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

However, what we've seen is that since lockdown 3.0, from the last week of April, we have seen a really good demand in tier 3 and tier 4 cities which have been largely unaffected by the pandemic. The cases have been much lower and people are quite confident in carrying on with their daily chores in a far more brisk manner. So we have seen a pickup in business. People are no longer saying "I have to only stay indoors". I think they are learning to live with the pandemic by taking care of themselves, by being safe and taking precautions; we need to because life has to go on. From that point of view, business is opening.

There's another thing that is coming up in this time of uncertain and volatile environment will help the bigger brands because there is more consolidation and the weaker players are not able to sustain themselves, and the larger companies have more resources to deal with that. So how do you see that evolving?

It's a matter of is the brand investing enough with the stakeholders. I think bigger brands tend to invest much more with respect to all their stakeholders be it customers, retailers, contractors, architects, or designers. We have been doing exactly that from the last 6-8 weeks. So we have not curbed our spends on marketing, we have spent a lot on digital and ATL films which are going on air. Therefore we are investing from the consumer's point of view.

I feel in such a scenario when you are taking care of all your stakeholders, you're putting all your innovation in the market. At the same time, you're also taking care of your dealers and contractors by providing slightly better credit, better comfort in terms of doing business.

The tendency would be to go towards the bigger brand which has always been taking care of you and batting with you in this environment. So to that extent, I think bigger brands would have leverage in terms of investing in the market because you don't bat for the short term. So whether it is internal customers like employees, your workers who are there in the factories or even the contract employees, you are taking care of them in the long term. So that is where big brands would score in holding the hands of its stakeholders.

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