Marketing Insights in FMCG ft. Deepti Naithani | The Growth Genius

Deepti Naithani is the Director of D2C Business at Tata Consumer Products, based in Bengaluru, India. With a passion for convenience and quality, she introduces the Tata Coffee Quick Filter Decoction Premix, offering a rich filter coffee experience. She celebrates India’s heritage through Tata Tea Premium’s Desh Ki Chai. Deepti’s career spans leadership roles, including Vice President Marketing at The Moms Co. and Category Head at L’Oréal. In

Marketing Insights in FMCG ft. Deepti Naithani | The Growth Genius

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    Deepti Naithani, an expert in AI and modern marketing, discusses the importance of D2C (direct-to-consumer) strategies in a recent article. She emphasizes that D2C strategies are crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s competitive market. Naithani highlights the role of AI in enhancing these strategies, enabling companies to personalize customer experiences and optimize marketing efforts. By leveraging AI technology, businesses can gather valuable insights, automate processes, and deliver targeted campaigns. Naithani also emphasizes the need for businesses to adapt and evolve their D2C strategies continuously. Overall, this article provides valuable insights into the significance of D2C strategies and how AI can revolutionize modern marketing.

    Key Take Aways

    1. Embrace AI: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can greatly enhance marketing strategies by providing valuable insights, automating processes, and personalizing customer experiences.
    2. Understand the D2C Model: Direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategies allow brands to connect directly with customers, bypassing traditional retail channels. Digital marketers should familiarize themselves with this model and its benefits.
    3. Focus on Customer Experience: Providing a seamless and personalized customer experience is crucial for success in the D2C space. Marketers should prioritize understanding customer needs and preferences to deliver exceptional experiences.
    4. Leverage Data Analytics: Data analytics plays a vital role in understanding customer behavior, identifying trends, and optimizing marketing campaigns. Digital marketers should utilize data analytics tools to gain actionable insights.
    5. Implement Omnichannel Marketing: An omnichannel approach ensures consistent messaging and seamless experiences across various channels, such as websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Marketers should integrate their efforts across channels for maximum impact.
    6. Personalize Marketing Communications: Personalization is key to engaging customers and building long-term relationships. Marketers should leverage AI and data to deliver personalized content, recommendations, and offers.
    7. Optimize for Mobile: With the increasing use of smartphones, mobile optimization is essential. Marketers should ensure their websites and campaigns are mobile-friendly to provide a smooth experience for mobile users.
    8. Stay Agile and Experiment: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Marketers should stay agile, adapt to changes, and be willing to experiment with new strategies and technologies to stay ahead of the competition.

    Read Transcript

    Mehul Ashar:- Ladies and gentlemen welcome to yet another episode of the Growth Genius, where we share growth stories in marketing and business. The Growth Genius is powered by Infidigit. We are SEO experts. We help you accelerate your growth through organic search. Our Growth Genius for today is a marketeer our excellence. She has worked in various brands of global repute. In her own words, she is a believer in agility, in having an entrepreneurial mindset and creating great teams which help her deliver exceptional results. She has multiple roles in her life, that of a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister, and of course, that of a professional. Her staunch belief in managing work life balance is what helps her balance all these roles. So, without further a do, join me in welcoming Ms. Deepti Naithani, director D2C business at Tata Consumer Products. Deepti. Welcome to the growth, genius. We are glad you could find out. Time to join us for this podcast.

    Deepti Naithani:- Thank you. Thanks. Mehul The pleasure is all mine.

    Mehul:- So, Deepti, just to start, we wanted to understand your role at Tata Consumer Products. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

    Deepti:- So, my role on paper is I lead the DTC business. So we have a host of brands. Some of them we’ve acquired, some are in the process of becoming a good, strong D2C business. So I’m overseeing that business completely right now because I’ve joined. It’s just been a few months, and we are still setting up the system. There are only a limited brands that I’m looking at that are under my purview, because where we are at right now, we need to set up the whole system. A large company like Tata, D2C, etcetera, is still a bit new for them, just like for any other FMCG, so to say. It’s not limited to Tata, but for me specifically, my role is leading the D2C business at Tata. Like I said, that is a role on paper. But what I do feel about my role is I often feel that I’m like an agent of change because what happens is that a large FMCG company like the one that I work for, it’s been so many decades that that company is in place. There’s a certain way in which business is being done. And for me to step in and say, hey, here’s a new way of doing business. Hey, let’s look at this. Let’s look at something which is extremely consumer centric. The volumes may not be as much, but it is something that needs to be done. So for me to get the entire system to move and acknowledge that this is something that needs to be done, I think that is where my role actually goes and sits, because that’s why I say it’s something of somebody who’s bringing about a change in the perspective of the yes. I mean, that’s how I would describe my role at Tata to you

    Mehul:- Yes. So a change agent actually brings in a lot of responsibility, especially I would say, it can be an uphill task when you are working in a legacy brand like Tata. I mean, this is just out of the blue that came to my mind, but how do you manage this change? Or how do you bring about change in your team in the first place? Any thoughts on that, Deepthi?

    Deepti:- So I think one of the big things that you need to have, like I said, if you are an agent of change, I think you need to have a lot of resilience because like you said that people do have their perspectives. The good thing about where I am at, the organization is very open to this. Everybody positively wants to move in that direction. The other thing is that a lot of people have seen the modern trade cycle. When there was a big boom in modern trade, maybe about 15-20 years ago, with the big bazaars and all of that coming in. Then there are a set of people who also seen the Ecom change coming in because when Ecommerce came again, there was a shift in perspective. So which is why when they see something like a D2C, they understand that this is another change which everybody has to accept and acknowledge, which is where I’m lucky. But like you said, that what is it that a person needs? I think it is a lot of resilience and it is also a command on your own skill sets because if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you cannot convince people to take that up. The other thing is that in a large organization which is used to figures of X number of thousands of things, when you go there saying two units, three units, five units, ten units, it is not worth anybody’s time. So when people give you their time, you need to be very focused on what is it that you are asking for. So that even if they’ve given you that time, there is something positive that comes out of it. So really I think long story in how much ever, whichever angle you ask me, I think it is about resilience and having command on your own knowledge and on your own domain to kind of make those things happen that you envision. 

    Mehul:- Amazing. And talking about your journey through various FMCG brands, if you can take us through your journey and also help us understand how there has been a shift in consumer perspectives that will actually help enlighten our viewers. 

