LEADERSHIP TALK

Saumitra Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer of Kokuyo Camlin

We are looking at innovation at every aspect especially new product development. We were looking at trend of children reducing consumption of water colours & poster colours due to scarcity of time and messy experience. We launched an innovative product called brush pen which gives the experience of water colours with the convenience of pen. This has been very well accepted by the market. We have launched many innovative products like Colour Mechanical Pencils, washable Crayons, No Sharpening Mechanical Pencils and many others.” Said Saumitra Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer of Kokuyo Camlin.

Innovation certainly leading the way, Saumitra spoke to MediAvataar India resulting in invoking some definite nostalgia and connecting to the artist and child within each one of us. It’s not all playful but a lot of work and planning.

Here is all he had to put into words…

MediAvataar: Camlin, I am sure is a part of almost everybody’s childhood, how do you keep reinventing the brand each year.
Saumitra: In India many generations have grown using Camlin in school, but this cannot be taken for granted as today’s generation of children will not just accept it because it’s their fathers brand and hence the brand needs to connect with today’s children.
We make continuous attempt to contemporize the brand without changing or diluting its core equity of making learning fun for children.

MediAvataar: How do you look at your competition?
Saumitra: Today we have new competitors which are good national players and some international as well. But what differentiates us and them is that we are the only player which provides to consumers the complete range of stationery while other are focused at select categories.

MediAvataar: Please share the latest marketing campaigns with us?
Saumitra: Camlin mechanical pencils campaign has been a very successful and game changing campaign for us wherein we could change of age old habits of using wooden pencil for writing to using mechanical pencil in a large section of children.

MediAvataar: What has been the response like?
Saumitra: We witnessed a massive growth of above 50% growth when we ran the campaign on TV. It has for the first time created a high awareness for mechanical pencils.

MediAvataar: Innovation is really the key with such a simple yet mass brand, how do you keep it rolling?
Saumitra: We are looking at innovation at every aspect especially new product development. We were looking at trend of children reducing consumption of water colours & poster colours due to scarcity of time and messy experience. We launched an innovative product called brush pen which gives the experience of water colours with the convenience of pen. This has been very well accepted by the market.
We have launched many innovative products like Colour Mechanical Pencils, washable Crayons, No Sharpening Mechanical Pencils and many others

MediAvataar: How do you really define your TG, given the extent of your products?
Saumitra: While we are known for children products we also market leaders in the category of artist products and markers which are used by adults. Since we have the most comprehensive stationery products portfolio we reach out to most consumers. We offer outstanding quality with reasonable price and hence we are seen as a middle class brand. We target all consumers who are participating with us in making learning fun.

MediAvataar: How do you keep them in the game?
Saumitra: We continuously connect with them and understand their needs to make their products serve their needs the best.

MediAvataar: Going back in history which campaign of Camlin you really liked?
Saumitra: Camlin Mechanical Pencil would be my favorite one as it could change the game in pencils for us

MediAvataar: In your career journey, what has been one of your most a) gratifying, b) bizarre experiences so far?
Saumitra: In my entire marketing career some of the most satisfying experiences have been working on brands like Chik shampoo, Spinz, Indica and Camlin where we have grown much faster than any category and have in the process changed the rules of the industry.

MediAvataar: What is there in the pipeline for the company when it comes to marketing ventures?
Saumitra: What I can say we are looking at many initiatives in order to make learning fun for children both from new products as well as activities and we should be the most exciting stationery brand for our consumers

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