07 Feb 2018 19:54 IST


Formulating a feasible strategy

The winning teams all had original ideas and solutions that were executable

Congratulations to all the participants. Most solutions offered by the participants are good but five solutions stand out. The reasons and justification of the choice of top five participants are given below. Three criteria were chosen to evaluate the team contributions: original ideas (10 marks), strategy formulation (10 marks) and executable solution (10 marks), coming to 30 marks in all.

Winners - Arijit Goswami and Lohit Reddy, IIM Kozhikode

The team was able to assess the ground situation and understand the challenges faced by HUL and its brand Ayush. Despite a strong distribution network, Lever was not able to visualise the damage inflicted by Patanjali. The team’s use of tools — such as the competence market share matrix — helped understand the relative position of Patanjali and Lever. Arijit and Lohit were also able to provide a solution to revive the fortunes of Ayush by suggesting the 3P Model strategy – Point of Contact, Promotion and Participation. One suggestion that is worthy of particular appreciation is the idea of a promotion and packaging strategy. The team also has suggested a timeline to achieve goals, which is appreciated.

First Runners Up - Ritika Kohli and Samyak Ponangi, IIM Indore

The team started their analysis by explaining how a disruptor enters a zone that is currently unoccupied by the incumbent and makes steady inroads. The solutions offered by the disruptor may not be very expensive but are practical and help expand the market. Ritika and Samyak did well to highlight the inherent weaknesses of Patanjali, such as their inability to clearly communicate the competitive advantage and an over-reliance on Baba Ramdev as their brand ambassador. Their understanding of the growing Naturals market helped them strategise a plan for Ayush (problem-solving category of products). The team also suggested market strategies for Ayush to succeed, such as creating a product portfolio based on the problem-solving criteria. Their plan for communications too look practical and feasible.

Second Runners Up - Nishant Verma and Ravjot Sachdeva, IIM Indore

The team did well by suggesting a segmentation based on established reports of PwC (Believers, Actives, Beginners, Passives). The stage-wise solution suggested by the team looks feasible. The suggestions of horizontal diversification looked practical given the emerging market realities. Their depiction of a completely new marketing mix for Ayush is exhaustive as is their approach to take on Baba Ramdev’s swadeshi plank. The promotion plan too looked impressive, although more detailing would have helped.

Third Runners Up - Vivekanandan B, IIM Bangalore

The participant was able to outline a structured road map for the successful relaunch of Ayush in five steps. Instead of dividing the market entirely based on socio-economic profiling, they suggested a demand-centric approach (though it is not very clear how this should be carried out in practice). They were also able to outline a practical and robust strengthening of the distribution system which is multi-pronged. Their suggestions on promotion with the use of technology looked innovative and creative although the actual plan is not spelt out in detail. Use of collaborative alliances involving AI companies, big data and the tag line were interesting suggestions.

Fourth Runners Up - Vaibhav Kavtiyal and Sushmita Vazirani, IIM Indore

The team did well to conduct a primary research involving a sample of 20 respondents. This, backed by secondary information, helped the team outline the variables of interest in the Naturals product market. Doing this analysis also helped them draw inferences on who would be an ideal target group, namely working professionals, college students and health-conscious consumers. Their suggested marketing strategy looked practical and feasible and was congruent with the suggested customer segment aspirations (Ayurveda for the Modern Lifestyle).