Craig Garvin, CEO, Australian Vintage, is right to enter the India market but needs to find the right way
The company behind McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenethe wines has set its sights set on affluent Indian consumers – but it might need to take a second look.
Australian Vintage Limited chief executive Craig Garvin believes the world’s second-most populous country, is “just like China”.
Yes, he is right that there are a million millionaires in Delhi and Mumbai – but does that equate to your market? These are the established wealthy, mainly male, and many are set in their ways.
Is a better market for Australian wines the young emerging wealthy of the future?
India is not “like China” – the Chinese population is much older and India has the youngest population on earth. Millennials and Gen Z are said to amount to around 750 million of India’s population. Known in India as the “demographic dividend”, this young population is the key to market entry for products like wine.
Already we know that sales of red wine are up in major urban centres, driven by demand from young women, educated and in the ranks of professionals and executives.
What distinguishes India for “premium” consumer products is that the market is young, it is emerging, it is a generation that instead of being “born someone” want to “become someone” and females are leading much of the consumer preferences of this young group. That is, it is ripe for change.
There is probably no other market like it in the world.
Other than its four main wine brands McGuigan, Tempus Two, Nepenethe and Barossa Valley Wine Company, Australian Vintage Limited also produces ready-made cocktail mixes under its Mr Stubbs brand, a range of gins under its Tempus Two brand, and a juice concentrate called Austflavour.
Australian Vintage is a strong company with some fabulous brands which will be just right for India – so long as the thinking and strategy is right.
As this year comes to a close, INTO INDIA reflects on the game changer – the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement.
It surprised us all. Many did not expect it to be signed. Nobody expected it to be so vast in potential impact.
ECTA will save Australian exporters around $2 billion a year in tariffs, while consumers and business will save around $500 million in tariffs on imports of finished goods, and inputs to our manufacturing sector.
The tariff commitments provided by India in the agreement will open up access for Australia’s exporters of products including critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, lentils, seafood, sheepmeat, horticulture and wine.
Australian service suppliers will benefit from full or partial access across more than 85 Indian services sectors and subsectors. Australian suppliers across 31 sectors and subsectors will be guaranteed the highest standard of treatment that India grants to any future free trade agreement partner.
Australian services sectors to benefit include higher education and adult education, as well as business services such as tax, architecture and urban planning.
ECTA will support tourism and workforce needs in regional Australia by making 1000 Work and Holiday Program places available to young adventurous Indians. It maintains opportunities for Indian students graduating in Australia to undertake post-study work, with a bonus year of stay for high-performing STEM graduates.
Around a dozen global consumer-facing companies reported robust growth in India in the January to March quarter, surpassing even pre-Covid levels with a high double-digit rate for several.
India is among the top-performing areas for several of these firms, including Unilever, Visa, Whirlpool, and Pernod.
Companies sold inventory amid increased Covid-19 instances and municipal restrictions, resulting in large discounts on some discretionary products such as apparel and shoes across platforms throughout the country. Several CEOs have also stated that they are increasing their investment in India.
Sales of everyday household products and basics grew mostly owing to price increases, as corporations raised prices to offset rising raw material, energy, packaging, and transportation costs.
Some of the best “corporate storytelling” is coming out of India
The most valuable companies in India include Tata Sons, Aditya Birla and Godrej. The most valuable in the world are Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft (with the order changing every now and then). These companies cover a wide range of sectors but there is one common element. A consistent and strategic content narrative.
That’s an area well understood by Mumbai-based The Information Company (TIC) which is positioned as a “content, creative and digital agency preferred by India’s leading corporates”.
Corporate Storytellers. That’s how they like to be known.
The Information Company – Storytellers to India Inc
TIC started in 1999 and I have known them since 2004, when I connected with Founder Kiron Kasbekar, formerly Editor of The Economic Times (Bombay), Business Editor of The Times of India, and Managing Editor of Business India.
TIC has been ‘living and breathing’ content for more than 20 years, with its foundations built by top-notch journalists who brought their expertise in impactful storytelling to the game. Since then, TIC has added technologists, graphic designers, writers, videographers, and SEO specialists to the mix to execute great communication projects.
Their storytelling services are being used by the some of India’s largest, most influential, and best brands – Tata Sons, Aditya Birla Group, Godrej, Mahindra Group, Ambuja Cement, Hindalco, Fino, Cipla, Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel, Capgemini, Weber Shandwick, and many more.
Storytelling for a purpose
TIC doesn’t just tell stories – the focus on storytelling towards a purpose, whether that is building digital brand identity, promoting business interests, creating perceptions, or reaching out to stakeholders.
One of the most unleveraged areas of communication is ‘thought leadership’, with much of it being overt promotion or semi-advertising. Here, TIC has been able to carve out a niche – crafting the voices of corporate brand and corporate leaders, and delivering good thought leadership content that is credible, engaging, accurate and consistent.
One of their unique skills is to write authored articles on behalf clients across industries such as automotive, aviation, chemical, consumer products, energy, engineering, IT, insurance, oil & gas, pharma, mining, manufacturing and infrastructure.
Blogs for Interaction
Blogs is another area where, for many organisations, things go wrong. The most common mistake is to come across as self-promoting. Or the organisation starts a blog but tires of it – so their latest blog is two or three years ago. Not a good look.
But the blog can be immensely valuable – it is the one platform for any company to connect with all its stakeholders, interact with them, connect like-minded enthusiasts and so on – through focused storytelling. No wonder then that TIC creates over 30 blogs every month.
