I was talking to a fountain pen lover, who is also a journalist the other day and naturally, the conversation had veered towards the conversion rate of the INR vis-à-vis the US Dollar. He was predictably concerned that the negative effect a falling Rupee will have on fountain pens, inks and accessories imports, afraid that the already prohibitive prices will go through the roof. The perennial optimist that I am, I had pointed out that the weak Rupee will, on the other side of the coin, aid our exports and may even provide the local industry with a straw to clutch on to, which faces a deluge of cheap imports.
The talk had then taken a strange turn with him asking which Indian brand, I thought, has the wherewithal to hold on its own in the international market, fight with the imports in the local market and is capable of being considered the “numero uno” in India? “Which Indian company can emerge as the leader in the next five years, with a global footprint and why” he had asked me, tempting me further by challenging me to give three reasons to justify my argument.
I had told him that the one brand that can emerge winners is Click (it already is, there in the top) and accepting his challenge had said that instead of three I will give him ten reasons to justify my contention about Click.
- Quality: In terms of quality Click products have already curved out a distinct niche for themselves in the market. One must keep in mind the fact that Click is also an OEM for a number of global brands and is therefore very well versed about international quality norms.
- Numbers: Click says in its communications “a million smiles and counting”. Now that takes a certain amount of maturity – backed by the requisite numbers – to make such claims. That Click is there in the top, in terms of numbers, need not be said. It is so well known.
- Distribution is a key that many an upstart tends to overlook. Click has been in the business for close to five decades now, and like some other players in the field, has never downed the shutters. The result is a well-oiled distribution channel, pan-India, that kind of which no other brand can match.
- After Sales service. Click is one brand where customer complaints are addressed by the MD, Harsh Gagwani himself. He does not beat about the bush – send a complaint and he immediately will ship a replacement, no questions asked and even without bothering the customer about refunding the disputed piece. I have never seen after sales service like this. Trust me, it doesn’t get any better.
- Manufacturing prowess. Harsh Gagwani is the third generation in the business. And trust me, he knows his pens. Click’s production line is not only highly efficient, but is of a kind that very few manufacturers can match. For the uninitiated, just the moulds that he has, and he bought them from the brands going out of business in the late 1990’s, will give him an edge that is virtually unassailable.
- It is a family business. An entity where they stake the reputation of the family on each and every piece that they sell. Add to it the fact that Harsh Gagwani is a management graduate. That is like they say, the best of both worlds. The twin edges of the sword.
- Brand Value. Recall. In terms of customer recall alone, Click is there in the sky with the Gods. No other fountain pen brand even remotely comes close to it in the segments where it has an overwhelming presence. Its brand value has been painstakingly built over close to half a century now and yes, it will give Click a clear advantage, always.
- Pricing. Click pens, as we all know by now are value for money. They are available at very attractive price points which is another huge plus for the brand.
- User Friendliness. The pens, as anyone who has used them are a pleasure to write with. They are well designed, crafted to near perfection and have been made keeping user needs in mind, that too incorporating the best possible inputs. In short, they are, at the price points in which they are offered, among the very best.
- Acceptability. No brand can retain its position in the top, that too in a competitive, free market, unless it has a product that is a winner. And click is holding court for the last fifty odd years. Naturally, that speaks volumes about its acceptability, as a brand, as a manufacturer who is trusted and loved. Do I need to say more?
I think Click is now ready to go on in the overdrive. They have already tested the waters with a spate of new products in the last couple of years, have tinkered with the pricing, refurbished the distribution, got its communication strategy in place and is now ready to take the leap of faith.
Watch this space. The fireworks are about to begin.
For more information http://www.uniquepen.in/
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