July 2020 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE—ASIAN PAINTS
“People don’t really punish good brands”

In an interview with IANS, Amit Syngle, MD and CEO, Asian ...

By Sanjeev Sharma

So I would say that the current trend, at least for the next 3-4 months, the painting would be more from the point of view of maintenance. But I think as we go ahead when the environment gets a little more comfortable and uncertainty reduces, people will start spending more on their homes in terms of decorating and beautifying their homes.

With this uncertainty, there have been some analysts that have talked about risks to Asian Paints revenue growth and the second concern is about downsizing the brand and for a cheaper alternative. So how do you respond to concerns over revenue?

One strong trend that is taking shape is that people don't really punish good brands. In fact, during uncertain times, people get back into the solace of brands that are trusted and care for you.

Therefore, a brand that has been holding the customer's hand for a long time and a brand that really cares would stand to benefit because people don't down trade such brands. But what people might do is, if I have a super-premium offering and I have a value offering, there could be a down trading between those products within the same brand. But I am sure people don't go away from a brand that they trust; trust that has been built over a while. Also, we are already seeing the trend where people may not go for a super luxury finish, but they may go for a value-for-money finish which comes from the same brand, which from the customer's point of view, is more trusted and more reliable.

As far as overall business goes, yes overall business would take a little bit of a toll because April has not been a very good month and for most of the period, the entire country was in lockdown. This has been common for all brands across the country.