Websites that just don’t sit there
Owned communication assets such as websites should not be static – they need to be information rich, and continually updated. They are the first stop for information that is used by investors, clients, media, prospective customers, prospective employees, regulatory bodies. The website is a critical and strategic asset to broadcast the corporate narrative.
Tata Chemicals, Tata Trusts, Rallis, Lupin, Hindalco, Ambuja Cement Foundation, and Suzlon are just some of TIC’s website clients. And this does not include the list of intranet clients!
Sometimes, a visual story tells more than a thousand words. Infographics are mostly data driven – the magic lies in crafting a coherent story around data.
By writing compelling text and presenting it in an efficient and visually pleasing manner, TIC ensures that an engaging story emerges from each Infographic. This form of content is its way, both art and science.
Campaigns – traction and reaction
Engaging with employees – especially in an age of WFH – has taken on a new significance. Companies often rely on emailer campaigns to connect. But how do we gain traction and reaction?
Whether the campaign is to showcase business achievements, announce a product launch or an event, highlight business achievement, connect with employees or other stakeholders, TIC partners several big corporates to put in the right words to their thoughts.
Social media campaigns take the need for creativity to another level. Here too TIC builds award-winning strategic campaigns for clients such as Godrej and Hindalco.
Video now “most effective”
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 1.8 million – that is the view of TIC, and they see video as “the most effective way to narrate a story”. Be it explainer, animated, VFX, event, HR videos or corporate films, TIC creates videos for Aditya Birla Group, Sterling & Wilson, Asian Paints, and Hindalco.
Beware of stepping into ‘content overload’, a sign of our times. How do you ensure ‘thumb-stopping’, shareworthy content for your brand? One easy hack is to make sure the content is dynamic, visually rich and – most important – interactive! Adding a layer of interactivity to your content – blogs, posts, videos, graphics, podcasts, whatever – will add to brand recall and engagement. Even a simple quiz, for instance, becomes interactive content and can be a game changer for your brand. And that is what TIC delivers.
Awards tell the story
Recognition is the best sequel to creativity. TIC has won a slew of awards for its work – here is just a tiny fraction of the recent accolades won:
Double Platinum at the ‘AVA Digital Awards 2022’ for Tata Sons e-magazine and a video for Sterling & Wilson Renewable Energy Ltd
‘Mint Marketing Award 2021’ for Hindalco’s #WomenAtHindalco social media campaign
Gold for Hindalco’s internal newsletter at the ‘Afaqs! Digies 2021’
Bronze for Aditya Birla Group’s #HaathUthanaZarooriHai video at the ‘Velocity Awards’
Best Content agency at ‘The Great Indian Content Marketing Awards 2021’
For more on how TIC can support your communication objectives, just drop a message on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better still, call at +91 842 581 4016 / 17.
I want to thank my friend Gopi Shankar for drawing my attention to this stunning development for Indian startups. Gopi is based in Bangalore (Bengaluru) and is Director – Trade & Industry | Global Victoria, Victorian Government Trade and Investment.
Money flowed into Indian startups in 2021 like never before. The ecosystem broke all the previous records in terms of fundraising and minting unicorns during the 12 month–period. According to data compiled by Fintrackr, total investments that flowed into Indian startups stood close to $38 billion in 2021. This is over three times more than the $11.1 billion in total funding that startups received during 2020.
Fintrackr’s data further shows that 1,391 startups mopped up $37.98 billion across 1,625 deals in 2021 which included 380 growth and late-stage startups and 948 early-stage startups. Among them, 297 startups, mainly early-stage, did not disclose their deal size.
Follow the lead of successful businesses who have advanced by integrating Indian culture and values into their offering.
Abandon the “quick sale” old mindset and adopt patience and a long-term view.
Model your business on Macquarie Bank – this works whether you are a large or small enterprise. Their central plank for India was partnering is the key to success.
Abhishek Poddar, Managing Director, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) “India is one market where you need deep experience if you’re going to be successful. You have to take the time to appreciate and understand its unique culture and ways of working.”
Be clear about what India wants. Macquarie saw infrastructure and clean energy opportunities and focused just on them.
Most successful businesses in India have some philanthropic activity – this is highly worthwhile and well regarded in India.
Establish good relations with Government at Central and State levels – this is vital to being accepted in India.
Consider options such as acquisitions and partnerships which can speed up your market acceptance.
Be there for the long haul – Deakin University continues to make gains in India and has been present there for over 25 years.
Develop a local Indian team and allow them to apply their own culture – within your larger business culture.
Retail growth in north and west India (Delhi and Mumbai) biggest increase
According to the Retailers Association of India’s (RAI) latest business survey, retail sales in India increased 10% in February this year compared to the same month last year, indicating that the industry is returning to normalcy. The increase is also a 6% increase over February 2020.
Growth in the regions might provide a guide on where your best brand opportunities are – Retail firms in all regions showed growth in February 2022, with sales in West India up 16% YoY, East India increased by 4%, North India increased by 17%, and South India had a 4% increase.
Consumer durables and electronics, food and grocery, and quick service restaurants (QSR) all saw strong YoY increase of 28%, 19%, and 16%, respectively.
The apparel and footwear categories have also shown double-digit increase.
Talking to your State Government India business offices and to Austrade is a good idea – and have a chat with those who have been there before you.