How the leading plywood brand in India drove PERFORMANCE, VISIBILITY and ENGAGEMENT with its key influencers.
Duroply, the leading brand in plywood in India wanted to establish a direct, outstanding, and enduring relationship with their key influencers, ‘Contractors’. The company already enjoyed a longstanding relationship with their primary channel partners, the DEALERS. Through the direct engagement with ‘contractors’, Duroply wanted to enhance their channel visibility by tracking ‘sell in’ & sell ‘out’, with minimal disruption to existing workflows.
And THE LEADER WHO DROVE THIS CHALLENGING TASK was AKHILESH CHITLANGIA , a third generation entrepreneur and scion of the Chitlangia family, for whom ‘being the best’ rather than ‘being the biggest’, and providing quality experience to their customers is of paramount importance.
We spoke to Akhilesh to understand how he and his team is going about bringing to life their marketing philosophy within the organization. Incidentally, Akhilesh has also been a happy client of NetCarrots.
MANU DOGRA: What advice would you give to brands starting off on their channel transformation journey?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BUSINESS. As business leaders, very often we operate within the contours of a transaction led narrative. From how much do they buy, the conversation should ideally move to who they are, and what their aspirations are and how as a progressive organization we can support them. Therefore, my advice would be to place ‘Building Lasting relationships’ with channel partners as the central construct of any channel transformation initiative. Other important aspects to be addressed include how the entire channel value chain is stitched together from a data and transaction perspective, what is the degree of visibility and what are the engagement elements built into each step of the process.
MANU DOGRA: What do you think has been most important in driving your businesses success?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: Setting up the right team, unrelenting focus on excellence, and a passion to get things done. Must also say that I have also been fortunate to work with and learn from some of the best in the business.
MANU DOGRA: How important is DURO Superstars, the influencer engagement program, from the organisation’s perspective?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: Very Important. The key objectives of launching DURO Superstars was to obviously increase sales, but also to provide better visibility into sales and volumes consumed through contractors, our key influencers, to differentiate from competition, and to build direct engagement with contractors. I am most happy to report that the program has met all the objectives and has been a benchmark of sorts for the industry.
MANU DOGRA: What are some of the challenges that you foresee in channel relationships, especially the challenges brought about by technology?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: New business models are disrupting the way business is done worldwide and channel marketing is no exception. Increasing adoption of marketing automation and scalable technology solutions will empower channel marketers to achieve more or less complete channel visibility, drive data driven campaigns, and connect with channel partners through a medium of their choice, be it over an app, SMS, Email, or over a call. This is happening as we speak. Organizations who do not embrace the right channel marketing platforms will be left behind.
MANU DOGRA: What role, if any, has NetCarrots played in your channel transformation?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: You have added lot of value of the years. From co-creating the program value proposition to setting up a flexible channel loyalty platform, the Netcarrots team has always risen to the occasion. Your team is also very receptive to feedback and am happy to note that the team has worked on my feedback to improve rewards fulfillment.
MANU DOGRA: Now something other than business. I understand you are a keen golfer and at one point you were also a golf instructor in Boston. Do you get to play a round these days, considering you are travelling on work non-stop?
AKHILESH CHITLANGIA: I used to be a really active golfer during my days in Boston University. I was the president of men’s golf during 2008-’10. I rarely get time to hit the course these days, but make sure to catch a round as time permits. Also go trekking from time to time; helps me recharge my batteries.