Being a professor I have always been asked a terrible question in my classes – Why reputed products, startups, projects or brands usually fail in Indian market? This is probably a kind of bombardment to test my knowledge. So I thought of returning a right token of answer to this mystery of product failure.
Startups, Brands, Products and Indian Market
This is so because Indian culture is probably beyond the imagination of a researcher and everything is possible here itself. But I would not blame only on our culture.
The sizzling techniques taught at Harvard Business Review or London schools may not be applicable to Indian cross-cultural geographies. Sometimes the market research also fails to identify the correlation between various related factors.
It’s important now to deliberate a case study for better clarification, understanding, and comprehension. Once upon a time Iodex had to withdraw itself from UP and Bihar markets where people were using balm to treat the joint problems of buffaloes and cows. The manufacturer thought humans may get confused whether the brand is meant for animal or people?
Similarly, I have seen lassi being prepared through washing machines in Punjab and Chandigarh during summer days. What a brilliant multitasking and brand dilution?
Similarly, people have used Godrej dye to color their bullocks so that they can be high priced due to dark looks. After seeing this, a first timer would use the dye in his or her hair.
Why Reputed products, Startups, Brands usually fail in Indian market?
In spite of a lot of advertisement and million dollar investments, Nano failed, Singur failed because the positioning went wrong & the car became a poor man’s choice and substitute to auto rickshaw. Similarly, Kellogs, WalMart, iPhones, Crystal-Pepsi, Gillette Vector etc have failed in spite of global branding. Rio Olympics went in vain. MODIfy campaign at Bihar failed. 24x7x365days uninterrupted power supply by PM Modi failed.
Hence it’s all about a sense of commitment. Indian diaspora is such – a startup is bound to fail. I am afraid – Narendra Bhai may fail in 2019? Thus we can conclude that the soil is absolutely unpredictable.
Timing, co-branding, media hype, strong branding – nothing can save you. It is an emerging market and customer loyalty is just a topic. The bottom of pyramid expects and closely watches your promises.
If you fail to keep -they would forget you. I admit there is no fixed answer to this case study because a case study is always a case having no conclusion. That’s why it is a case study just like RaGa’s leadership positioning or recent UP muddle.