FURNITURE AND INTERIORS GROUP
April 2003 saw the formation of the Furniture and Interiors Group, in which the erstwhile Storwel and Furniture Divisions were amalgamated with the objective of serving customers better and utilising facilities to manufacture and deliver products at globally competitive prices. ANIL S. MATHUR, the Group’s Chief Operating Officer, gives readers an update of its performance in the last financial year.
2003-2004: A Landmark Year
he newly formed Furniture and Interiors Group (FIG) required new ways of working and thinking, focusing on strengths and eliminating weaknesses to take on the challenges and forge ahead. We had to realign, revamp and rebuild the six Ps — Products, Processes, People, Price, Place and Promotion — in order to realise our dream, delight the customer and stymie the competition. In an open market, facing local, national and international competition, and with the customer calling the shots, this was not going to be an easy task. But we did it! Team FIG delivered the goods, thanks to the hard work of all the members of the FIG parivar. The Group not only grew by 25 per cent, but exceeded its target by 11.7 per cent.
We set new milestones in virtually every sphere of activity, from production to despatch, exports, productivity and customer satisfaction. The improvements are there for all to see.
Our success in the field was backed by Manufacturing, which also hit new highs! So, whether it was modular furniture production hitting 6 crores for the first time or FIG as a business producing 40 crores in March 2004 alone, we reached new levels of production in each of our Plants. The synergies that our Manufacturing team derived from different Plants helped in higher production and timely despatches. Not to be outdone, our workmen productivity also increased by 13 per cent.
The changes introduced in the six Ps helped the FIG get more business in the first year and also brought about successes with new customers. We bagged major Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services accounts for the first time, such as e-Serve, Sutherlands Technologies, IBM et al. History was created when the first order for 200 workstations from e-Serve was manufactured, supplied and installed in 14 days at Chennai! Success in Seatings continued with major accounts like TCS, Wipro, and breakthroughs with Convergys and Kanbay.
Our disciplined diversification into Laboratory Solutions and Turnkey Solutions started paying dividends with the Turnkey business notching up orders from National India Assurance, the Centre for Development of Telematics, New Delhi, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the National Institute for Entrepreneurship & Business Development at Noida. The Laboratory Solutions business also made breakthroughs with Ranbaxy, Serum Institute and Sandoz.
The Home team, too, had its share of successes. Apart from many Branches achieving their targets, Godrej Perfect Home Showrooms were set up in more than 130 locations all over the country either through dealers or franchisees. During the year, we added a wide variety of products viz. television trolleys, dining sets, bedroom sets and living/drawing room furniture. Godrej Perfect Home is indeed moving close to becoming a national brand with a pan-India presence. Approximately 8,000 additional consumers were added to the steel cupboards consumer base. Slimline gave an excellent boost to business volumes and is well on its way to being the top-selling model in the cupboards range.
On the Exports front, the FIG team set new records with many big ticket orders - the supply of 20,000 desks-cum-benches to Afghanistan from the Government of India, 5,000 cupboards for the U.S. army in Iraq - which helped to improve our performance over the last year by 80 per cent and exceed the annual target by 5 per cent. The Steelcase furniture and Milliken carpets portfolios of FIG also posted phenomenal growth of over 250 per cent over last year, exceeding the set annual targets by 110 per cent for Steelcase and 71 per cent for the Milliken portfolio with big orders from Accenture (Mumbai and Bangalore), and Grape City for both these portfolios. Other new customers were Yahoo, Pharmanet, Trinity, Avaya, Reuters, Lupin Labs and Bloomberg.
The new brand “Formula S” offices launched for Institutional products have created a stir in the marketplace. Godrej Perfect Home, our brand for Home products, is also becoming popular.
Awards and Recognitions
We also bagged several awards: FIG, Plant-13 stood second in Maharashtra at the Health and Safety Contest conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Plant-14 stood first in the Mutual Aid Group Contest on Industrial Safety Performance.
