Mitashi, the Japanese sounding Indian electronics company, is all set to double its marketing spends in the coming year. The brand that has earmarked about Rs 20 crore for marketing this year will scale it up to about Rs 50 crore next year.
The brand, was started 27 years ago by Rakesh Dugar, a chartered accountant, and Hasmukh Gada, a commerce graduate, as a video game console business, has traditionally laid more emphasis on building their distribution network and BTL marketing activities. But now the brand is not only looking at increasing its ATL marketing but also plans to start spending a lot more on digital marketing as well.
“BTL is a key thing in general trade and we spend a lot on BTL. Print and television are also equally important for us. Our spends on digital are negligible so far, less than 5% of our overall marketing budget but now want to increase our spend on digital as well,” said Rakesh Dugar, CMD, Mitashi.
Upping the digital spend makes sense because 20% of its sales last year came from digital platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.
While many call urban India a saturated market, according to Dugar Mitashi is growing exponentially in urban markets as well, thanks to digital. “20% of our sales came from digital last year and they came from places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and other top 10 cities. So, acceptance for us is high in urban markets as well because of the mini-channel strategy that we have adopted,” said Dugar.
Despite the numbers coming in from urban markets, Mistashi is seeing a growth of 1:2 in rural areas. According to Mitashi’s sales in 2017-2018, urban sale recorded in air conditioners was 43% as opposed to 57.50% in rural sales. Urban sale in washing machine accounted for 23.13% as opposed to 77% in rural.
“Not just Mitashi, but almost every brand is growing in rural markets. Air conditioners and washing machines are two high-growth categories for us in the rural markets. If you ask me about the growth that both urban and rural markets are seeing, then, for example, if the urban market is growing by 15%, then the rural market is growing by 100%. So, growth is at 1:2 ratio,” said Dugar.
While Dugar acknowledged that increasing purchasing power is one of the reasons for the sales numbers coming from rural markets, he believes that increased awareness and aspiration are two of the biggest reasons behind these high numbers.
Today, more rural consumers are aware of the different brands that are present in the market and they have the aspiration to own the same brands that people in urban India are using.
“Products like air conditioners and washing machines are no longer luxury purchases in the rural markets, they have become utility purchases. Competition and technological advancements have also brought down the prices of products, making them more affordable for rural consumers,” said Dugar.
Mitashi, which is eyeing to do business worth Rs 600 crore this financial year, targets Rs 1000 crore by 2020. The brand’s top markets remain Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Speaking about their positioning and the unique space that they occupy in the market Dugar said, “We aren’t like other home-grown Indian brands. So, we are neither an entry-level brand and nor are we placed as some of the MNCs. We are in a very unique middle space, where we are meant for everybody.”
Over the last few years, Mitashi has successfully expanded into international markets across Europe and the Middle East. The brand has aggressive plans to enter more countries in the coming years.