For some, the economy may be abuzz with talks of a huge price rise, but Indian buyers seem unfettered, reports KUNAL MAJUMDER
BUY A 40 inch LED TV and get a 22 inch LCD TV free”; “Free luxury watches on purchases of jewellery over Rs 20,001”; “Get a chance to win a car on a purchase of Rs 500” – the advertising space is full of offers and schemes to attract the consumer back to stores this festive season. Consumer brands and retailers — who have been treading a cautious path since the recession reared its ugly head last year — seem suddenly upbeat.
Automobile major Maruti Suzuki claims to have emerged stronger from the slowdown. “Our continuous efforts at cost cutting and improving productivity even in good times helped us make reasonable profits despite the impact of higher commodity prices and a weaker rupee,” says company Chairman RC Bhargava. Diwali and the wedding season see the maximum number of car and bike bookings. Maruti Suzuki, which controls about 55 per cent of the cars and vans market, hopes to see an increase in its Diwali sales figures, amidst growing competition from players like Tata Motors and Ford.
Bhargava should know. His optimism is shared by Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj. “We see an extremely good festive season and expect domestic motorcycle sales to be around 1.8 lakh in September. It is quite possible that there would be a waiting period for brands like the Bajaj Pulsar, due to capacity constraints,” he claims. The company expects its sales to go up by 30 percent.
Read on the Tehelka issue dated October 03.by