    Deepti:- So I am actually very proud of my journey because it moved across SMCG companies, across sectors, personal care and food, across companies which are Indian and then there are MNCs. So it’s actually yes, it’s kind of given me a good perspective as to how this particular domain kind of works. So I started off my career with a company called JL Morrison. They used to be the distributors for Nivea before Nivea had come in full fledgedly. So I spent about two, two and a half years with them. And the first thing that hit me was that when I had joined them, nivea was actually about to set up on its own. So Nivea as a business was transitioning out of JL Morrison. And what I saw as I went in was here was a company which was used to a certain set of revenue, a certain set way of doing business, when suddenly you land up in a position where your cash cow is kind of taken away from you, how do you reinvent yourself and come out in the market? Also, you don’t have an advantage of a brand name anymore because people knew you because of Nivea. They don’t know you as JL Morrison. If I ask you what is JL? Morrison? You may never know what JL Morrison is. But when you talk about Nivea and Equil and began some of the products that they had earlier, so I saw that as soon as I entered. So it was a very good initial starter for me because I did not start in a place where everything is set and you walk in and you start your management training program. When I started off at sales also, I think it was, I sometimes used to cringe thinking I have to go and sell a product and the retailer would say, Up, Ma’am, up one plus one, Kia, one plus two with Ogitobi Muji, JL Morrison, Katutrashni Karigna. So those kind of things, it just put me to the extreme end, which is actually what I, in hindsight, I do appreciate about that company. And again, it was a very Indian company, very entrepreneurial, so it was the owner, the founder, his perspective, and that’s how the organization moved. I got a chance to work there after my management training program, which was in modern trade and traditional trade. I got a chance to move straight into the innovations because they were in a hurry to launch a lot more innovations. And the other thing was that I was also a part of something that the company would call a think tank, where all the senior leaders would actually meet every 15 days to evaluate the progress because the big business, a large business, had moved out. So how will the company come out and how will things happen? So again, that was something that early on gave me a perspective, this is how leaders think, or this is how their thought process goes. So that was one good exposure. From there on, I moved to General Mills, which was another different ballgame altogether because it was an MNC. The first thing that hit me was everybody was so courteous, they would just talk so properly and it was very different as a culture. So that’s something that hit me, which was very different. And I entered into a cat from personal care. I moved to foods, and even there, while I had moved in a large business of generalists, used to come from ata, but I was actually a brand manager for the RTC mixes. So which was they had a cake mixes, they acquired a brand called parampara. Then there was another brand called pillsbury instant mixes. A lot of them don’t exist right now, but this was also your pre swiggy zomato days. So before that, the whole explosion happened with swiggy and zomato. Before that there was a market that kept popping up for like that was in fact coming up for, you know, those kind of products where you just bring something home, you quickly mix it and you have dinner ready on the table. So I was a part of that category, which was and my biggest learning in generalists at that time was that while we were developing a lot of these products, generals believed a lot in consumer immersion. So the amount of consumer homes that I went just when I was a part of that journey at generals, it just gave me a perspective of how Indian homes are. It was so strange that I once went to a home in Dharavi, which was as small as maybe a train compartment, if I could say. I’m not sure if I’m giving the best estimate, but a very small home with an equally small kitchen. But what I saw in the kitchen was ching’s soya sauce, ching’s Shezwan sauce, and a host of products that I would not expect to see in that home ever. But there was a reason they had, there was a valid reason that that household would spend that money there. So these kind of things actually open your mind beyond what you are used to thinking. So I think a lot of my general journey was about exploring newer categories like RTC and ready to cook and ready to eat, all of that which were not the run of the mill categories, which also meant tougher ways to crack the consumer, tougher ways to crack the market. The distribution of the trade was not ready accepting these products. So there was a whole set of complexity that came in. But that was a lot of my general’s journey working for three or four years in this entirely new category. And from there on, I moved to britannia. 

    Mehul:- This is an interesting fact that you told me that you saw ching’s sauce and all that. So what was the reason that they had these things? And obviously one doesn’t expect to see such products there.So what was the insight, if you can just share that. 

    Deepti:- So the insight was that the kids would ask for something new. They would refuse to eat the run of the mill stuff. That household could not afford to bring something from outside every day. So the simpler thing was that if I make rice, let me just add just some sauce in it and call it Shezwan fried rice and just give it to my children. So the homemaker was very smart who would say, kima, pull out the banathiona. I know how to make pull out, so what should I instead of adding that, let me just add little bit of Shezwan sauce and make that same thing, convert it into a fried rice and give it to my children because somebody went through that effort to actually read, understand? And the other thing is that homemaker, I remember now because this has stayed with me, she could not read or write. It was her children who bought this, who introduced her to this, saying, why don’t you do this for us? And she realized it’s not that expensive because every day if I go and buy like even if these kids go and buy fried rice or noodles from the local thela, the Rs25 was also a lot for that household. So it’s just think about variety. There’s a pressure banana here. Like, I work in so many households and I come back home, still my children want something new, otherwise they’re threatened Kibahata kuchki, we cannot afford, so I figure a way to make something new at home. So Chinese is something that everybody eats, so I just little sauce, mix it with ketchup and tell them,

    Mehul:- Interesting, very interesting. Yeah, please carry on with Britannia. 

    Deepti:- Yeah. So then I entered Britannia. Britannia was like a mammoth that I entered after Generals, because Generals was a relatively smaller company with about 300 crores of turnover. Plus the core categories that they would operate in would be Ata. And other than Ata, there were a lot of other smaller categories, like RTC, ready to cook, etcetera, was one category. They had a B, two B business, they had hagandas, so the ice cream. So the composition of the organization was of a certain manner. When you enter an organization like Zitania, where you are talking about a ready to eat biscuit. So in an RTC category, where one consumer was buying one parampara mix, paneer masala mix of mine once in three months, here a consumer was consuming my packet of biscuit once in three minutes. So the pace of the business changes completely. Like, you really enter into something which is very fast, very challenging, because it’s the market leader, it is competing. And in this category, again, all your competition, the big competition is again in, you know, in general, we would discuss something and then it would go to the Singapore office and from there it would go to the Minneapolis office. And by the time it would come to India, there would be like a good amount of time that would go here your key. Decisions are taken by Mr. Berry, who was sitting right next to you in that cabin. The competition would be a parley and ITC who are again sitting very close by. So they’re all taking decisions like this. Nobody is like waiting up approval I got. So the market landscape changes every 15 days to three weeks to one month. That’s the level and the rate at which the market’s landscape changes. And it is also a very high pressure category because if you have to maintain your market share, if you have to keep it to a certain level, you have to keep investing, you have to keep bringing out initiatives. So the pace again becomes very different. The command and knowledge that you had to have on concepts of marketing were again very different because I came from a different world of marketing. So here again, there were so many fundamentals that one had to know and one had to pick up. So initially for about first three to six months, it was a struggle for me because I was just trying to do as much as I could and absorb as much as I could. The good thing in hindsight was because my husband was in Bombay and I was in Bangalore at that time, so it just allowed me that much more time to just invest in catching up. But Britannia again, so to say, was that kind of an organization where everything was very fast, very robust, because you couldn’t go wrong. There is no scope to go wrong in that high stake games that you play, it’s at that level. So it was fantastic at Britannia because I just saw myself change completely as a marketeer and as a person, actually, the change that I went through and the learning curve that I went through, and the category again, being very different. Here again, Britannia also again, like a true Smgg company, did a lot of consumer work and I was working on the category called Premium Creams, which had all cream biscuits. So here my core TG was actually kids aged between say, 6 to 14. So while the mothers were the gatekeepers kiham yehi karidinga yenhi karidenge. You were actually trying to understand what is it that the kid is wanting in a biscuit? If they want an Oreo, why do they want an Oreo? If they want a Gym Jam, why do they want a Gym Jam? Or if they want a bourbon, why do they want a bourbon? Why will they buy or not buy a Patanjali biscuit? Because at that time patanjali was a rage that had come in or why would they not consume a glucose biscuit? So at least those kids had a very unique way of articulating. So that again, gave me a very different perspective from what a homemaker would think versus what a child who wants something and who has a certain amount of influence would think. It was again, a very different way of looking at things. 

