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India contributes 15% to Hyundai’s overall global automobile sales: Puneet Anand

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is celebrating its 20 years in India with the – ‘Brilliant Moments’ campaign. Conceptualised by Innocean Worldwide, Brilliant Moments seeks to invoke a sense of nostalgia to connect with and thank over 5.5 million Hyundai customers. The Brilliant Moments campaign will provide a unique experience through various experiential marketing, sales and service initiatives at all Hyundai touch points and invite the customers of Santro, Accent and i10 to share their stories.

Elaborating on the campaign, Puneet Anand, Senior General Manager, Hyundai Motors India, who has been a part of the company in its 20-year journey in India, said that the Brilliant Moments campaign will be spread out in three phases. In Phase I, which commenced on June 27 and will continue till July 31, Hyundai will release two emotionally vibrant films – ‘The Deal with Accent’ and ‘Army with Santro’, that will be promoted on social media and digital platforms. Santro, Accent and i10 customers would be invited to share their Brilliant Memories with Hyundai through a microsite – www.BrilliantMoments.in. 

In Phase II, which will be held in the month of August, the Top 10 #BrilliantMoments stories shared by the Hyundai customers would be made into individual films and promoted on the microsite. 

In Phase III, all the films will go on the digital platforms and will be promoted for voting. These films will be online until October end, when Hyundai will unveil its new product (tentatively named AH2). By then the top three films will have been shortlisted and will go on air across platforms. The winners will be gifted Hyundai cars at a mega event in the presence of its corporate brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, domestic holiday for 10 couples, as well as 1,000 gift vouchers for the winners. 

Anand emphasised that the core idea behind the campaign is to engage with Hyundai’s customers in its 20th year celebrations. He added, “Recognising that Indians are one of the most discerning customers in the world, Hyundai has made a special effort to understand the mindset that the Indian buyer is approaching us with and has been creating innovative products and marketing strategies to meet their desires. Hyundai has invested a lot in India to cultivate lasting brand engagement with customers across different market segments. But this is not the only reason why Hyundai is celebrating this year, it is anticipating the next generation of consumers, whose thinking is completely different from the preceding generations, Hyundai is preparing to reach out to these potential customers and build a strong connect with them. Ever a progressive brand, Hyundai seeks to secure the next 20 years of its existence in the Indian market.” 

Commenting on Hyundai’s progress through its 20 years in India, Anand said, “We have been creating iconic brands in India starting in 1998. We are the fastest growing company and have completed 8 million car exports and we have been able to achieve this milestone in the shortest span of time. We wanted to celebrate with our customers who have been with us since the beginning as we are completing 20 years. Out of the 8 million cars, 5 million have been sold to the Indian market and so we wanted to show our gratitude to those customers who our experiencing our cars and engage with us through the ‘Brilliant Moments with Hyundai’ campaign.”

The video film accompanying the campaign highlights the nostalgic moments of Hyundai’s customers. The campaign will remind customers of the past when they used transistors, Walkmans, VCRs and other technologies that had a strong impact on them, including Hyundai products. The first film – ‘The Deal with Accent’ – has just gone on air and will initially be only on the digital platform. 

While Anand refused to divulge details on the marketing spends on the Brilliant Moments campaign, he informed, “What I can tell you is that it is an integrated marketing campaign and the budgets are huge. It is the first time that we are spending an amount this huge.” 

In the Q&A below, Puneet Anand, Senior General Manager, Hyundai Motors India, shares more details on how the Brilliant Moments campaign was conceptualized, he also traces back Hyundai’s 20-year journey in India, the key milestones, India’s contribution to Hyundai’s business growth, plans for 2018 and beyond, and much more. Excerpts: 

How do you see Hyundai’s 20-year journey in India? What are the major milestones achieved by the company in these 20 years?
Last week we achieved 8 million car rollouts. That was one of the biggest milestones for us. Apart from that we are very proud of our iconic products – Hyundai i10, Creta, i20, all of which have won the Indian Car Awards. We are also the only brand in India to have won 5 ICOTY (Indian Car of the Year) Awards. We have done so many innovations in our product and marketing whenever we launch a new product or new experiences. When we came to India in 1998 no one was aware of our brand, but that has changed today. I am very proud to be a part of this company for the past 20 years and have seen this brand evolving over that period of time and the revolution we have brought in since we came to India. You can see for yourself in the market why Hyundai cars are doing so well, because we are able to meet our customers’ aspirations, their expectations, when they arrive at our showrooms we understand what kind of product they want to buy. Our hit rate is about 90 per cent. Most of our customers today are millennials, who are educated and have done their homework on Hyundai cars. They are savvy on digital platforms and that is where they see our products and decide to come buy our cars. If you look at our production capability, you can see we are running at 100 per cent. 

How important is India as a market for Hyundai? What is India’s contribution to Hyundai’s overall global revenues and sales?
India is a shining star for Hyundai Motor Company. We started the business here 20 years back and are now a highly successful subsidiary of Hyundai Motors, contributing an overall 15 per cent to our global automobile sales, which is a very big market share. India is a market place which already has 19-20 players. You can clearly see who the successful brands are and where the customers are going. I believe this market is very important for us and our products are present in the lower level, mid-level, top end and SUVs as well. 

