How Bajaj Electricals is coping with Covid-19 situation

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on June 19, 2020

Anuj Poddar, Executive Director - Bajaj Electricals

Close on the heels of losing out on the key summer sales for the electrical appliances sector due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, demand revival is the most important focus area, said Anuj Poddar, Executive Director - Bajaj Electricals. Making the purchase process easier through the creation of omni-channel services, e-commerce and doorstep delivery, revival of advertising to ensure consumer engagement, cost measures, as well as rethinking of the product portfolio, are the ways in which Bajaj Electricals is trying to spur demand.

We have been aggressively working on different go-to-market models, Poddar told BusinessLine. It has created new omni-channel services to make the purchase process easier, which includes online and offline delivering and servicing of products. Apart from bolstering its e-commerce platform, the company is also ensuring that traditional retailers are also making doorstep delivery possible, he said.

Bajaj Electricals is also looking at its product portfolio, said Poddar. “We are looking at what will sell more at this point of time. Not everything will slow down and not everything will sell - therefore we are focusing more on the basic core SKUs and essentials, and pushing that rather than the fancy SKU products.”

Since the big cities are still reeling under a lockdown, the urban growth is slower than that of the rural market and small towns, Poddar noted. “The rural sector is bailing out India right now,” he added.

He believes that the electrical appliances industry will bounce back relatively faster than other sectors as it falls in the category of essentials, since it involves home utility items. He is also pinning hopes on the ‘feel good’ factor to improve as people have started going out for work and getting their salaries back.

The demand can bounce back for the electrical appliances industry in two-three months if the current post-lockdown trend continues, he said. “If not, then I think the challenge is going to be that we will have to revisit our plans for the rest of the year. What we are trying to do right now is - our top line is impacted - we are looking at cost measures. (That is), to quickly meet the bottom line targets for this year. If a second phase of lockdown happens, then we will not be able to meet that target. Demand revival is the most important thing now,” said Poddar.

As for the efficacy of the government’s economic revival package, he said that there could have been demand-centric measures, as the measures announced so far focus on supply and liquidity. “If they come up with that by August or September, that will help (the industry) before the festive season,” he said.

Published on June 19, 2020

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