    Mehul:- So how did you manage to get past that filter of the homemaker or the watchful mother? So to say and why I asked this question is because at the event when we met, you actually spoke about offline on ground activation. So was that something you did in terms of tastings or how did you manage to break that barrier or get that acceptance of a watchful mother so that the kid will go for Britannia? 

    Deepti:- So, see, the one thing is that mothers had accepted the fact itnato dana he had you cannot say no. Like you have to indulge the child in certain amount of biscuits. And there are occasions, right, when they go to school and if they have to carry two tiffans, one tiffan will be like your proper sub zero T or whatever khana that you call. And the other tiffan has to be snack. And there was no way around it because that’s how it was. Otherwise the child would not eat anything. So they had accepted that we need to give. There has to be one occasion of biscuit. Now, whether that biscuit is a glucose biscuit or a cream biscuit, et cetera, is where the discussion or the debate between the mom and the child would be. But in any case, it was understood that a child will consume a cream biscuit. I mean, they would want it, they would take it. I think what also helps, or helped at that time was that Britannia is a very, very trusted brand. So it was the brand value that Britannia in itself know that it’s a very trusted brand. People like it, people trust the brand. It’s been there since their childhood, because when the mom was young, she would eat Britannia Gym Jam or Britannia Treat. And then, of course, in the recent times, there were newer brands like Oreo, etc. That came in dark Fantasy, and a lot of competition also came in, which made it that much difficult because you were just fighting for that occasion check because usi time. But there were so many new products that wanted to come. But to answer your question, I think somewhere that understanding was not to indulge karnapareka indulgence. There is a snack, there is a biscuit, there is a wafers, there is an alu bhujia. Everybody is just talking to that same what do you say the occasion, it was about how you tiffan space, so to say. Exactly. In certain cases, tiffan space. Yeah. So how would you kind of break through that? And here also, I think the child had become, in a way, the decision maker, where they would say, Kimko sato dinto biscuit nature. Today I will take this, tomorrow I want wafers, third day I want sandwich, fourth day I want something else. So it was something that was really which is why I say that while the mothers were gatekeepers beyond a point, it was a child who was deciding and influencing unsaid rule key apna. So it’s those kind of things which are not openly said, but when you spend enough time and you start observing the dynamics, I think it just becomes evident. But you really have to have an eye for those nuance that may not necessarily be called out in a conversation, but you have to kind of understand. So I think that’s the thing about consumer learnings. You have to really understand beyond what is obvious. So I think I had a very productive stint at Britannia. From my perspective, it was a huge learning opportunity. And then from Britannia, I landed up at L’Oreal. Again, a very different category because I’d looked at a different kind of personal care before. Here again, the products were in a way, in the similar line shampoo conditioners. But the L’Oreal was and is the number one beauty company in the world. So the way they looked at the category, the command that they had overall as a category globally, it was phenomenal. And the kind of passion that people have in L’Oreal, it’s not something that I’ve seen in many places. People are really passionate about the organization, about the job, about what they do. So L’Oreal was a very different learning because again, in this case, from an Indian setup, I went back to an MNC setup where everything now happens globally and it gets passed on to markets separately. So that happened. But again, for them, India was a very unique market because India would not behave like the rest of the markets would in terms of the consumer demands, the consumer needs. So in L’Oreal actually, while the first couple of years were very interesting because I was also working in a different category, I suddenly had moved to a B2B business. It was a salon business that I was looking at. And here again, to understand that a consumer first comes to the salon, takes a service, buys something. After that, it was a different kind of a consumer journey, so to say. But I think the highlight again for me in L’Oreal was that when I was in L’Oreal, that’s when the lockdown happened and we had to switch to e commerce because with salons and everything being shut, the only way to do business was to go digital within, like, six to eight months. Of COVID The way the organization adapted to not only provide things for last mile consumers, but to also support the hairdressing community. Because the salons were shut, the community had no way of earning. So it was just setting up like initiatives, what we would call it, social commerce, et cetera, getting salons to become digitized overnight, so that if somebody’s asking for something, you train them, you give them enough products, et cetera. So even if people are not coming in for services, there is something that you support them with, at least to start off with those kind of efforts. The way L’Oreal took it just made me realize that how passionately they would support their partners also because they are an equal part of your trade. And I’d never worked in a B2B scenario earlier. So when I saw this kind of an approach. It was again, a very different kind of a journey and a learning for me to see how you kind of support your partners through thick and thin and that’s how they stay back with you during your good or bad times. And the whole shifting to e commerce meant that a person who was a hardcore offline marketeer like me had to overnight up my own skills and I had to come at par and quickly start delivering. That was quite a bit of journey. And then from there on, I did, I moved to the Goodlam Group for a year, which was a startup, and again a different journey because the way a startup works is very different from a set FMCG company. The other thing is that they were going through a transition because I was working with the moms who they just got acquired. They had gotten acquired rather by the Goodland Group. So when I joined them, it was a phase of transition, an extremely complex and a dynamic business scenario which I had not seen or experienced early. But when you spend like one year in startup, I now feel that it is equivalent to four years of normal FMCG life. So that’s how it was. The pace was different, the decision making ability, the authority to take decisions, all of that was so quick and it was so democratic that it just forced you to think super fast and be absolutely sure of your decisions because there’s no scope of going wrong. There’s nobody else sitting there to say, okay, fine, if you go wrong, we will correct you. So again, it forces you to push yourself as a thinker and as a leader. And from there on, actually, when the opportunity came up with Tata, I think I just took it up because again, it was being an entrepreneur in a set business setup. So I think it’s been quite a bit of journey, like I said, across brands, across categories, indian companies, FMCG startups. But I think I’m thankful for that journey because it just put me through so many different situations that right now I think I can adapt much faster, I can foresee things because of so many business scenarios. So I think that’s how it has helped. The second part of your question, I think was also about after my journey, you spoke something about the consumer needs and I think honestly, that consumer needs for me ended sometime in 20, 15, 16 after that. I think it has also become a lot about consumer wants because you may not necessarily buy things that you need, you just want things. It’s impulse now with ecommerce et cetera coming in. You can buy things at the tap of or a click of a button. It’s just made it so much simpler that I now strongly feel that tk there is one thing which is known as consumer needs, which I, as a marketeer would really strive for and dive for to understand at one given point in time. But in today’s dynamic structure and business scenario, at least post COVID, it has become a lot about consumer wants. Hamichia we can afford it, we will buy it, we may not have use for it after a week, doesn’t matter. So that concept I think fundamentally is changing. Of course it remains for certain staple categories but I think if you start to think of it in more and more cases it is about wants. I think that’s how I see the big transition happen in so many years. 