The All-India Best Branch Award for Institutional Sales went to the Bangalore Branch, which topped in Desired Sales. The All-India Best Branch Award for Home sales went to the Lucknow Branch, which scored high on Desired Sales; number of Perfect Home Showrooms opened and Innovation in sales promotion. Further, during the recent Annual Sales Meet, we recognised Branches which topped their region’s product, linewise, to encourage focus on each product line. We awarded the Best Branch Product linewise in the Institutional segment to Jabalpur for Desking, Hyderabad for Seating, Bangalore for OPOS and Mumbai for Storages. For Home Furniture, the prizes went to the Ghaziabad Branch in the north, Bhopal in the west, Guwahati in the east and Bangalore in the south. For the Home range category, the award went to Pune in the west, Chandigarh in the north, Kolkata in the east and Vizag in the south.
We instituted some special awards at Head Office and Plant-level too. The Shri S.P. Godrej Award for Social Commitment was awarded to employees who have dedicated themselves to serving society in some way; the Shri N.P. Godrej Award for Innovation was awarded to those employees who initiated some Cultural change in the organisation or brought about process improvements; and the Shrimati Soonuben Godrej Award was given for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Academics. We also had awards in the Management and Workmen category. One of the awards was based on an Internal Customer Satisfaction Survey for the Best Department. Plant-1, Steel Processing Plant - Stores, won the Best Department Award.
At FIG, every team member is committed and ever ready to take up new challenges. The team has proved that they are sensitive to achieving both the top line as well as the bottom line.
The challenge for 2004-2005 is to grow by over 20 per cent. We have set ourselves a target of over Rs. 430 crores, although we want to reach a height of Rs. 500 crores. We plan to forge ahead in the new businesses, Laboratory and Interiors, in a big way. We plan to invest in machinery, brand building and manpower training.
We have grown. But so has the competition, both national and international, and, today, if we have to surmount all the challenges, we will have to develop and innovate in order to continue to lead. We have also decided to restructure our organisation at the Branch level. Sales will now be separated from commercial activities, so that our customer contact time can be maximised. The commercial structure will be complementary to the sales organisation and work in close tandem to ensure that the sales workforce not only meet their goals, but exceed them.
To remain at the numero uno position, we need new ways of working, determination and purpose along with new products in our basket. We also need to continue with cost-cutting exercises in every sphere of activity and to maintain a positive attitude.
I am confident that with the support of all the members of the FIG parivar, we will realise our dream.
urniture and Interiors Group celebrated the successful completion of its first year with the “Chale Chalo” evening on 3 April, 2004. A thousand plus strong Godrej parivar came together at Pirojshanagar not only to celebrate the Group’s success, but also to rededicate itself to be a formidable force in the Furniture industry.
Furniture and Interiors Group (FIG) was formed a year ago when the erstwhile Storwel and Furniture Divisions were amalgamated with the objective of serving customers better and utilising the Company’s facilities to manufacture and deliver products at globally competitive prices. The “Chale Chalo” evening commenced with the lighting of the lamp by Chairman and Managing Director Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej and by other dignitaries. This was followed by the theme address, a skit on Safety, awards distribution, an audio-visual on FIG, followed by the addresses of dignitaries. In his address, Anil S. Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, FIG, attributed the success of FIG in the year 2003-2004 to the hard work and toil of all its members. He stressed the importance of the Group having a purpose, a determination and exploring new ways of working in order to continue to be a market leader.
The evening was enjoyed by one and all, concluding with an orchestral entertainment and buffet dinner.
The highlight of the evening was the confidence reposed in FIG by the top management to take on challenges, to grow and to lead the Company to greater heights in the years to come.
Annual Sales Conference
to 12 April, 2004 saw the FIG Sales and Service personnel (in two batches) at the Annual Training programmes at The Retreat, Mumbai. The programme covered Strategic Business Direction, Marketing Plan, New Products, New Systems and Processes, Supply Issues, Quiz, Branch Performance, Awards Distribution for Sales Performance over the last financial year, besides Plant and Knowledge Centre visits at Pirojshanagar. The FIG (Home) team was also exposed to Retail Management by the National Institute of Sales - Sparta. The Sales and Service personnel got new inputs from this training programme.
It was a good mix of learning and fun for all.
