Rajeev Bajaj in an interview with Mr. Kinshuk Gupta unfolds the journey and strong legacy behind the making of Singer in India
Journey of Singer in India
Since 1871 the name SINGER has been synonymous with sewing in India. Singer as brand in India has stood quite strong against stiff competition from other brands.
Journey of Singer India has its share of success and failures, during the year 2000 Singer India was going through some difficult times but with the dedication of loyal employee base, hard work and commitment to bounce back we took the challenge to rebuild it and we came out as a winner. I think this was our most significant achievement.
The Brand is No.1 in sewing machines across the world but in India we may not be the leader but we are one of the top brands in the industry. It has been a tough task but our efforts have constantly been rising, so we took a step forward to re-entered home appliances category to further diversify our business. Our practice has always been to maximize returns to our shareholders with increase in machines and appliances both.
Our challenge is to make brand synonymous to youngsters or mid age people in India today. One of the steps that we are taking today is to adopt digital marketing. Promotion of the brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and E-commerce trading that has helped us reach our selective target audience. Another challenge that I feel is that the brand is quite known, however its presence is not felt. Recognizing the profitability of expansion to digital sphere and other ways to generate brand recall, we are investing in the market with respect to our profitability.
FUTURE OF SEWING MACHINES
Until we will be wearing clothes, Sewing machines will be required. The questions changes with who will be the ultimate user in the future? Whether a tailor or household or factories. Singer was the first to introduce a set of versatile machines to India. For instance, we have a new set of machines that run through computers. We have introduced it abroad and now are bringing it to the Indian market. But to my understanding, the major share of market in India is still of the conventional Black Machines. People are not aware of the new range of machines and comparatively are slightly expensive as to the conventional machines. In India we have to recognize factors and work on reducing this parity between the two and provide customers with more. Though the traditional machines have also tremendously benefitted our consumers, the new range of machines seeks to provide more comfort. As we call them, they are not just machines but “Fashion Makers”. So the manual stress has been drastically reduced by these fashion makers as they automatically works on the designing, embroidery and more.
Make people aware about the machine at the same time being able to reduce the cost in the future are our current challenges.
The reach of the computerized machines is also more restricted to metro cities. One of the dominant reasons is the fear in the minds of consumer. A lot of people think that these machines are much complex and difficult to use. Therefore, as Singer’s punch line says “Sewing made easy” we are trying to conduct programs and demonstrate its usage in the interiors and tier 2 cities, making our consumers more comfortable with the machines.
Today only 10-15 percent machines are technologically advanced, the rest 90 percent is still held by conventional machines. In coming 5 years the percentage might go up by 15 percent more.
We wanted to expand our Business and reach so we thought of getting into the appliances sector. For instance, in Srilanka we process our Multi Brand Retail Chain. As Singer in the past had been associated with household and has carried a very strong legacy, similarly we wanted to expand our business in kitchen and electronic appliances and make Singer synonymous as a household brand. And we have seen revolutionary changes.