Quality is an essential aspect of life and should be inculcated in everything you promise to deliver. With this belief, Deepak Jain, COO, ADD Gel – the country’s first gel pen manufacturer to get AN ISO certification – tells 4Ps B&M about his dreams and SUCCESS SECRETS

ADD Gel was the first one to launch gel pens in India. What were the challenges you faced at the beginning?
My father started this concept. Then, it was an entirely new concept for Indian consumers. The initial hurdle was in terms of launching the product, settling on a price and deciding what target audience we will be targeting. Even distributors and retailers weren’t ready to accept the product. But over a period of one year, the success was phenomenally high, and we were able to grow at more than 100% year-on-year.

You’ve been at the helm of the affairs for over 3 years now. How has your leadership worked for the company?
You need to believe in your product and the people you are working with; their judgment, their decisions and intentions to do the best. Risk is everywhere; but trust is one of the most important factors. So far it has worked wonderfully for us.

How would you chart out the different elements of creating a great brand?
Value for money has to be there; it needs to be delivered in terms of marketing the product. For instance, companies claim that their pens write 3000 meters. But trust me, there is no pen so far that can write 3000 meters. Still people claim it.

When it comes to advertising, how do you go about it; opt for direct advertising or something out of the box?
No, we are doing direct advertising. You need to remember that the consumer doesn’t have time; he will flip the channel in less than a minute. In that short span, you need to tell him what you are offering and that too in a pressing manner. Otherwise, by the time you talk sense, he would have changed the channel spoiling the whole purpose of the ad.

What are your future plans for the company?
Over the past two decades, we have grown to a very good scale and managed a pan India distribution. However, my aim is to be among the top 20 brands in India in terms of recall value and consumer perception and obviously sales turnover by 2015.

If you look at Deepak Jain in 2002 and now, is there a big transformation?
I have gained good experience and I have learnt a lot of things like the fact that you need to be fast, and must stick to the fact that the consumer is always right.

What is that ‘must have’ trait to succeed in business?
You need to get around things. Everything in a system might not work, there are loopholes. You just need to find them and work your way out, be kind and manipulative.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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