    Mehul:- So in a way we can say D2C has been a catalyst in terms of shifting consumer behavior from asking about consumer needs to consumer wants in a way that is because of the convenience. 

    Deepti:- Convenience and also see what happens in the internet with the amount of data sharing et cetera, that happens. You actually start genuinely as a consumer, I start with consumer need, the brands figure out, they start targeting you and then it becomes wants because see, when you genuinely search for something, say on an Amazon or a Google or whatever is your Discoverability platform, you are genuinely searching for it. But the minute you’ve typed one query and you will notice that after two days you are just being targeted with something similar. So apko ache chayatha but apnea doya theme khridlia because something else came up and something else came up and something else came up. So of course D2C and ecommerce, I think both have been catalysts, so to say, to see and to make this transition happen, where you start with needs, you end up with wants and then after that you end up with the unwanted, to be very honest. That’s how I see it, to be very honest, 

    Mehul:- Yeah, that’s well put since you have been in this space and obviously you would have dealt a lot in advertising in your journey. What has changed from mainland to today’s advertising and what are the benefits and the pitfalls as well, according to you? 

    Deepti:- I think that the job of advertising has become tougher now because your channels of advertising have evolved, your formats have changed, your consumer attention span has reduced and the bigger thing is also that earlier you would get targeted by 20 ads in a day, 30 ads in a day. Maybe today it could be 300 or 400 ads in a day. You will not even realize the whole day you’re scrolling on Instagram, on Facebook, generally browsing through the internet. Her Jaga said there is something popping at you and you have actually now learned to ignore. Like I feel that as a consumer I have learned to ignore to a certain extent. So I think the job of advertising now has become even tougher because at least in the digital space you have to find an opportunity to connect, which is very difficult because. For us in today’s age. I don’t watch TV. I watch OTT YouTube. I have a premium subscription, I don’t see ads, I don’t read the newspaper. So if a brand actually wants to connect with me, the only option for it to connect with me is through this noise of the digital world. And in that digital world also, there are so many people talking to you that I think one thing, like I said, it’s become tougher to establish a connect with me. Second is that the fatigue sets in a lot more because earlier you would see an ad, maybe during a particular serial or if you were watching a cricket match or IPL. Of course you would feed to a certain number of times on digital because your frequency can be high. Your creative fatigue sets in that much more sooner, which means that you have to keep having so many different set of creatives with similar messaging, with similar so I just think that the job of advertising in general has become tougher. First to establish the connect with the consumer, second, to drive the messaging. How will you drive the right kind of messaging to also understand what messaging clicks? Because earlier there would be one consumer insight, today for every consumer there is a different insight. I mean, Mehul could need the same product and Deepthi could need the same product, but the reasons why we could need would be different. So you have to talk to you specifically, they have to talk to me specifically. So I think, yes, it’s become very difficult, so to say. So the benefits of this, I think, is that you are given multiple opportunities to target and connect with the consumer, which means that your cycle could become that much more sooner. Like Arjmeko Koichiski need feel we maybe earlier I would think about it and remember oh, if I go to the shop next, when I go to shop, I will buy it today. If I feel the need in the next ten minutes, I have already ordered for that thing. In the meanwhile, if I’ve seen some ad somewhere, the loop closes in that much sooner, I feel. So that’s one thing. But I think the pitfalls in today’s age of marketing, I strongly feel that because of this cycle that is happening, I think the learnings have become considerably low. Nobody has the time to sit back and analyze kikya, Galat, Karan so you keep doing more of the same. You keep throwing, throwing, throwing something. You wait for something that sticks. If it’s stuck to the wall, great, if it does not, you move on to the next. So you’re nobody sitting back and evaluating as to what is the insight or what is getting my consumer clicking or ticking rather. Because you imagine in today’s age you have X number of content writers sitting, you have so many agencies and creative guys sitting on videos, gifs and churning out content day in and day out. So upkeep metrics, how many can you see? You can see a cut, one cut, two cut, three cut. But if for five different cuts of the consumer, if you have to look into data, nobody has the time. So, again, I feel that the pitfalls is that the learning has gone down considerably, which means there is a lot more errors sort of that could go out wrong content or content that will not necessarily give you any ROI, but it just has to go. And there is a pressure today if you want to do something on social media, you know, kimkova Postal so it is the quality of the content. So to say if I could just say I mean that I think because you don’t have the learnings, in certain cases the quality suffers. 

    Mehul:- And somewhere I come from that era. So somewhere you feel that magic of advertising is lost. Somewhere when you had those legendary ads, we don’t see them anymore, right? 

    Yes. I would agree with you that we don’t see them anymore. In the same breath, I would say that this is the transition. This is how the world is going to move forward. I think we need to track this generation of advertising. To my opinion, everybody’s trying. People do find but with that insight getting lost, that magic of insight getting lost because up until, say, two or three years ago, there was still a long format which would work. So you would create like a 1 minute digital film or a one and a half minute digital film through which you could actually communicate so much more very beautifully. Messaging would today I don’t think anybody has the time for that 1 minute film. Also seconds is also seemed like so how do you then look at these five second, ten second, 15 second bracket and still give out something. 

    Mehul:- that’s commendable? Yeah, 

    Deepti:- It is really tough on marketers today and I think it’s commendable as to how they manage to do it. 

    Mehul:- True, very true. If you can share your experience in terms of how you converge offline and online marketing efforts and you can share some of your experiences in terms of BTL activities or whatever you have done in that space, that would be helpful. 

