available in limited sizes which does not impact the overall Indian market as the manufacturers here are creating high quality products with better prices.’

If we talk of apparel sector, Indian brands like Flying Machine, Killer, and Wills Lifestyle have given stiff competition to brands like Levis and Benetton and so the fight for survival in the market started. Another big name, Racold is said to be the pioneer in water heating solutions in India. Anil Bhamre, General Manager – Marketing, Racold Thermo Pvt. Ltd comments: ‘International players always bring in good outside-in perspective and any new ideas are welcome. Competition is always good as it brings in best in you. But this being very small, fragmented market, not many international players are still showing interest e.g. whirlpool, Electrolux. LG, Samsung, etc.’

There is no doubt that Indian brands have innovated, excelled and given fight to the global names and it can be said that the trend of entering and exiting of international brands will be constant. Indian brands have a choice to be or not to be affected by the foreign names. Either they can stand and shine like a Fab India, Lakme, Amul inspite of the league of foreign brands like Zara, Mango, Maybelline, Colorbar etc. or they can create stronger strategies, increase awareness and hit back with better quality products with bigger aspiration value. 

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