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“Pahalwan’s: Need for a new marketing strategies” is a well written article by Jyoti Sharma and Subhadip Roy. Sharma and Roy highlighted the background, current business model and challenges that a leading sweetmeat seller known as Pahalwan is facing in Jammu and Kashmir. Pahalwan was first established in 1930s, and throughout years Pahalwan’s business model and strategies grew stronger in the local area. Pahalwan’s was one of the first to enter the sweet and namkeen field. Pahalwan’s mainly focused on sweets and producing quality product for their consumer. Despite their lack of communication, advertisement and marketing strategies, Pahalwan diversified their portfolio and expanded their stores in multiple locations. In an effort to expand, Pahalwan did start taking online orders and they were fairly successful in generating revenue and attract new consumers. Overtime landscape of the region and market changed and Pahalwan found themselves in competition among multinational corporations such as Dominos, Pizza Hut, McDonald and KFC. Moreover, Pahalwan’s management team had an awareness of changing environment, up-coming competition, and new generation of consumers. Lastly, Pahalwan’s management is tied to their core Indian sweets and fast food, hired a consultant who needs to outline the future path and strategy for their business in order to be successful in developing market.1
There are several key issues2 that Pahalwan’s are facing. For example,
– Pahalwan’s have the tradition of not believing or relying too much on marketing and advertising.
– Even with word-of-mouth and limited ads in local newspaper, Pahalwan’s have limited consumer market.
– Pahalwan’s were very successful when there was less competition, but now with multinational corporation entering the market, Pahalwan’s are at a risk of losing potential buyers.
– Pahalwan’s competition is aggressive with their business marketing strategies to make it more appealing to the consumers.
– With changes in consumer demand where healthy food is in-demand, Pahalwan’s limitation of diversifying their portfolio is another crucial problem.
– Pahalwan’s logo, lack of advertisement, not fully capitalizing on banquet hall, and lack of sales promotions are also some key challenges Pahalwan’s are facing.
Pahalwan’s was one of the first to enter the sweet and namkeen field. Pahalwan’s mainly focused on sweets and producing quality product for their consumer. Pahalwan’s earned good reputation and were awarded by Prime Minister of the state by the Indian government in 1950s. Pahalwan relied mostly on word-of-mouth and occasionally advertised in the local news-paper. Consumer market was changing and drastically becoming health conscious; furthermore, Pahalwan were not able to appeal or attract consumers due to the product that they were selling is considered to be unhealthy. Mehak Sharma has to report back set of solutions to Pahalwan’s management within a month as far as what the future path and strategy should be of their business in order to be successful in the rapidly developing competitive market.
Recommendations and Rationale:
Here are my recommendations to Pahalwan’s:
1) Diversify their product portfolio or business practices without losing their core product. This would broaden up their customer base. For example, Pahalwan’s can include healthy food and snacks to attract health conscious consumers. Business can include, salad, pasta, cereal, juices, or sugar-free sweets to retain these customers. They can include confectionary product to target youth and kids. Pahalwan can also include variety of popular drinks such as mango lassi with different flavoring and that can be appealing for the customers. In addition, Pahalwan’s can diversify their brand and lease their franchise in other part of India.
2) Alternate the physical appearance of the current business by providing updated sitting and eating area. This strategy will attract more locals and tourists by either word-of-mouth or via advertisement. For example, they can split their store among the customers who want to eat can sit on one side vs. the customers who want to order and take it to go.
3) Run promotion and offer discounts for consumers especially during holiday seasons and this will attract more customers. For example, Pahalwan’s can run buy one and get half off specific items if their portfolio was larger for the consumer.
4) Business expansion in other locations is a good strategy. Pahalwan’s can open more stores throughout India to expand their footprint. This will put them in the race with multinational corporation who are expanded in 100s of countries and it could potentially be beneficial for Pahalwan’s brand.
5) Pahalwan’s must use social media, advertisement and innovated marketing strategies to have a competitive edge in the growing market. According to exhibit 1 in the article, online orders are bringing in fair amount of revenue; thereby, Pahalwan’s can take similar approach to Kardashian’s and launch their Mobile app. Pahalwan’s can send free samples to YouTubers or every now and then bring in celebrities for promotion. In addition, updating the brand logo which can be simple but appealing would also be useful for the Pahalwan’s.
Support your positions with reasons:
I support above listed five recommendation for the following reasons. First, by introducing and innovating new product line, Pahalwan’s can offer complete restaurant catering to everyone. This will be appealing for youth and kids, and Pahalwan’s can keep up in the market while increasing market share, sales, and profit. This can potentially reduce sales of core product, but it will be beneficial for the overall Pahalwan’s business. Second, while this would need capital, but by providing sitting area, Pahalwan’s can improve customer satisfaction and eating experience. Third, discounts and promotions usually lure consumer into the store and eventually they end up making transaction. This approach can target non-loyal customers, tourists and potentially increase the customer base. More sales will lead to filling more items in store which will bring in profit. Fourth, expansion to other locations will give more visibility to Pahalwan’s brand, increase sales and business will be at less risk to developing market trends. Lastly, even though advertisement and marketing is costly, but it will reach to wider audiences. For example, through Mobile apps, customers will have access to Pahalwan’s menu at a click and will feel empowered and connected to the brand (see Appendix 1 for SWOT Analysis).
Overall, Pahalwan’s need to plan and come up with a new strategy for communication to increase their sales. In addition, Pahalwan’s must expand their product portfolio in order to stay in business in this competitive market. Over the next month or so, Pahalwan’s management team can review this report. Once agreed, we can pursue highlighted marketing strategies to build the Pahalwan’s brand further.
- “Pahalwan’s: Need for a New Marketing Strategy” CASE by Jyoti Sharm and Subhadip Roy, Harvard Business Publishing, W14488-‐PDF-‐ENG.
- Gupta, Priyanka. “Pahalwan’s: Need for a New Marketing Strategy.” May 1, 2018. Website: http://www.guptapriyankablog.com/pahalwans-need-for-a-new-marketing-strategy/
- Website: https://embapro.com/frontpage/swotcase/13020-pahalwan-s-jammu
- Website: http://fernfortuniversity.com/hbr/case-solutions/13020-pahalwan-s–need-for-a-new-marketi.php
- Book: Kotler, Phillip and Keller, Kevin. “Marketing Management, 15th Edition.” Publisher: Pearson 2015.
APPENDIX A: SWOT Analysis3
|Strengths||– Use Pahalwan’s existing customer base to strengthen and expand the market position
– Strong relationship with existing suppliers
– Strong brand equity and awareness
– First in place advantage
– Good financial statement and balance sheet
– Copy rights
|– Build on present consumer strength or accept current market demand and diversify product in conjunction
– Opportunities in global market
– Development in intelligence to predict consumer demands
– Risk of market entry
– Growing market size
– Evolving consumer preferences
|Weaknesses||– Build business based on consumer and market demand
– Potential of copying business model
– Lack of talent
– Technological advances in process
– Development of organization culture
– Improve brand i.e., logo, marketing and advertisement
|– Pahalwan’s can sell relocate their business
– Region’s trade relations
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