Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL, formerly Maruti Udyog Limited) is a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan. Maruti Suzuki is a leading manufacturer of passenger vehicles in India. Lovingly referred to as the people’s car maker; over the past three decades Maruti Suzuki has changed the way people in India commute and travel.
It’s a great pleasure to introduce Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India Limited India .GAZ speaks to Mr. Shashank Srivastava about the marketing strategies adopted by Maruti Suzuki.
1. Maruti is the most liked car among the Indians, What makes Maruti so reliable?
Maruti-Suzuki has a very long presence in the Indian market. Over the years it has introduced products that are suited to the Indian consumers and with International quality standards. The factory is state of the art and the workforce is trained very well. Besides this we have a large network of dealers covering almost 1000 cities and town. All this makes our products very reliable.
2. Tell us about the most loved Maruti cars and how are they doing when it comes to revenue generation?
In 2012 the Top 4 best selling brands in the Indian market are from Maruti Suzuki ! The highest selling is the Alto followed by the Swift Dzire Sedan , Swift Hatch , and the WagonR . The Alto sells more than 300,000 in a year and the others more than 150,000 each. So the revenue generation is quite good .
3. Maruti attempted to transform its image from a people’s carmaker to a more technologically ahead automaker over the years. Has the company been able to achieve its target?
Yes , you are right . Over the years we have introduced products incorporating the latest technology . We have also introduced CNG vehicles in the country and are the only OEM doing this in India . I think while we have made significant progress in this regard , we aspire to be more aggressive in projecting the image of technology in the future as well .
4. Tell us about the growth in the automobile industry in India? And what about Maruti‘s contribution?
India is a developing economy and is now the fourth largest market in the world with this year expected sales of 2.8 million vehicles. The last 5 years have seen a CAGR of 12% or so and it is expected that the market will grow to about 5 million in the next 6 years . Maruti-Suzuki is the market leader in India with about 40% market share . We sell more than 1 million cars in the Indian domestic market annually.
5. What is your opinion about the automobile industry in the Middle East and future of Suzuki?
We believe that the Middle East market is a very important market and has the potential to grow rapidly. This will be possible because of the increase in population along with the rising car penetration and the rising incomes. Currently the Middle East market is about 1.5 million cars and is certainly a focus area for us at Maruti Suzuki.
6. Which medium of advertising do you rely on the most and why?
In the Indian market TV is the preferred medium because of its higher reach . Print is the next important medium .
7. In a market which is characterized by such high competition, how is Maruti Suzuki is gearing up for this challenge?
Yes , in all markets there is a lot of competition and we are taking all possible steps to excel . Starting from our product range , cost competitiveness , better logistics , most extensive distribution network , training of manpower etc. We are seeking to become more agile and competitive. One essential and common requirement in all markets is an understanding of the customer requirements and aspirations . We are actively seeking to learn this by being in close touch with the market .
8. The increasing focus on exports has been one of the major focuses of growth for Maruti Suzuki in the last year. Does the focus remain the same in 2013?
Yes it is true, especially for Non-EU markets . We have seen very good growth in the Non–EU markets and we hope to continue to grow in 2013 as well .
9. Do you think luxury cars have a huge market in India?
Currently the market for luxury cars is quite small in India . In fact it is less than 3% of the total market . You may be aware that in India almost 45% customers are first-time buyers and while there is a section of the population that is extremely rich it is unlikely that the luxury car market in India will be huge in the near future .
10. Future plans of Maruti Suzuki?
Well we plan to continue to be No.1 in the Indian market and defend our market share of 40% . And this means that we will have to expand our production capacity , invest in new plants , have a more varied portfolio of products , move into new product categories and have a more extensive distribution network . And of course our obsession with customer satisfaction should continue .
11. Tell us about your association and experience with Maruti Suzuki?
I have been associated with Maruti Suzuki for more than 20 years. I joined as a management trainee immediately after my college and have grown with the organization . I have seen different phases of our organization and industry growth and have benefited immensely from the learning . Maruti-Suzuki has provided me with opportunities to learn and make me skillful . They have been good for me and I think I have been good for them !