Actress Preity Zinta is on a diet, but is constantly tempted by a chocolate cake lying in her refrigerator. The cake looks fresh and succulent, and divinely tempting each time she opens the refrigerator. Finally, Preity succumbs to the temptation and finds the perfect excuse to eat the cake. She celebrates her birthday in advance with her friends. This is no real life story, but a reel life one. Preity doesn’t open just any refrigerator, but a Godrej Pentacool Refrigerator. Yes, this is the latest ad campaign of the Godrej Pentacool. DEEPA KRISHNAN, Assistant General Manager (Marketing), Appliance Division, writes more about the new advertising campaign of Summer 2004.
Godrej Pentacool Refrigerators:
“Khana Rakhe Fresh Khane Tak”
Division entered Summer 2004 with a new advertising campaign featuring
The new campaign marks a shift in the brand’s positioning platform. A recent Need segmentation study conducted to mine consumer insights showed that with the evolution of the category, consumers were shifting from basic needs like Cooling to higher order needs like Preservation and Customisation. As a result, the new brand proposition for Godrej is “Specialised Cooling that Preserves Freshness”. The big revelation was that consumers evaluate Freshness sensorially. Food that is stored in the refrigerator should look, taste and feel the same as at the time when it was put inside. Another interesting development is that with consumers increasingly experimenting with a variety of food in their kitchens, the refrigerator has moved from being a boring cold storage box to an exciting food factory.
All these insights have been beautifully captured in the simple and relevant advertising idea, “Khana Rakhe Fresh Khane Tak”. The product has also seen an innovation in the form of the new Electronic Cooling system in the Refrigerator. Unlike ordinary refrigerators that have Electromechanical cooling, the new Pentacool Refrigerators have the “Pentafresh” technology that allows for precision cooling inside the refrigerator, thereby keeping food fresher for a longer time.
Godrej Pentacool had a high visibility Media campaign on television as well as in print. On television, Godrej Pentacool has been the most visible Refrigerator brand in the months of April and May across all key national and regional channels. In addition to cable and satellite channels, the advertising is also on Doordarshan. The “Khana Rakhe Fresh Khane Tak” campaign has a young and modern outlook, and is liked immensely by one and all.
The year 2004-2005 has begun on an excellent note for the Appliance Division with sales of refrigerators crossing the 1 lac mark in April. This once again bears testimony to the tremendous pull that the brand enjoys. Godrej Pentacool has values such as trust and reliability as its enduring essence. Today, it is also seen as a modern and dynamic brand, and appeals to the younger generation. In many ways, Godrej Pentacool has been able to bridge the great divide between generations.
Clocking Record Sales
ome summer, the Refrigerator industry is all set to maximise sales. Did you know that 28 per cent of the annual Refrigerator sales happen in the months of April and May? Keeping this in mind, the Appliance Division set the ambitious target of selling 1 lac Refrigerators in April 2004.
This year April also witnessed one of the worst heat waves across India. As the mercury rises, Refrigerators become a priority durable for consumers. A combination of a strong distribution network (both in terms of width and depth of distribution) and products available at different prices to suit consumer budgets helped the sales team go all out and take advantage of the prevailing consumer sentiments.
The Appliance Division started the new financial year with a bang by achieving the target of 1 lac Refrigerator sales in the month of April. In fact this is for the first time in the history of Godrej that the 1 lac mark of Primary Sales of Refrigerators has been crossed! One of the key contributors to the success was the outstanding performance of our North Zone, which contributed to 50 per cent of the total sales with a growth of 21 per cent over last year. South Zone also contributed by growing at a staggering rate of 24 per cent over last year. It was indeed a commendable achievement of the Sales team given the fiercely competitive nature of the industry. Credit is also due to the Manufacturing and Logistic teams for their excellent support without which this achievement would not have been possible.
Another key ingredient in this achievement was the new ad campaign, which commenced in the first week of April. The campaign created awareness for new product offerings such as the Electronic and Steel Finish variants in the Direct Cool and Frost Free segments, and helped in generating enquiries.
With the sale of 1 lac Refrigerators under its belt, Appliance Division is full of confidence. It went all out to do an encore in the month of May. After all, what better way to start the new financial year!
New SmartCool Air Conditioners
he Division launched the new range of SmartCool Air Conditioners in March 2004. The SmartCool Air Conditioners (ACs) were showcased to dealers of the West and North in two major conferences in Mumbai and New Delhi, respectively. Chairman and Managing Director, Jamshyd N. Godrej, was also present to interact with dealers in both the cities during the launch conferences. The shows generated a tremendous response.
