« Going green: A little disruption can go a long way | Main | The multi-channel experience: Can you shop and watch TV at the same time? »

June 11, 2012

A very real fairytale

Posted by Sandeep Dadlani (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:39 AM

Blog 39.jpg

Recently, Harrods' Managing Director, Michael Ward said that they would not be able to open a store in India. Not enough takers for expensive clothes and jewelry, apparently. Fair enough.

But to the more accessible international brands, which are emerging-market reluctant, I say, there is definitely a story. Maybe even a fairy tale ending. Like these.

Marico, an Indian manufacturer of popular coconut-based health and beauty products was struggling to source its vital ingredient from an extremely fragmented supply market. There were two choices, both difficult - buy coconuts from hundreds of thousands of individual tree climbers or deal with unscrupulous middlemen. Either way, the company had no visibility or predictability into its daily supply position. And, then the mobile revolution changed all that. The company registered the mobile phone numbers of coconut pickers and would text them the day's purchase price. The pickers responded with the quantity they were willing to supply. Job done. Middleman gone.

Hippo Baked Munchies, a popular Indian snacks brand faced a similar challenge, but at the opposite end of its supply chain. It retailed at over 400,000 stores, mainly the mom and pop variety.  Tracking inventory was an unending nightmare. It decided to seek help from its customers, asking them to tweet the location of a store that was out of stock. The brand rewarded them with attractive gift coupons for every shared lead. It put an efficient mechanism in place, which replenished within 48 hours. Customers were delighted with their goodie bags filling up . In no time, the number of Twitter trackers equaled half the company's sales and distribution strength. Sales jumped 76%. The rest, as they say, is history.

A similar tale awaits other brands. Of markets where the blue sky is the limit. Where they will encounter a few stiff challenges and many teething problems. But also a solution - in the form of innovation and creative use of technology - to overcome them all. And live happily ever after.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please key in the two words you see in the box to validate your identity as an authentic user and reduce spam.

Search InfyTalk

+1 and Like InfyTalk

Subscribe to InfyTalk feed

InfyTalk VBlogs: Watch Now

Infosys on Twitter