Brand names are hardly top of mind in orthotics. Is the category still chemist-driven? How big is the unorganised segment?
It’s a very small category compared to the others that you see in a chemist store. But it’s a very scientific category. The brands that are usually top of mind are two to three. Visco, which is a 60-year-old brand and that’s based out of Bombay; Flamingo, which started as a heating pad product and eventually came into soft goods, one of the categories Tynor is into. About 50 percent of the category (tentatively) would be unorganised.
Tynor started production in 1997, secured funding in 2018. What would you say was the biggest milestone?
The biggest milestone for us was when we started improving our efficiency through the Toyota Production System or the lean management system. My father, the founder of the organisation, did his PhD so that he could improve the efficiency of production and quality. Ours is a very labour intensive product and getting the same quality again and again is the major challenge – it’s a very technical product.
Your website says Tynor is the largest manufacturer and exporter of orthotics. It is also billed as the #1 doctor-recommended brand in India. What is its share in India? How has the market grown in this period?
We have a 30 percent market share in this industry. This category is not recorded by the big research agencies. So, we got research done by Nielsen where they got Tynor as the number one doctor-recommended brand of the country and we were five times more recommended by brand name as compared to others in the segment.
From ankle binders and neck braces to knee caps and cervical pillows, Tynor offers a large range of products to its consumers. How do you bucket the products, how is each growing and what is the share of each?
There is one set of products that has a natural market demand. For instance, when aged people have pain in their knees, they know a knee cap offers quick relief. These are categories which are not recommended by the doctors. People know that this is a solution so they go to the retail shop and buy these products.
The other part is the doctor-recommendation. A large category here is dependent on the doctors. When you have an orthotic problem you go to the doctor and he would recommend after analysing that you need this product.
In our body, there are three or four major movable parts. One is in the lower back which we call the lumbar region. That is the movable part of our lower back and that usually gets injured because of the lifestyle we have – the back posture, riding a bike on bad roads, etc. That is a big category.
Obesity is another big problem. People not wearing the right footwear leads to problems with the knees.
With the usage of phones and computers, our necks have become a little out of posture. Neck is the third biggest category.
Knee and back are the largest, then comes the neck – and neck is increasing very fast because of the habits we are forming.
Tynor claims a presence in over 50 countries, a sizeable number being in Africa, SE Asia and ME markets. Is it sold under the Tynor brand name in all markets? Are there different products that sell in each market?
Wherever we are selling, we are selling under the Tynor brand. We also sell the same products. Usually, companies have this viewpoint that they would want to premiumise the product for the international market. But we have made the product for the Indian consumer and we make sure that the same goes to the international market. There is no difference. Our product in the USA or Canada is the same that you will get in India. We are just getting colors to be a little different for these markets because they prefer a darker shade.
It’s just that you see a different demand for different products in some markets. There is something called a knee protector, which sells more in the Middle East because it caters to the Muslim population. When they do namaz they need something to make sure that their knees don’t get injured. The natural demand of the product is different.
What is the contribution of exports to revenue? Which are the largest export markets?
Exports is around 20 pc of the total revenue. The Middle East is the largest export market for us.
Is the brand present pan-India? What is the share region-wise, and how is the contribution from (i) metros (ii) tier 1&2 towns and beyond?
We are number one in market share in about 23 states this year. In most of the states we are above 40 to 50 percent. We have entered a few markets in India a little late, which is the western zone.
Most of the contribution comes from metros and Tier-1 cities, the reason being medical facilities are more elaborate in these cities. Whenever somebody has a serious problem in Tier-2 or Tier-3 cities, they would want to go to Tier-1 city and get themselves checked. When they meet a doctor and s/he recommends a product, then they buy it from Tier-1 or metro cities.
However, Tier-3 and Tier-2 cities are developing very fast. The infrastructure is increasing there so the markets are opening for us.
Tynor has forayed into the sports and fitness space. Sports and fitness has helped sports apparel and accessories brands grow – what is its contribution to your topline and how has this grown?
We have recently ventured into this. We felt that we are helping people who are injured, why not help people not get injured in the first place? Sports activities sometimes are a little excessive for the body, you need some support. We are building a separate distribution network, a separate team under Tynor for this.
When somebody gets injured, the product is not a thing to showcase. Whereas in the sports range the design needs to be flaunty and stylish so people wear these and share that they are using such and such product.
This now gives us the opportunity to get our brand communication out there and communicate to the consumers saying this is what Tynor brings to them. This is not driven by the doctor.
Tynor’s marketing mix – is it primarily driven by digital? Will we see other mass media advertising? On which mediums?
Tynor’s approach will be driven by digital initially. We feel that you can target the consumers according to various categories very nicely through digital. So, we are going to build digital for the initial bit and when that is done well, we will move into traditional as well. Later on, you will see other mass media advertising.
You are present on tynorstore.com, Amazon, 1MG and other online marketplaces. How much does each contribute to sales and what is the total digital contribution? What is the forecast?
The total digital contribution is around 8 percent. Of which we are majorly focusing on Amazon and Flipkart. 1 MG also has come as an integral player. Tynor is strategically partnered with the three of them to get more business on these platforms.
You were also in the news for directing the Punjabi music video ‘Sohne Di Pasand’. What else have you directed or been involved in? How do you make time for films? What is the ambition on the film front?
It was one of my hobbies to make films and I was very fascinated by the audio-visual medium. While I was studying in Canada, I was working on both my business degree as well as gathering information about film-making. In Punjab, a lot of people make a lot of music and music videos. One of my friends needed help with a music video and that’s how I started.
My main focus is and will be Tynor. Music video is a hobby. One of the ambitions that I have on the film front is making or directing a movie.
Future plans of Tynor…
We are the biggest player in India. No other country has the macroeconomics working in its favour the way it is for India. I think Tynor has cracked it very well in India and we will be doing that in other international markets as well. This industry has a huge potential in the international market.
So in the coming years, our focus is going to be international markets where we compete with the biggest brands of the world. We want to make sure that we become the number one brand of the world and not just India in 10 to 15 years.(First published by The Free Press Journal BrandSutra. Content powered by MediaNews4u.com. Feedback: [email protected])