Our foray in ACs is a natural extension to enable us to emerge as a full-line Appliances company. AC is the fastest growing segment in the Appliance industry. The Godrej brand is known for great cooling through its strong presence in Refrigerators and, therefore, there is tremendous synergy with ACs. The wide service network in Refrigerators is another strength that Godrej can use to its advantage in this category.
The new range has a stunning array of Window ACs (four models) and Split ACs (three models). SmartCool ACs are designed for use in homes and offices. The Window models come in 1 and 1.5 tonne capacities. The Premium Window AC has many state-of-the-art features such as powerful compressor, power saver controls, digital temperature display, anti-bacteria filter, etc. The Split models are available in the 1, 1.5 and 2 tonne capacities. Unlike a conventional Split AC, the Godrej Split AC has a unique flat front Indoor Unit, which makes the AC smart to look at and quiet while in operation.
The entire range has been designed in the Godrej Research and Development Centre as per ISI standards. All the ACs sport imported rotary compressors and are equipped with an advanced cooling circuit that is robust enough to withstand peak Indian summers. These ACs are assembled in a modern manufacturing line at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. The product has been well accepted by the trade for its superior looks and features.
The advertising campaign for Godrej SmartCool Air Conditioners started in April 2004 with a series of print ads. The communication actually dramatises one of the most important factors while buying an AC - “Powerful Cooling”. The 1.5 tonne Window AC is being positioned as India’s most powerful cooling AC with a 19,656 BTU (British Thermal Unit) per hour compressor. In addition to mass media, direct consumer contact at the ground level through roadshows in metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai are also under way.
The market for Room ACs is growing at over 15 per cent and will cross a million units in 2004. Godrej aims to mark its presence in the industry with products that give superior cooling, durability and service at competitive prices.
he Locks Division, Kolkata Sales Team comprising Bikas Konar, Pinaki Guha and Pratip Swain gave a presentation to contractors and engineers of the Township Division of the Tata Group of Companies in Jamshedpur on 13 March, 2004.
All the participants had gathered for a Skill Enhancement Programme conducted by TISCO during which we took the opportunity to acquaint them with our Locks and Ultra locking solutions. The audio-visual presentation, along with display of our wide range of products, was explained to all the participants. Suggestions and feedback pertaining to our Locks were received from the audience. Godrej Locks distributor, M/s. Jamshedpur General Supplier, also actively participated in conducting this programme, which was the first of its kind in Jamshedpur.
We got excellent coverage in the local print media as well as in Hindustan Times and Udit Bani.
We have now made inroads into the Estate and Premises Department of the Tata Group of Companies for the promotion of Godrej Locks in Jamshedpur.
Godrej Handles Tyres
he world of marketing has several examples where organisations have modified products to serve specific needs only to realise that this customisation has emerged as a separate product category. Godrej Tyre Handler is one such success story.
A Tyre Handler is an attachment mounted on a Forklift Truck for removal, transportation, refitment and storage of giant tyres used on off-highway equipment such as dumpers, scrapers, wheel loaders, wheel dozers and other earth-moving equipment used in open cast mines, dumping yards and construction sites. Tyre Handlers can also stack, pile and sort tyres very quickly and safely. Tyre Handlers find application in open cast coalmines, steel, cement, bauxite and aluminum industries.
The first Godrej Tyre Handler was developed for South Eastern Coalfields in the early nineties using an imported attachment mounted on our Forklift Truck. Two such machines delivered then are working well till date. One more machine was delivered in the mid-nineties against global competition for a World Bank-aided-project of Coal India Ltd.
High cost of imported attachment and growing demand accelerated our efforts for development of an indigenous attachment in early 2001. Material Handling Equipment (MHE) Division received one of its most prestigious orders for four indigenously developed Tyre Handlers from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) against stiff competition. This attachment is typically required to handle large dumper tyres for maintenance, repair or replacement. Each tyre weighing up to a massive 3.5 to 4 tonnes has a diameter of 3.5 metres. The attachment is suitable for Head Rotation as well as Clamp Pad Rotation in 360 degrees in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. A strong 125 HP, 2,400 RPM engine with state-of-the-art Automatic Powershift Transmission powers this equipment to work in the repair workshop of MCL. The clear view mast improves visibility and operational safety. Based on the performance of these Tyre Handlers, MCL has recently placed a repeat order for two Tyre Handlers.