    Deepti:- So, my first proper twist with BTL was when I was at General Mills because we were working on this category called Parampara gravy mixes. So we had about 30 to 35 SKUs of gravies. So the idea was that if you want to eat paneer Makanwala today, so you just have to add the paneer to the gravy because the gravy is ready. So it was that kind of a product. Convenience, consistency in taste, et cetera. So that time, actually we wanted to activate a complete alternate channel because it was a small brand and retailers were not necessarily ready to stock it. And the category was also very slow. Apnea Igbar kharidas of dothi mehbad kharidovi, which means that you really had to get a lot more new consumers into the fold. So we started with something called as this wet sampling is something that we started at poultry shops. So we used to do a lot of wet sampling in modern trade outlets. So if you would come to the modern trade outlet where the category was, there would be a girl or a promoter who would cook that in front of you and serve it, and you would taste it and you would decide whether you want to buy it or not. And all the brands would keep doing it. But we decided that, listen, we have biryani mix, we have butter chicken masala, we have chicken tikka masala, all of that. So we thought that why not try wet sampling at a poultry shop? Because in a poultry shop, people are simply coming to buy chicken. So maybe if they taste it, they could end up buying. So that’s something that we tried, and we tried that at a very, very large scale. At one point, we would activate like 30, 40 cities over the weekend. And that is something that over a period like after six to eight months, we gradually started seeing traction. And this whole alternate channel is something that we could develop because people would then come back the following Sunday. Because it is a thing like every Saturday Sunday, if you consume nonvich, Sunday is the day that you go morning where you will go to the poultry shop and buy things and then come back because you want to marinate it and you want to keep it properly. So that is something that was my first twist with BTL, and I realized that this thing requires time and effort. But in categories where you are establishing a new category overall, or you’re trying to recruit new consumers, that is something that really works. After that, I don’t think I have worked in any category which required this kind of an effort. But if you ask me, today, I am back working on a certain category which is really gourmet tea and gurme coffee. And again, I think I’m beginning to go back and lean back on the BTL efforts. Because in the digital world, how many consumers can I get? It’s a gourmet category, right? So it is not something that every consumer will buy. Also, the way the products are made or the way they are supposed to be cooked or delivered, it’s a bit different. So it is not something that will appeal to everyone. You may not necessarily honestly, if I tell you you buy tea of like 400 RS500 a kilo, if I tell you that, listen, this is super premium tea at like RS5000 a kilo, you’ll be like, Nature, why do I need it? But then again, there is a market that is emerging. The segment is doing really well. The brand is doing really well, which means that people have found tracks, like people have accepted it. I just need to find the right set of people in the digital world. What happens is I keep trying and targeting, but the experience cannot be brought to life. All I can do is I can show you that a bar, I can make a video, but it’s really about when you actually see the tea leaf, the aroma, the size of the leaf, the density, it’s really that. And that is something that I cannot deliver in the digital world. Which is why we are now leaning back to the good old method of BTS where we figure out how can we sample this, how do we find the right TG? Because this kind of a super TG is not going to be sitting everywhere. And the CACS that I have honestly in the digital space just to acquire those consumers, my ROAS takes a hit so everything goes to a different level. So if I have a chance of meeting even like 500 people at a place, I mean, whatever it could be, and sampling my product to them and out of them even like 50 convert or ten convert, for me that cost is much lesser than what I do a hit and miss in the digital world true. I honestly feel that so many marketers we are just focused on building everything in the digital space. But the point is that the digital audience is only so much in India today. Like it’s growing, but it is still only so much, still just a minute percentage of the overall population. And it is those same set of consumers just kill all the brands are fighting for, right. Like even an Amazon would want that consumer to buy something. A Nica would want that consumer to buy something from them. A brand like say a Tata T would go and say, why don’t you buy something? So it’s that set of consumer which is the base is growing of course but today it is still so much OC consumers have kitna so which means that always take a hit which means that we need to look beyond the other trend is also if you see a lot of the D2C companies which began all of them are now expanding offline you look at the big ones that started much earlier like the Mama, the waves. They are the ones who led this whole D2C revolution in India. Again, they have realized that, of course, they made a huge impact in the digital space, and they really grew it for the country. But beyond that, for them also the growth lies in offline. So of course that is offline sales and distribution. It is different from DTL, what you’re asking me. But I think fundamentally, it is the same, that there’s only so much you can do in the digital world, which means identify opportunities, and you have to be smart about identifying those opportunities. You cannot necessarily say, kimal Majanga Stall Lagadunga. My housing society. Majanga Baha stole lagatunga. It’s a lot of trial and errors. Which again brings you back to what you say about the magic advertising because what is you then have to know your consumer that much better to know what he or she is doing. At the mom’s core, for example, the one thing is that we realized that our core TG was a pregnant woman or a young mother. So the minute somebody would have bought a stretch mark cream from me, we would know that she is a consumer, she is a pregnant lady, so to say. Now when you know and you know that when they’re four or five months pregnant, that’s when we as women start using stretch mark products, et cetera. So you know that maybe we are about to pop in like another three or four months. So you can actually craft that journey in the digital space, keep targeting, you know that maybe after this point, this point the baby would have been born. So you start targeting them with baby products or you can start targeting them with like breastfeeding lead products. So there’s a certain journey that you can do, which is what hardcore D2C brands allow you to do. But for traditional brands where I’m sitting in Tata, et cetera, everything is not necessarily going to happen in the digital space. So we need to be open and we need to know our consumer really sharply to know nature’s. Basket may mira consumer hoga your food hall may hoga. Maybe if this person is walking into this particular category, maybe that’s my consumer. Or maybe I have to just be so much more specific. Which means that your knowledge about your consumer and what you understand of them is important. Where you meet your consumer.

    Mehul:- where you can probably meet your consumer, right? 

    Deepti:- Yes. Where will you interact? Which will be the life point, because this is not digital, right? I don’t have to meet you on Instagram. I have to find you offline where you are open to that experience. You’re open to at least. And which is again a pain, because people are very busy today, so they don’t have you. Even when you enter into a mall, you don’t really have somebody asks you sir, credit card later. Me. Thank you. I don’t want it. So it becomes very specific, like maybe in an airport, maybe in a lounge. It is like that much. You have to find avenues where you know, people will be relatively free for that five second or ten second. So you really have to be very sharp about knowing your consumer, knowing their behavior, kind of target.

    Mehul:- Aand the product you are talking about. These are the super premium teas from Tata 1956. 

    Deepti:- The 1856 maybe I could cite that as the example. Know who these people are. True. How do you interact? How do you reach them? You cannot just catch them anywhere. So your consumer knowledge has to be that much more stronger I believe. So which again goes to other the last point that I also feel so today, like we say social listening which is very important and I’m not taking anything away from that. And I have relied a lot on social listening but then it makes me think that there is nothing like the good old method of one on one GDS and di’s what you would do FGDs in some of the earlier days. You may not have to do as many because your digital world does give you like a certain repository of data but at least you need to have physical interaction with your consumer to know. And this is something again that I think it could be missing or it is a trend that know slowing down. But again, to answer your question, BTL I feel is super critical in certain categories and you need to be.

