When a global ink maker entered the Indian market, it decided to bypass dealers. It rapidly won customers, market share and profits. But at a high cost. Soon it saw its market share under pressure from disgruntled dealers. How can it win back the high ground?
Mahesh Bhagat, CEO of Excellent Inks India, was a worried man. A consensus leader and a team builder, he had consistently supported the decisions of his sales head (Jay Anand) and marketing head (Rohit Singh). At first their ideas had worked. As he told them, "On this day exactly a year ago, we were celebrating the fact that we had captured a market share of 10% from next to nothing. Today we have lost market share. We are down by 3% and our market share is a shaky 7%. We need to grow, please put together some ideas on our options." They set a week from Thursday for the review.
Excellent Inks India (EII) is at an interesting phase of its growth trajectory. A 100% subsidiary of one of the world's largest ink makers, EII set up shop in India two years ago when it built a state-of-the-art ISO 9001 manufacturing plant at Shyamnagar in Tamil Nadu. EII's technology, manufacturing process, quality control and quality assurance system conform to Excellent Inks International's global standards.
At EII, customer service goes beyond the supply of the inks. EII believes in operating as a strategic partner with its valuable customers, and is open to discussing a wide range of issues with them. To meets the service requirements of its customers, EII set up eight offices in India with local color matching centers. It also developed an in-house advisory on printing technology for customers.
The ink business's market size is Rs2.4bn, with 288 suppliers competing...