There is no other brand that has this kind of product portfolio in the Indian market. How did we get here? We knew what our customers wanted from us in each and every segment and made huge investments of up to $2 billion in the Indian market. This gave us the confidence that as customers look for more different products the market will become more important to us. Our most impressive feat is our market share in India, where we have the 2nd largest market share and we are the largest exporters from India. 

Will the latest Brilliant Moment campaign be a part of the umbrella concept of Live Brilliant?
Live Brilliant was a global campaign started in South Korea and the US at that time. All our campaigns are in sync with one another, but the ‘Brilliant Moments’ campaign is more focused on India. In this campaign we are trying to capture the essence in a different way as you can see in our promotional film. We have localised the idea of the campaign, featuring Indian people, Indian culture, and their thought process. Indians are very emotional about two things – one is the purchase of a home and the other is the purchase of a car. Family members are highly involved in such decisions. This is something we wanted to capture through this campaign. But like you pointed out, the ‘Live Brilliant’ campaign that started four years ago was also about evoking emotions and highlighting the fact that a car purchase is a very important event for an individual and how it impacts the life of a customer. 

How will the Brilliant Moment campaign pan out across media platforms?
Through this campaign we want to engage with people, be it millennials or the older generation, they will be targeted through digital. Once our films are shortlisted, the campaign will go across platforms on television, print and even on some segment of radio. The beauty of digital platforms is that time is not a constraint here, you can make a good 3-4 minute long film that gives a unique perspective. Another reason why we are starting out on digital is because we do very well on it. 

Which agency has worked on the campaign? What was the brief shared with the agency?
The agency we have worked with is Innocean Worldwide, which is our in-house advertising agency. They have conceptualised the idea with our marketing department, the team has also done a lot of work around this campaign. The campaign is on a big scale because the idea that we have been here for 20 years and conveys our excitement with our customers. This was the right time to go with our launch and get ready for the next 20 years in India. Our overall motive behind the campaign was to engage people. 

We wanted to capture 4 visions through our campaign. The first was to make our customers lifetime partners of Hyundai. We are not talking about products here, we are talking about experiences. Indian customers, we believe, are smart buyers, very intelligent, aware of their options, and active on social media platforms. The idea was to offer them the best through a combination of product and experience. This campaign was intended to further cultivate our relationship with our customers. 

Are you planning to rope in celebrities for the Brilliant Moment campaign?
At the beginning of the campaign we have not planned for any celebrity involvement. When we reach the later phases in September-October, then of course our corporate brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan will definitely play a strong role and we also wanted to engage other celebrities and make them a part of this campaign and they are welcome to share their brilliant moments. Rather it could be a chef, an architect, a pilot, a doctor, or any person who has their personal moment to share and not necessarily with cars, it could be something else as well. 

In what way is 2018 important for Hyundai?
Basically we thought that 20 years is the right time strategically for a brand like us because there are different phases in every organisation and for Hyundai Motors we want it to become a youth related modern brand and strengthen our brand with millennials for the next 20 years. The young economy that India has is something we want to be a part of and are very happy to tell you that in February 2020, we are planning to shift into our new regional headquarters in Gurugram. It is a great place to work and we want to offer that provision to our employees who are working in Hyundai. A state-of-the-art five-storey building is coming up and we have allocated huge spends for that. Another milestone that I would like to mention is that some days back JD Power in their Initial Quality Study (IQS), a US based annual report card on vehicle quality, ranked Hyundai No. 1. Hyundai took the top 3 spots on this year’s list with their luxury brand Genesis, Kia and Hyundai. 

What are your growth targets for 2018 – globally and in India?
In India, we want to retain our 15 per cent market share, but with the market extension happening, the number of sales is expected to increase by more than 7 lakh. We are anticipating a demand of 7 lakh and keeping this estimate in mind, our production planning team is making 750,000 cars. Last year, we did 6.76 lakh in sales, but this year we want to cross 7 lakh and hopefully reach 7.5 lakh cars if we want to retain the 15 per cent market share. If we achieve this, we will have crossed our 100 per cent capacity. 

How are you strategising to tap the Tier 2, 3 and rural markets?
The disposable income in smaller towns, especially rural markets, is not affected by any of these reasons. People have different kinds of businesses over there. The contribution of our business is growing. In 2014, we were around 10 per cent, today we are having a contribution around 17 per cent on the overall sales in the rural and Tier 3 market segments. We have strong plans for these markets. We have tied up with various regional banks to offer various schemes to these customers. If you compare these customers to those in Tier 1 cities, you can see they are completely different in their thinking, profile and portfolio. Here, customers look at the brands, money is not an issue here, features and design. Customers in these markets are more inclined towards after-sales service and the kind of deals that they can get. Such differences exist. Our penetration levels are really high. Our Rural Sales Outlets (RSOs) amount to 410. From a product point of view, our Eon, i10, i20 and Creta SUV vehicles are doing very well. These are our best products that we have on offer in these markets.

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