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Rasna is definitely going much bigger on digital platforms: Piruz Khambatta

Shrugging off the disruptions of last year, businesses and agencies are looking for a strong revival in 2021. Adgully – as part of our annual TRENDING NOW endeavour – has been presenting the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of 2020.

In conversation with Adgully, Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, Rasna Pvt Ltd, speaks about how the pandemic has impacted the beverage industry, product strategy for Rasna, deeper focus on digital and much more.

Last year was a tough year for most soft drink brands. How is this summer season looking and how are you gearing up as the second wave of the pandemic has hit the country with partial lockdowns?

When we started this year, we all thought it would definitely be a less tough year, but it seems that it is going to be a much tougher year. We are actually repeating last year’s story, but in a much more severe form. Today, the effort should be to save lives and support our health professionals. In our little capacity, our main focus is to provide as much help as we can through our Trust - Areez Khambatta Benevolent Trust, and Foundation - Rasna Foundation. 

What is going to be your product strategy and how do you plan to prioritise the various flavours to push in the market? Have you outlined any new communication strategy?

Our product strategy has always been to offer value for money for the consumers, because we are a bottom of the pyramid product. Our aim has always been to provide healthy/ nutritious yet affordable products for the masses. For this year, we have also launched an Immunity product with five immunity boosters – Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Selenium and Zinc – priced only at Rs 2 per glass. Our main plan is to not only ensure value for money and give a pleasurable soft drink to our consumers, but also to ensure it is enriched with Vitamins and minerals.

This year we are focusing on the digital medium to communicate with our target audience. We recently launched a campaign with well-known food influencers, called #iloveyourasnarecipes, as we have other plans which will be witnessed in the coming months. 

Supply chain and distribution form the backbone of the soft drink business. How are you planning to ensure that your products reach your end consumers?

Last year, the supply chain was impacted due to the lockdowns and the disruption in distribution affected the overall soft drink business; which also impacted Rasna. We are definitely using more e-commerce and more AI to help us. Our demand forecasting and supplies have become more software-driven, which again helps with the logistics issues. 

How are you looking at your media strategy for all your brands? Will digital play a major role? Did you leverage IPL this year?

We did not think of going in IPL this year and now I think it was the right decision. We are definitely going much bigger on digital platforms and are running a campaign, called #iloveyourasnarecipes, which is a cookery campaign where we have multiple influencers making food recipes using Rasna. We have already received plenty of entries from people making cakes, cookies, jellies, lollies and much more from Rasna. On TV, we are running a Rohit Sharma ad with our product Rasna Insta Energy, which has 21 vitamins, minerals and glucose. 

Digital medium now plays a crucial role in any business, and we are also exploring the same. Going further, we have plans to expand the digital strategy that will help us to drive our business growth in the form of leads and revenue generation.

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