Chennai: Vijay Vasanth, MD, Vasanth & Co spoke on the way the pandemic had impacted the retail business and the news avenues that had emerged for retail brands at the 3rd edition of Straight Talk by MediaNews4U.
Kickstarting the sessions by recalling his father’s speeches in the previous versions of Straight Talk, he said, “This business started with my father’s vision. My father Vasanth Kumar himself was a brand and would continue to be even after his unfortunate demise. The logo of this brand has featured his face as they wanted to build trust by ensuring the customers that ‘this is my brand and I take the ownership of it’.”
Vijay further spoke on how the brand is focused on staying closer to the society than focusing on the profit aspects. Vasanth & Co were the pioneers who were successful in introducing the concept of EMI. Vijay spoke on how that novel concept years back has brought them closer to the consumers and how the brand has played a major role in popularising the concept of EMI.
“It all started with the idea that the first home appliances at any home should be from Vasanth & co. EMI mainly helped consumers who want to buy products for their homes but couldn’t afford to make wholesome pay at one go. So, this ideology helped the brand to penetrate even smaller households,” Vijay said.
Speaking on the vision for Vasanth & Co, he pointed how the retail industry is growing at a fast pace and that competition is quite high. “Though started with a traditional marketing style, we are also expanding their horizons and slowly going digital. We were not keen on digital spending compared to traditional media spend. But on the other hand, we should agree that digital media is always measurable.” But he confirmed that their online business is not as strong as their offline one. He also believes that online platforms cannot be a threat in the long run as they will lose stability. Even manufacturers are in support of offline businesses as quality products with better warranty periods are sold. “Though e-commerce platforms seem to be a big competition, it is partially due to the pandemic’s effect. During the span of the pandemic, people started buying online because of comfort, the threat of infection, and no travel required. Despite that, there is no big difference between online vs offline. Decision making on any program is based on brand recall. In fact, the pandemic has brought up selling for many traditional retailers as sales of products such as washing machines and dishwashers have seen an increase,” he mentioned.
Vijay Vasanth shared the stories of his late Father Vasanth Kumar and explained how optimistic he was as a person. His belief that anything is possible is the key behind their success. He ended this fireside chat by stating that he wants to continue the legacy and keep up to the expectations of customers and that business would always be his first priority; bread and butter, acting is his passion and politics is a service.
Factors to Consider before ad-spend
Vasanth & Co is one of the top spenders in all the traditional media. “I find the reality shows are more vibrant and touch the daily lives of the common man. Even though we were not keen on the reality shows, after seeing the way the Tamil Nadu market pursued concepts, when even our neighbours are speaking on the happenings, we, as a brand, felt we get more brand visibility,” he concluded.