Apart from its proposed full-fledged rural format stores, it is to tap the oil companies' distribution channels for its products.

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Sept. 13

Sensing a shift in the rural market showing preference for branded products, TTK Prestige has stepped up its efforts to tap the huge potential in the sector to increase market reach.

One such effort, apart from its proposed full-fledged rural format stores, is to tap the oil companies' distribution channels for its products such as LPG stoves and even pressure cookers. Against an industry average of 8 per cent, Prestige witnessed a growth of 25-30 per cent to emerge as the largest seller of pressure cookers and cookware at 16.25 lakh last year, thanks to its innovative products and intense retail campaign through its exclusive `Smart Kitchen' stores.

Increasing awareness

Mr Chandru Kalro, Executive Vice-President (Marketing), told

Business Line

that increasing awareness about value of branded products, driven by the bourgeoning modern retail format and exposure to television would also have their impact on rural market.

He said the urban market showed a good response to the experiment of using the oil company sales forces for distribution of LPG gas stoves and accessories and cookers as well. The company was contemplating to leverage the brand equity of the oil companies and Prestige to extend the experiment to the rural market.

TTK Prestige already had a tie up with the BPCL while it was in talks with Indian Oil Corporation and HPCL for distribution of its kitchen products for both urban and rural markets.

The company has set up about 15 stores in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and it plans to expand it to 50 stores by the end of this year. These stores would be vending the TTK group's entire range of products including personal and body care brand of Eva, wellness articles such as Scholl shoes and baby care products such as gripe water.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 14, 2006)
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