Orders have also been executed for South Eastern Coalfields, Lafarge, ACC, Rajeshwari Cement, Grasim and TISCO.
A complete range of Tyre Handlers has been developed to handle tyres of diameter 1.6 metres (0.5 tonne) to 3.6 metres (4.5 tonnes) mounted on Forklifts with capacities ranging from 3 tonnes to 10 tonnes.
The MHE Division today has on hand orders worth Rs. 3 crores from National Mineral Development Corporation, Mahanadi Coalfields and Western Coalfields.
With growing investment in the mining sector, there is good potential for Tyre Handlers in the coming years.
Showcasing Security Products
Roadshow At J.B. Nagar
he Mumbai Branch, Security Sales team, along with Wholesale Dealer Aditya Enterprises, had organised a Roadshow on 27 and 28 March at J.B. Nagar, Mumbai, to promote sales of the SED product range and create awareness of the various options available. Handbills were sent through newspaper vendors to all the societies and residential colonies located at J.B. Nagar, two days prior to the Roadshow.
People from different walks of life attended the Roadshow and quite a few products were sold off the shelf. Good number of enquiries were generated by Aditya Enterprises. These enquiries are now being followed up by our dealer.
Percy B. Master
Visit To Godrej Bhavan
hairman and Managing Director Jamshyd N. Godrej visited Godrej Bhavan, New Delhi, on 29 March, 2004. It was his first visit to the renovated Okhla Showroom, a great job done by Visual Merchandising Consultant, Manu Mansheet. It was in the fitness of things therefore that we requested Jamshyd Godrej to light the lamp to mark an auspicious beginning and successful performance of our premier Showroom.
He also appreciated the newly renovated stairs and landing area of the building where we had put up serigraphs of M.F. Hussein, which we had borrowed from Pheroza J. Godrej’s collection.
Jamshyd Godrej reviewed the business scenario as well, which included our performance in the last financial year. Based on the many valuable suggestions received from him, we have carried out quite a few changes/improvements on the premises in the following month.
Recognition Of Back Office Team
the end of a very successful and eventful 2003-2004, a small awards function
Training For Technicians
he Delhi Branch Security Equipment team also organised a Service training programme for Wholesale Dealers’ technicians on 24 April, 2004. The aim was to enrich the knowledge of technicians, mainly on our Currency Handling and Electronic Security Systems. Critical areas of installation in physical security products were also covered. Fifteen technicians sent by various Wholesale Dealers attended the programme.
Seminars For Local Technicians
n March 2004, the Appliance Division of Chandigarh Branch conducted technical seminars at 10 locations in Punjab and one at Jammu, covering approximately 450 technicians. The basic objective of these seminars was to train and update local technicians on the product changes, launch of our new range of compressors and apprise them on the plus points/advantages of Hydro Gas being used by us.
This activity, along with network expansion, has given a huge boost to the sale of our compressors. The compressors sale has grown from 6,200 numbers to 15,500 numbers.
A special word of appreciation goes to M.S. Bhaskar, our Regional Trainer, who has played a significant role in conducting these seminars.
third Perfect Home Showroom under Visakhapatnam Branch was opened at
Rajamundary by our Wholesale Dealer, Southern Agencies, on 14 April, 2004.
The first was opened by Wholesale Dealer Modern Trendz in Visakhapatnam, and
the second by Southern Agencies at Kakinada.
K. Suryanarayana, Deputy General Manager, Andhra Bank, Zonal Office, Kakinada, inaugurated the Showroom. Our Branch Manager B.P. Chinoy made the first sale to D. Dasirekha, who purchased a Wales Recliner and Ariana Sofa in Claret colour. Krishna Mohan, Managing Partner, Southern Agencies, was personally involved right from selecting the location of the Showroom to the display of products.
The Showroom is ideally located on the banks of river Godavari, with abundant parking area. The entire range of Perfect Home products was on display in an area of a little more than 1,500 square feet. There was a continuous flow of customers who were full of appreciation for the products.