Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Aug 11, 2006
Godrej Lifespace to increase customer-centric initiatives
MR SHYAM MOTWANI, Vice-President and Business Head, Retailing Division, Godrej and Boyce Mfg Co Ltd, at the Godrej Lifespace store in Bangalore on Thursday. G.R.N. Somashekar
Bangalore , Aug. 10
Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd plans to give a thrust to its Godrej Lifespace chain of home and interior stores by expanding retail presence and stepping up marketing and customer-centric initiatives. It also plans to add more products to its portfolio including digital cameras, crystalware and PCs and laptops.
Lifespace's 42nd store was launched on Thursday in Bangalore. The target is to reach 50 by March 2007 and 90 stores by 2010.
"We shall be taking Lifespace to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well. This is where the retail revolution and consolidation is happening and we want to be a part of the action," said Mr Shyam Motwani, Vice-President and Business Head (Retailing Division), Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co.
As part of its customer-focussed initiatives, the company plans to install interactive electronic kiosks with touch-screens at the Lifespace stores to "help consumers make a choice."
Godrej & Boyce also plans to work with interior designers to help consumers decide what will look best in their homes.
"Over the next three years, the company will invest Rs 7.5 crore in manpower and training, Rs 16 crore in advertising and sales and Rs 12.5 crore in new stores," said Mr Motwani. By fiscal 2010, the Rs 60-crore Godrej Retailing Division, which operates the Lifespace stores, is targeting a turnover of Rs 300 crore.
This fiscal, it hopes to cross Rs 100 crore.
To attract youth
Our Hyderabad Bureau reports: Godrej & Boyce has set its eyes on the youth. With a view to attracting this segment, the company has embarked on a major brand makeover that seeks to reposition the brand with which the youth can identify themselves.
"We would like it to reposition it as a brand offering products that are contemporary, stylish, modern and innovative," Mr George Menezes, Chief Operating Officer, said.
Talking to reporters here on Thursday, he said the idea was to relate the products more with the younger generation, to be vibrant and lively.
The company would begin a major communication campaign to help the make over.
The company had a basket of products in refrigerators, air-conditioners, washing machines, DVD players and microwave ovens.
The company was planning to spend 5 per cent of the targeted Rs 1,000 crore turnover this year on the make over campaign.
Last year, it registered a turnover of Rs 750 crore. The company also spent 5 per cent on research and development.
Explaining about company's efforts in the last two years with regard to product innovation and venturing into new segments, he said it was extremely important to focus on two main drivers of innovation and competitiveness in the age of competition and raising manufacturing costs.
"Every quarter, we have been coming out with something new in one or the other product segment," Mr Kamal Nandi, Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), said.
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