Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Insurance Sector Is Bullish and Poised For Growth:

Life Insurance Is the Most Preferred Investment Option by Indians

(A study by AC Nielsen Co., Nielsen Life 2008 survey)

The vast array of investment options available in the Indian market today is an indicator of the robust growth the market is experiencing. As the different financial categories jostle to win consumers’ confidence and trust, life insurance still reigns as the preferred investment instrument

Nielsen Life 2008 is a syndicated study to provide insurance players an understanding of the overall Indian insurance market. It gauges awareness, perceptions, concerns, motivators/barriers, satisfaction levels and usage towards insurance among retail consumers.

List of future investment instruments in percentage by respondents:

Life insurance (30%)

Bank Fixed Deposits (11%)

Gold (7%)

Property (7%)

Life Insurance Child Plans (6%).

Remaining 62% is spread over other financials such as equities, debt instruments etc.

In the wake of the global financial meltdown, most investors are looking at options which help them safeguard their capital. Life insurance is seen to be one such avenue.

The three key triggers for buying life insurance are Family Protection in case of untimely death, Retirement Corpus and Securing Child’s Future.

Interestingly Insurance for Child emerged as a key trigger compared to the previous leg of the survey in 2004. Tax exemption as a trigger to purchase insurance has dropped significantly compared to 2004.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Unique “Idea” ID:

Over the last year, it would have not missed Abhishek Bacchan as “Sirjee” solving the identification problems of the villagers by giving them unique identity of their cellular telephone numbers. It was a very creative concept. The data though isn’t available to ascertain whether it resulted in sales for Idea cellular.

Idea cellular is showing new ads taking credit for the unique ID project of the government. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is an agency that will provide unique identity cards to citizens to ensure that the benefits of the government's flagship schemes reach the people. It is under the chairmanship of legendary IT personality Mr. Nandan Nilekani.

With these new ads, Idea cellular is trying to relate itself to the government program which would give them credibility and a natural association with the program in the mind of all Indians. The program is a pioneering effort and if Idea can pull off this coup of association with the unique ID project, it would always remain in the annals of history as associated with this project.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First mover advantage- make sure you wrestle the advantage:

Al Ries and Jack trout in their book “Positioning” said that “it is better to be first than it is to be better”. The book gives the examples of IBM being first in mainframe computes, Kodak first in photos, Ford in cars among a lot of other great examples. This concept talks about the first-mover advantage and how advantageous it is. We will look at this concept from Indian point of view specifically related to the television content since the advent of satellite channels.

Can you name the first General entertainment channels in India? Zee TV. Although star plus, Sony TV and the latest Colors have made inroads in GECs, it was Zee which started the entertainment revolution through shows such as Tara, Banegi apni baat, zee horror show etc. Zee TV is still among the top 3 is not the topper. Star plus was an English channel showing programs such as Bold and Beautiful, Baywatch. The converted star plus to a Hindi channel and started a new channel called star world for such English programs. This is an example of starting a ‘new category’ which will be covered in another literature part.

Can you name the first saas-bahu show which catapulted star plus into the limelight and helped it overtake Zee TV? Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi (KSBKBT). It, along with ‘Kahaani ghar ghar kii’ and ‘Kasauti zindagi kii’, spawned a new genre of shows and there was a rush of “me-too” shows on other channels too. Some of them were successful and some weren’t. These three shows continued to rule the roost for the next 8-10 years with hundreds of episodes. Did some one say first mover advantage..

Can you name the first reality show on Indian television? Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). It not only extended the lead which star plus had over other channels but also took them miles ahead of competition. Is there any other reality show which could create that magic and the Television rating points (TRPs). Hardly any. ‘Sawaal ek crore ka’ and ‘jeto chappar padh ke’ on Zee TV and Sony failed miserably. Even Shah Rukh Khan as host of KBC couldn’t bring the TRPs. ‘Dus ka Dum’ and ‘Kya aap panchvi pass hai’ were successful but not as much. Did anyone say first mover….

Which was the first laughter show? Laughter Club on Star one. The ‘me-too’ products such as ‘comedy circus’, ‘hans baliye’, ‘chote ustad’ and others haven’t been as famous as laughter club.

Which was the first sports channel? Star sports. New sports channels such as Ten sports, SET MAX, DD Sports, Zee sports haven’t been as successful. People remember Harsha Bhogle from star sports only and too a certain extent, the noodle straps by Mandira Bedi on SET MAX.

Which was the first cartoon channel? Cartoon Network. Hungama, Nickelodeon, Jetix, Disney channel also were launched but ask any child and the first name he would say is ‘Cartoon network’. Although ‘Shin Chan’ is famous, for children, cartoon means only Cartoon Network. First mover advantage isn’t it…

Third goes to show that the concept of first mover still holds true and will continue to do so since people often remember the first new thing that they see or feel. First impression shouldn’t be the last impression but unfortunately it becomes the first impression, although unintentionally. Thus it is better to be first than it is to be better.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi advertisement- a paradigm shift:

A new phase of advertisement execution has been pioneered by Bajaj pulsar 220s new ad. This should not take you by surprise though when I tell you the person behind the bike. Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto has always been a step ahead of his times. He ventures Bajaj scooters into bikes when he saw the future of two wheelers. Scooters were soon going to be passé and bikes were the new mode of transport for the new and young India. He saw the stiff competition from Hero Honda, Yamaha and TVS although TVS wasn’t into bikes when Bajaj started.

Bajaj initially collaborated with Kawasaki but later launched its own Pulsar brand which was a runaway success. Bajaj has bought its indigenously made twin spark technology engine Pulsar 220 into the market. It is one of the highest CC bike from an Indian manufacturer to be launched in India.

The new ad showcases the bike with an international appeal. The ad seems to have been shot in the cowboy belt of Texas. Another point is that the ad shows the bike for approximately just about 10 seconds in an ad time of a minute. The ad isn’t making an emotional or a practical pitch. These types of ads are prevalent in the western developed world where the audiences have matured to advertisements. It’s a first-of-its-kind in India and that’s the reason I said a paradigm shift.

The ad ends with the words, “the fastest Indian”. For the first time, an Indian bike has boasted of the ‘speed’ feature. This has differentiated the bike from other bikes. This is a new thing too for Indian customers. Till now all bikes talked about mileage, looks, safety, comfort and other features since speed has never been a forte of these bikes due to their small cc engines. A case in point is the latest Hero Honda ad talking about great mileage or the glamour ad talking about ‘style’. The new bike ventures into a very high cc category for Indian bikes where it doesn’t find any competition from Indian bikes atleast. There are other bikes with higher cc, but they are not as commercially viable as this in terms of looks, price and comfort.

The ad would definitely appeal to the urban young that did not have a speed machine to ride. They had seen the high CC Hayabusas and Thunderbirds in films but this is a bike which will give them an almost similar feel. So don’t be surprised the next time you see a bike zooming by on marine drive before you bat an eyelid.