    Mehul:- Yeah, very interesting. In fact there was a tanish shop where I used to live in Bombay earlier and what they used to do was they used to invite housewives in the afternoon at the store to have kitty parties. Correct. And that is where they used to showcase their products. So it was very interesting to see these things happening. And again it’s a Tata product so it was very interesting. And this was way back, I think in 2010 or so when I saw that I had gone there for some work. And I realized these are the things that they are doing. They are actually utilizing the space. And obviously, since it’s a jewelry store, the ambience is nice and all the snacks and everything is served there. And they used to also showcase their product.So yeah, that is another interesting way of interacting. 

    Deepti:- Yeah. So one could argue that the impact could be slow and I’m not maybe it will be slow but like I said that for certain categories it could just mean a sharper way of reaching out to the consumer. 

    Mehul:- Very interesting. Any particular? I would say AHA experience or a growth story which you can share, which actually something that you implemented and you saw tremendous growth in coming from that particular campaign. 

    Deepti:- So I think for me the AHA moment actually came when we launched on Ecommerce when I was in L’Oreal at that time. And like I said that we were in the B2B space. We were giving a range of products for shampoos, conditioners, serums et cetera that were relevant for salons. And then these salons would retail out smaller packs. So the thing would be that if you’ve come to the salon for a hair wash or a hair spa, et cetera so once you’ve done that service or you do a straightening or a smoothening after that the salon would give you a certain kind of a product and seek abhapu, pushtime, conditioner, use karnaparega because you’ve gotten a service done. Otherwise the service will not last that long. So we were into that kind of a very specific category. But like I said, that when COVID came and with COVID happening and everything had to go digital. So overnight, like I said, that we had to now learn how to be on ecommerce and in e commerce for a brand of shampoo conditioner or for a brand of serum where you have so many more options available, not only within L’Oreal, but generally you have your levers and PNGs. Everybody in the world with the top notch products and competing for space. I think it just meant again going back to how do you see the consumer and what could you so the product actually that we were really trying to build on e commerce was this product called by large serum. It was a hair know and in India, serum as a category is not something which is really understood anyway, it’s a very tiny category and our job was to actually make this serum a success in ecommerce because anyways upper offline to the other sale honiratha. And that was the only product that we had identified which also fit in that price value bracket. Because most of our products were priced above 400, because there were very specific products that were to be used after a service. So the serum was only one product which is a generic product which could be used by everyone. But then serum as a category is very low in India and so in India so what could you do? So I think that’s where our journey began from and the team that I had I mean we were a good bunch of people together who went back to again I keep saying but I will never get tired of it consumer insights and understanding how the consumer is behaving. The one good thing for example that Amazon does is have amazon is a discovery platform so you have the search tool on Amazon. So if you start using that you really understand what is it that the consumer is looking for. So you understand that if the consumer is asking for serum if they’re asking for by large serum for example specifically there could be a tiny set of consumers but you cannot let them go but if you are generically fighting in the category of serums then you are competing with x number of other serums. If you are fighting competition, then there is a certain way in which the market will work. Because say, for example, if anybody who is searching for L’Oreal Paris serum, if I give them an ad of biolar serum, they’re not necessarily going to buy me because they’re specifically looking for L’Oreal Paris. But if somebody is only looking for hair serum, maybe I put to them, go to them and say hey, why don’t you buy me? Again you need a reason RTB, why will you buy me? And then the whole fact that we are endorsed by Hairstylists we are a brand that is endorsed by Salons we are a professional brand how do you bring the professional angle to it? So every advertisement or every piece of communication that would go out would actually have like a stamp of professionals or would actually be with a hairdresser doing something to your hair to just differentiate your communication to understand that who will buy a serum for example? So I would say that a serum is a product that is not your everyday need. It’s a want right above. And then you figure that maybe people who are buying a face bleach or people who buy under eye creams who are so particular about their complexion and their skin, maybe they would be interested in also seeing their hair smooth. Or during COVID you find multiple insights like, oh, you have a call coming in. You have a video call and you want to be ready for it in 10 seconds. Just use the serum. Put it and you see your hair smooth and shine. Or you work out and after workout your hair becomes really frizzy and you cannot wash your hair every day. So why don’t you use a serum? Or for example if you are cooking at home the whole day and your hair has become very again frizzy and sweaty so it’s about finding those things the other thing was for example if you like traveling and if you’re going out traveling the one thing what is it that you will always have in your handbag? So typically it is your car keys, it’s your cell phone, it’s a lipstick, it could be a kajal, and then it’s a serum because it’s a quick fix. So you really have to find out who are those people who are most likely to buy you? And that will happen only when you have, again, a strong understanding of the category and of the consumer and occasions when people can actually use it. So when you try and put it all together, I mean, we did a host of these things understanding category. Or we want to fight with a specific competition, or we just want to stick with ourselves and say, okay. By whoever is buying like biolarge products etc we used Amazon gives you this option know buying from so for example if anybody is searching for a hair dryer or a hair straightener they need to use a serum so why should I just target somebody buying a serum? Let me look at an allied category and let me say that you’ve just bought a hair straightener or you are looking for a hairdryer why don’t you buy a hair serum? So it was about just unlocking these things in hindsight they may seem small things but when you actually start putting a whole campaign together to target I think that is something that within a couple of months we actually became the number one serum of L’Oreal on Amazon. We went beyond L’Oreal Paris also in some occasions that was like a big win, me and the team, because it just made you understand that again, it’s about going back to basics. It’s about using your common sense logic and your consumer knowledge has to be bang on and your consumer behavior has to be bang on. I think that is something that will stay with me because that was a big learning for me also that Up Kahita Bichalja or Digital Micheleja offline online. Nothing will beat a hardcore consumer understanding and it is possible to grow brands on digital. You have to be smart about it, those kind of things. And we applied similar learning, say for example in the mom’s school, because anybody who was buying a nipple buttercream, which was for breastfeeding mothers, you knew that this mother has a child less than six months up. The minute she has bought something like this, you start prompting baby bottom wash, baby shampoo, baby soap, et cetera, et cetera. So it just leads you from one thing to the other if you just know how to use it smartly. So I think that is something that will stay with me, that whole experience and now using that in my D2C world also I think that is something that was a turning point for me. It’s just trying to understand something new and different. 

    Mehul:- That’s a very broad focus revelation in a way because you are looking at searches, you are looking at finding consumers in various areas through their searches and different allied users, as you mentioned. That’s pretty interesting. 

