Outlook November 4, 2002
Kapil Mehan, VP, sales and marketing, Tata
How have you reached here and how do you intend to keep
Launched in August 1983, Tata Salt was the first national
brand of packaged salt to be marketed in India. To millions
of Indian housewives, it presented a welcome move away from
the loose, unbranded salt of suspect quality to the reassurance
of clean, pure salt guaranteed by Indias most
trusted business house. As consumer acceptance of Tata Salt
grew, so did the attractiveness of the category to potential
manufacturers and marketers, both large and small. The last
19 years have seen the launch of scores of new brands of packaged
iodised salt, including over half a dozen national brands.
Yet, Tata Salt continues to be the leader in the category
with 37 per cent share in this segment.
Tata Salt has been ranked at number four in the Brand
Equity survey. Do you look at this as an achievement of sorts
for the brand, especially from a product category like salt?
Most definitely. Even more so, if you consider that the salt
category wasnt even on the list last year. It is a great
honour for us, and a tribute to all the hard work that has
been put in over the years, to create such a strong brand.
You have aligned the brand as the salt of the nation,
does this positioning come from the core values of the brand?
Tata Salt has the intrinsic equity and strength needed to
shoulder such an emotional platform. We have reaffirmed our
leadership position by changing the category paradigm of health
and taste. While Tata Salt has so far been positioned on the
rational aspects of purity, this new positioning
places this very proposition within the larger context of
the consumers life, encompassing both rational and emotional
manifestations of purity. It thus juxtaposed the kharapan
of the product against the honesty and integrity of ordinary
Indians. Thus, it reinforces the brands leadership position,
both in the marketplace and in the minds of Indian consumers.
How do you see the standing of local brands in face of
the opening up of trade in India?
We see a rationalisation of the market. The large national
players will consolidate but many of the small local players
will be there catering more and more to the lower end of the
What is your vision and goal from here?
To grow and retain market leadership by a wider margin.