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Business Expansion 2017-06-08

We always want to partner with channel partners who have ability and capability: Anil Bhamre

Racold, a flagship brand of Racold Thermo Pvt. Ltd is equivalent with breakthrough innovation, premium quality and complete customer satisfaction

By Ekta Sharma Feature Writer

A pioneer in water heating solutions, Racold is a brand name that has been trusted by generations. Racold is a flagship brand of Racold Thermo Pvt. Ltd that is tantamount with breakthrough innovation, premium quality and complete customer satisfaction. Ariston Thermo India Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ariston Thermo Group, Italy, is responsible for marketing, sales and service of 'Racold' products in India. We spoke to Anil Bhamre, General Manager – Marketing, Racold Thermo Pvt. Ltd and got to know more about their business model, operations in India and more on Indian solar Industry. Read on...

Tell us about your business Model. How do you operate efficiently via distributors?
We work on distribution model, wherein we service our end consumers through retail network who are served by our distributors across India. We have stocking points which are strategically located to ensure 95% deliveries to our distributors within 24 hrs. We ensure there is a win-win situation to all those involved in the supply chain till end consumers with a healthy RoI.

Any biggest challenges you face in terms of supply chain and others?
Challenge is to maintain best service levels @best possible supply chain cost optimization. But today challenge will be to handle same w.r.t. GST and ensuring alignment of supply chain accordingly to new dynamics.

Tell us about your expansion and growth plans for this year? Which are your focus markets this year?
We will like to increase our width and depth of distribution by min 30% in 2017 and our focus markets still remains to be A&B class towns across India.

How do you choose your distributors? What important steps are to be kept in mind while selecting distributors?
For us distributors and their infrastructure is nothing but our own extended organization structure representing in the front end. We always want to partner with channel partners who have 'ability and capability' which means resources to invest in long term and fire in belly to ensure market effectiveness. We want our channel partners to always believe in win-win situation thinking from long term perspective wherein relationship building, working with trust and fulfilling promises to deliver retailers delight is more critical.

Enlighten us on your marketing initiatives.
We focus our marketing initiatives based on our consumer understanding and demand creation. We 1st understand current state of our target audience in order to ensure our initiatives in marketing are sharper and direct. We focus on creating awareness, educating consumers about making right choices. In fact our recent TVC campaign released this year was all about taking right decisions in life. Our marketing initiatives are based on 360 degree approach (research, ATL, BTL, Digital etc) covering consumers, channel partners and influencers.

Do you think that international players are a big competition for Indian names in your sector?
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.

What stringent steps are you taking for quality check?
We have our own QC & QA department which works very closely right from sourcing till end consumers’ feedback to ensure that there is close loop on identifiable issue through root cause analysis and provide long term solutions. We use all modern QC tools along with involvement of even shop floor workers to ensure every product produced from Racold is perfect, this is the reason we have many consumers writing to us that they have been using our water heaters since last 25 to 30 years without any issues. We abide by ISO, ISI, BIS and BEE norms to ensure we have best quality products as per standards and performance mandated or other wise also.

What are your comments on India’s solar Industry? Do you think there is a lot of need for proper awareness?
Solar is a very good source to reduce carbon footprint and also ensure that we contribute in same especially in a country like ours where sunshine / sun presence is in abundance. Focus on Solar from govt, today has really come down and there are not many programs about creating awareness. In fact GOI has pulled plug from subsidizing Solar Water Heaters resulting in drop in solar water industry by 60% in last few years. From long term perspective some strict mandates and guidelines should be put in for this sector to ensure greater awareness and implementation to reduce load on electric power sector.  

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