    Deepti:- Yeah. And the other thing what today allows you is so for example, at one point in time, if you had to make an ad film, you had to spend a certain amount and make an ad film at least two to three years back when the influencers were growing again, it was a growing market. You could get a lot of excellent content from influencers alone. So what you would possibly like for your hardcore brand films and mainline films, of course you need a superior quality content. But for this digital content, just the shelf life is broadly like seven days to ten days. You don’t have to spend that much, you just have to identify these people who can actually create very good content and give you and then you start putting two and two together, get all of that out and suddenly you have all of that happening at a very different pace. So I think a combination of all of that but it was about learning to leverage the digital system completely. That was something that was new because like I said before, that I was an offline person completely. So from that to becoming an online person and today I’d like to call myself an omnichannel person because now I understand the dynamics across I think that has that I think I really appreciate in this journey of mine.

    Mehul:- I can see that you read a lot of books. 

    Deepti:- Yes, I don’t remember all of them, but I do. 

    Mehul:- Which book or books have influenced you a lot and any learnings that came out of them? 

    Deepti:- Yes, I think I started reading as a teenager and as a teenager, I think the one book that I was completely blown by, it was The Fountain Head. But of course that is way back. But I think after that in life I read two books that really changed my perspective and maybe for me personally, they are two very important books. One is a book called The Open. It is the Autobiography of Augusti. So it’s actually a book where he talks about his journey, of how he started as a child and then his journey towards becoming a very, very successful tennis player. But as you start reading the book and you start going through his journey in the book, you realize that a person as successful as that accomplished sports person, when you actually look into their lives closely, everything is not perfection the way it seems to you when you read about them in newspaper. See, in today’s world, with social media, instagram, et cetera, you do get to understand about people a lot more personally. But earlier in that time when your media intervention was limited, you would read about people in books, in magazines, et cetera, and just know about them to an extent. So when I read that book, like how he had a complex relationship with his parents, his father specifically, how he would train through the days and he realized that there is training and training and everything leads to training. Because if you are coating something which is so different and so unique and so great, you cannot let go of your daily level of training as much as you hate it. And sports is something, honestly, that kind of motivates me as a person. So. Which is why when I read about this book, how the life of a child who is aiming for something big or whose parents have envisioned something big for him, how his everyday life is and he would hate that life. He would hate training every single day, but there was no option that you had to put in. And once you get a taste of success and once you become a successful player, he would still hate it, but he would still do it because there was nothing else that you could do and you had to do that. And then you get a glimpse of their personal lives, of how things could be breaking apart, how they maneuver through their own relationships, through their own setbacks and they still emerge as champions. And it is not the hunky dory picture of a champion, as you would see, but it is a person who has gone through that journey of struggle and achieved a certain position. I think that is something that I really appreciated about the book because it made me understand that whoever and however successful a person is, it’s not that their life is perfect, right? It is everybody has their own set of struggles and you just have to overcome yours. And in certain cases, we feel that kind. So how he shaped his life, despite a lot of these things, I think that was the one book the feeling that I had. I still cannot express that feeling because it is a feeling. So the second book that really influenced me is a book called into the Wild. So it is a story about a boy called Christopher Mccandle who came from a very well to do and a strong family background, but he somehow was very dissatisfied with this life. He would feel that this life is very materialistic and he was disillusioned with the normal way of life. And he gave everything up to live in Alaska. So one fine day he left all his money behind, he left his car, everything behind and went alone to live in Alaska. So it’s a true story. And he decided that he is not going to go towards the materialistic world, but he is going to use his own survival skills, the own skills that you basically have as a human and try and survive this world. So when you read his story, it is very inspiring because at a certain age, you yourself want to kind of break away and you think that maybe this is not how things are meant to be and you can try something different. I think his story ended up quite tragically because his decomposed body was found inside a bus where he was living. He was so far away from civilization that by the time people found him, it was really late. And the other thing was actually later on when people were analyzing, they realized that Help was available. He did not know about it, but help was available. Not very far away, but it was available. So it’s just that other extreme book. In one book I read about a very, very successful person and his journey of life and how that came through. And the other book where the rebellion you reads that? Okay. Sapuch. Hodogi sapuch. karlogi. But it’s not necessarily that you’ll end up tragically, but it is the cost and the price that you have to pay. And do you have it in you? It made me challenge myself as a young adult that if I say that I’m pissed off and this is something I don’t like and I want to do something different, but it comes at a price. So do you have it in you? And if you realize, the sooner you realize where you stand and the decision you make about this thing, I think it just becomes very easy and smooth because your inner conflict gets resolved that much sooner in life. So for me, that’s how it was. That’s the inner conflict, maybe that I had as a young adult, which everybody had, it just got resolved at a certain point after I read both these books, I think, and it was a very close the time between the two books was not too much. So it was just a coincidence where I read both of these books and I just realized that this is the path that I will take and I’ll be okay about it. So no regrets, no conflict, just extremely happy and content at where your journey is taking you. So I think that is something that these are the two books that really, really like and could read. I think I would tell them to kind of look at these books. I mean, they would be a really good read. 

    Mehul:- Final Segment Deepthi so just wanted to understand, or rather wanted to ask you. I have learned a lot from this podcast. And when you talk about consumer insights, knowing where to find your consumers and all, what will be your key takeaways that you can share or key learnings that you can share for upcoming professionals or budding professionals? 

