Anupama Sajeet
Dec 18, 2023

The CMOs MO: Crompton’s Pragya Bijalwan on ushering in a more diverse workforce into the consumer electrical industry

Crompton Greaves' marketing head spotlights the lack of diverse talent in the consumer electrical industry and the challenges marketers face in balancing short-term and long-term goals

The CMOs MO: Crompton’s Pragya Bijalwan on ushering in a more diverse workforce into the consumer electrical industry
The CMO’s MO (modus operandi), spotlights some of India’s top CMOs as they share their marketing mantra, trends for the future, and what keeps them up at night. Here we chat up with the who’s who of the country’s leading marketers, keep the tone conversational, crisp and throw in questions that allow leaders to shine a light on their personalities, plans, and passions projects for the year ahead. 
 
In this week's edition of CMO's MO, we have Pragya Bijalwan, CMO, of Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals on the hot seat. 
 
Before joining Crompton in April 2021 Bijalwan led product innovations, brand campaigns and technology-based solutions for Castrol India. With more than 19 years of marketer experience in industries such as lubricants, paints and the consumer goods industry, Bijalwan's career spans markets both in India and international like Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Middle East.  
 
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What are the three biggest opportunities for your brand?
 
Innovation happens at a very fast pace in the consumer electrical industry. Since consumer needs are evolving at a fast pace moving from pure functional to more lifestyle-based, the biggest opportunity lies in participating in these lifestyle subcategories. These could open up opportunities both in product and go-to-market strategy. Consumers are looking for smart solutions, energy efficiency and sustainability, and products offering healthier options. The way to provide this could also mean a change in the way we reach out to consumers. With the growth of digital platforms, it opens up opportunities to provide personalisation options to consumers. It also offers brands opportunities to increase saliency with the relevant audience set only. 
 
Where are you investing your marketing budgets this year? In what areas are you increasing or cutting spending?
 
We are increasing spending disproportionately on new-age digital platforms. While some of our categories are high penetration we look at high-reach platforms. But when we look at targeting for incremental reach through digital we curate the audience set to reach out to only high-intent and in-market audience. 
 
Marketing maestros or growth gurus: Are chief marketing officers the new chief growth officers?
 
CMOs are equally responsible for growth and hence assuming the role of Chief Growth Officer comes in consequently. In the era of data-driven marketing, CMOs and CGOs alike leverage data analytics to make informed decisions. Understanding customer behaviour, market trends, and performance metrics is crucial for devising effective growth strategies.
 
Are you tapping into Gen AI's awesomeness to future-proof your marketing efforts? Spill the C-suite strategy around Gen AI.
 
Yes, we are looking at Gen AI to optimise our consumer outreach and conversation through automation, personalisation, and creativity. We have used it heavily on social media too both for creatives and ORM. We currently have one of the highest engagement scores as a result on social platforms. We are also looking at curating our media deployment strategy using automation and personalisation.
 
Give us one example to convince our readers that your brand is walking the talk on sustainability. 
 
Sustainability is not a choice with a brand but forms a fundamental purpose of our existence. It's a proven fact that new-age consumers show higher trust in brands that stand for the core value of sustainability. Being in the consumer electricals industry we are heavily focused on devising energy-efficient solutions for our consumers without sacrificing on core benefits of the product. Being a market leader in fans we, today, provide a full range of energy-efficient Activ BLDC fans that provide up to 60% energy savings without compromising on-air delivery and aesthetics.
 
What do you feel separates your brand culture from others?
 
While we work in an industry where consumer needs are fast evolving, Crompton, as a brand, has stayed relevant, meaningful, and contemporary earning the trust of the consumers for more than 8 decades. It's the only brand in the consumer electricals industry that can uniquely command this great legacy while earning the trust of consumers for all these years while keeping itself future-ready.
 
Wired for Wanderlust
 
What needs to change in your industry when it comes to working culture?
 
The industry needs to see more diverse talent in its workforce. The current gender diversity percentage is very low. This is true for the entire consumer electrical industry. Considering we are catering to a large female consumer base the thought process must be driven inside out with more females seen in middle and higher-order roles.
 
Complete the sentence: "Today's CMO must be ….".
 
Today's marketing head must be adaptable, innovative and customer-centric.
 
What kind of a CMO are you? Answer using a maximum of three adjectives.
 
Trying to keep up with the above. However, I uniquely identify myself with innovation, which if done correctly, embraces the other two facets as well. Innovations need to be relevant to consumer needs and must adapt to the evolving consumer needs.
 
Tell us one personal thing about yourself that others might not know.
 
I like to centre my thoughts on practising mindfulness. I practice it daily before I start my day. Keeps me positive, focused and resilient.
 
What's your favourite brand campaign that you participated in or wish you had?
 
It's tough to call a 'favourite brand campaign' since each of them may have a different purpose to serve. Recently I enjoyed working on a campaign that we released early this year talking about the energy revolution in fans. The idea was to drive energy efficiency with the brand without compromising on-air delivery. We reached out to both premium and the economy consumers keeping the benefit/conversation unique to each consumer set. We realised that economy consumers valued energy-efficient fans since they saved their electricity bills massively, however, these fans were beyond their reach. With the new range of affordable energy-efficient fans, we talked about energy-efficient fans now within their reach. For the premium consumers, these fans were available but they were not offering the best core need of air-delivery. The consumers were dissatisfied with the idea of energy efficiency at the cost of air delivery hence we communicated our range of ActivBLDC fans which are energy efficient without compromising on air delivery. For both these campaigns we used the mediums and genres as per the targeted consumers to achieve the desired brand objective.
 
Name another brand (can't be yours) with an amazing customer experience that you admire. Why is it great?
 
I admire Apple as a brand. It a renowned for its seamless integration of products, intuitive design, and excellent customer service. The Apple Store experience, both online and in physical stores, emphasises customer engagement and support.
 
What keeps you up at night as a CMO?
 
I won't put it like that. I enjoy my work and hence don't lose sleep over issues. But yes, one of the challenges marketers face is balancing short-term and long-term goals for the brand. Striking a balance between short-term marketing goals, such as achieving brand turnover, and long-term brand-building strategies is a constant challenge. CMOs need to allocate resources effectively to meet both immediate and future objectives.
 
 
Source:
Campaign India

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