Anupama Sajeet
Feb 15, 2024

The CMO's MO: The single biggest opportunity is the premiumisation trend - Swati Rathi

Godrej Appliances' head of marketing, who has been with the company for 18 years, delves into her convictions, the brand's tangible commitment to sustainability, and unveils the guiding marketing principles that fuel her passion, all while sharing her personal journey with Indian classical music

The CMO's MO: The single biggest opportunity is the premiumisation trend - Swati Rathi
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 Godrej Appliances, head of marketing, Swati Rathi on the hot seat. 
Armed with 20 years of marketing experience with over 16 years in consumer durables and prior experience in market research, Rathi has been a part of the Godrej appliances conglomerate since February 2006. Her current role entails consumer and stakeholder research, communication and media, conversion, channel expansion and revenue, apart from being responsible for marketing strategy and its implementation across product categories.
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1. What are the three biggest opportunities for your brand?
There are a host of opportunities – from people slowly appreciating the need to go ‘green’, rising appreciation for ‘Made in India’ products, strong service expertise to great product offerings in the pipeline. The single biggest opportunity, however, is the premiumisation trend which allows us to innovate more and offer differentiated value-laden offerings like ‘India’s first leakproof split Air Conditioner’ – a highly successful offering we introduced last year. 
2. Where are you investing your marketing budgets this year? In what areas are you increasing or cutting spend?
Our digital spends will continue to grow this year, led by e-commerce promotions along with other digital avenues and marketing spends at stores. 
3. Marketing maestros or growth gurus: Are chief marketing officers the new chief growth officers?
Marketing officers have always been growth officers, driving both – growth in the short-term and long-term! 
4. What do you feel separates your brand culture from others?
a. Authenticity and integrity 
b. Hard-to-find, genuine love for the environment
5. Complete the sentence: “Today’s CMO must be ….”  
A digital native to appreciate the changing lives of consumers. 

6. What kind of a CMO are you? Answer using a maximum of three adjectives.
'Team player', 'customer obsessed', 'insight-driven'
7. Tell us one personal thing about yourself that others might not know.
I am a trained singer with a degree in Indian classical music. 
Awarding excellence: At a Godrej annual business conference
8. Give us one example to convince our readers that your brand is walking the talk on sustainability.
I can share plenty of examples because sustainability has always been a way of life at Godrej. 
Godrej Appliances is the only AC brand in India to offer the world’s greenest refrigerant R290 with the lowest global warming potential. It is also the only Indian brand to be in the top 4 finalists of the Global Cooling Prize aimed at reducing the energy consumption of ACs by 80% in future. 
We offer refrigerant & compressor-free thermoelectric technology for innovative cooling solutions and are the only ones in the Indian industry to do so. We also offer the most energy-efficient refrigerator in the country apart from offering highly efficient ACs, Deep Freezers, Washing Machines and Dishwashers.
We were the first to voluntarily adopt CFC, HFC, and HCFC-Free refrigerants as early as the 2000s, much before the Montreal Protocol. We were also amongst the first in the country to be recognised with Platinum Plus GreenCo certification for our two manufacturing factories located at Shirwal, outside of Pune, Maharashtra and Mohali, Punjab.
For the past couple of years, the brand has been leading the shift away from thermocol-based packaging and adopting environment-friendly honeycomb (HC) packaging solutions.
9. What keeps you up at night as a CMO? 
Balancing the short-term and long-term needs of the brand can keep me up at night


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