    Deepti:- Yeah, if you ask me, I would just take from my own journey because I would like to feel that I’m in a spot or in a place where I would want to be. So maybe this is the place where if the 18 year old me would know that if I’m going to be here today, I would be very proud. So I think for me, the fundamentals that have shaped me during my journey are first, I think, learning and absorbing. In my earlier years when I was a brand manager, I would think that I’m a sponge and I only have to absorb and I only have to absorb and I only have to absorb. And that was my mindset because I was also moving from one company to another, smaller companies to bigger companies, smaller categories to bigger categories, smaller stakes to higher stakes. So it just meant that I did not know everything, which means that I had to just stay quiet, put my heart down and learn and absorb. And because I did that in my initial years and I’m not proud about this, but I had like a horrible late 20s. In my late 20s, when I was like a brand manager, I would just keep working, working all the time. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but it’s just how my journey shaped up because of the switches that I made or because of how I laid my own personal ambitions to be. So it was about learning and absorbing because today, when I have a team with me, when I am handling dynamic business situations, what I spoke to you much earlier about resilience and having command on your own domain and having that confidence to take on anybody who enters into the room. With due respect, but to have that confidence in your own work. I think that is something that came because early on I realized that I have to learn and absorb not just what is relevant to my domain, but anything that is getting thrown at me because that shapes up. It shapes you up and gets you ready to be a business leader at one point in time. The second thing that I feel is very important, more so today is pace, you have to be really fast. Honestly, you may not be as smart, but you have to be fast. You have to be fast. There is no time. There is absolutely no time for brands, for consumers, the rate at which consumers are changing. It’s not that your company is asking you to do more work. I mean, to be very honest, it is that the consumer demands are changing. Your consumer is asking you for more and you have to keep delivering that. Otherwise you are lost. And by the time you have thought of a campaign and you brought it out or you start coordinating with two people, it has to be like this. So I think the other thing which is extremely important is pace, if you are slow, you might as well know that you have very little for you after say seven to ten years. I mean it’s honestly that it’s like that. The third thing for me is that one should always leave a decent room for doubt. You should accept and always know that you could be wrong. You are wrong. There are situations when you are because today I see that in a lot of youngsters it could have been in me. You could ask my bosses about that. But we have this thing that we know it, we’re right. Char cheese, google, peddlete, dochar, Wikipedia, key pages, paddle. That does not make us like we have to know that and we have to acknowledge and accept that there is a possibility that what I’m doing is wrong or that I need to be better. So I think that is the thing that you have to have certain amount of self doubt and be open to self criticism which is something that is not easily taken today. And the last point and for me, which is the most important point if you are the smartest person in the room, you need to be in a different room. Then you’re not in the right room. So that is how you grow, that is how you move forward. So again, it goes back to where I started off that you keep pushing yourself further. That’s my approach. It may not work for everybody else, but for me, if I have to keep pushing myself, I have to find myself in situations that I’m extremely uncomfortable in. I have to find myself in something which is new, something that I don’t know, which necessarily means that I am not the smartest person in the room. Till I reach a point where I become the smartest person in the room and then I find a new room. So I think these three or four things have been something that have really helped me to be where I am and possibly to go ahead where I will. But I think these will be some of my fundamentals and I hope that some people who are listening to this find.

    Mehul:- Brilliant, brilliant insights deepthi very, very nice insights. In fact and in fact even about the book that you mentioned, both the books I was expecting that you would probably talk about some management books. But yeah. 

    Deepti:- I don’t read them. I’ve read zero management books. I have not read anything after my kobla people have tried giving me books. There’s a section of management books behind people have tried giving I won’t read them. It’s just something that I’ve never taken a liking to. 

    Mehul:- One more thing, which I’m actually itching to ask you was when you talked about your management training days and something it is always exciting when you are on the field and you do something with these distributors. And that is somewhere where you actually understand and have an entrepreneurial bent of mind what he is thinking and how I can get my product on his shelf. Anything you would like to share? Any anecdote or anything you would like to share? Because normally I see a lot of interesting stories coming out of grocery stores. So to say when a management then he goes so anything that comes on top of your mind?

    Deepti:- It’s a personal story actually, because like I said, that when I had started when I joined Jail Morrison, so Nivea had just gone from them, right? So USA Pele, the entire sales team of Jail Morrison would go and sell only Nivea. And you walk into a shop and somebody would call you saying order lelo Chobbish PKA dena chobbis PKA. So from there and this is what I had seen during my summer training days and by the time I joined them, like I said, nivea had gone. So the products that I had to sell were like Morrison toothbrushes and Morrison toothpaste and Morrison shaving cream because they knew how to make shave. See Nivea had like shaving creams and shaving gel. So the gel Morrison had a manufacturing plant also. So they had an expertise but the branding part was missing completely. But they came up with their own set of products to fight back in the market. But mujevo bechnapatana it would be really tough because I would know that if I enter this shop nobody is going to need my products. So if I would do 40 to 45 shops in a day, I would have only like 12 or 13 productive shops because there was no demand, there was only these smaller shops who were highly behind margins and who would go for one by one free or one by two free kind of people who would take it. So for me, the thing that I remember was that I remember in Matunga behind Monies in Bombay, of course, in Matunga behind so there used to be a medical store somewhere there and I had gone to pitch my product and he said, Madam Agrupo. And I waited and then I saw another girl entering. So I said, thank God there is another sales. She looked like a management trainee also. So she also entered. So she looked at me and we just exchanged pleasant smiles and all and turned out that she was from L’Oreal because when she came in she entered the I was waiting outside for my turn and she went inside and they’re like, Madam Beth. So they got her a stool, they made her sit. Somebody bought chai for her. Two people were standing and taking orders immediately. Ma’am. That was one moment that made me realize that maybe I’m not in the right place or place because while the distributors were also extremely good but they were all used to being media distributors. So suddenly for them for me to go and say okay, business Katitha or whatever AB mira pachas Hazarka business karo. I mean, the whole scheme of things changes so suddenly you are looked at. So you go out of college thinking you are a Bond method management training major and all that and then you enter a store egg to the first step of entering a store to break your management, your MBA thing behind and just entering a store and then to have an experience which is a bit extreme, so to say. I think that is something that I remember very clearly because that was one thing that made me realize that this whole thing of moving on, move that’s that whole thing I think emerged from this. I remember that very clearly. I wasn’t a party, I wasn’t given a two way to sit. Nobody took my audience. So that is something like I said, it’s very personal. There is no learning for anybody here but it’s just something very personal. That incident that I remember. 

    Mehul:- So you decided that I think you should be in a different place, not here?

    Deepti:- That was the feeling. That was the feeling that maybe you’re doing the right thing but not with the right set of people or not for the right company. Because wrong, you are a smart person. You are doing the exact same thing. You entered the shop, you made the same pitch, you took out the same documents, you did the exact same thing. And you know about your products, you know about your schemes, you know what the distributors told you, you know what your ASM has told you. So you are 100% prepared but maybe you are not at the right place or maybe you need to change your place. So I think that is something from my sales training days. And you get a good sense of where you are, what kind of you are working with. You get that sense much. That’s something that has stayed from me. That’s the only memory rather that I have of my training days. Memory is me learning. 

    Mehul:- Thanks a lot Deepti for your insights and the wonderful chat. Post the interview, I would say thank you.

    Deepti:- Thank you so much. Pleasure. Thank you. Thanks. Bye. 

    Mehul:- So, ladies and gentlemen, that was Deepti Naitani, director D2C business at Tata Consumer Products. I found the interaction very insightful where she talked about her journey across various brands starting from B2C to B2B and then D2C. Also her experiences about how she is leveraging online and offline marketing methods. I hope you’ll find our experiences and our content on The Growth Genius interesting. Obviously this help us to learn and grow and I would urge you to follow us on various social media platforms and we are also available on threads. Now the links to all these platforms are given in the Descriptor. You can also listen to our content on various audio platforms. Again, the links will be available in the Descriptor for you. So keep subscribing, liking and sharing our content on various social media platforms. Our handle is infidigit till the next episode of The Growth Genius. Take care and thank you very much.

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    Marketing Insights in FMCG ft. Deepti Naithani

    Marketing Insights in FMCG ft. Deepti Naithani | The Growth Genius