In Conversation with Subrata Mukerji

Business Head, Typhoo Tea India
Monday, 18 Dec 2017
  • Comments 0
Subrata Mukerji is the Business Head of Typhoo Tea India. He has experience in business management and operations in FMCG & Consumer Goods with various Indian groups & MNCs. Prior to Typhoo Tea, Subrata has worked with the Godrej Group, Godfrey Philiips India, Duncans Industries, Shaw Wallace and Saregama India Ltd.
About
Subrata Mukerji is the Business Head of Typhoo Tea India. He has experience in business management and operations in FMCG & Consumer Goods with various Indian groups & MNCs. Prior to Typhoo Tea, Subrata has worked with the Godrej Group, Godfrey Philiips India, Duncans Industries, Shaw Wallace and Saregama India Ltd.

With the cafe culture growing full steam and even tea-specific places coming up, how is the category of tea, in your view, growing?

Standard Chai has always been a staple beverage for Indians. But unlike the older generation, the Generation Y or the millennial don’t consider it to be cool and trendy. Regardless of the fact that tea has been ingrained in Indian Culture, sadly we don’t see buzz around the concept of “Indian Chai”.

With the introduction of various varieties and flavours of tea like Green Tea, Herbal, Infusions and more; this is savoured as hot, cold or in the form of smoothies. The growth of tea cafes has lead to the boom of tea culture in India, hence, making it a part of our lifestyle.

The tea bag and green tea has aided to the growth of tea industry. It is estimated that the tea bag and green tea industry is growing at 25-30% YOY in comparison to the Traditional Chai (tea) which is at 2-5%.

Within the tea genre, how is the infusion category growing? How important is the infusion category for Typhoo?

Infusion has emerged as the latest buzz in the industry.  Served in the convenient tea bag format infused with herbs and fruit blends, it has numerous health benefits and promotes wellbeing.  In spite of having so many benefits, these are not considered as tea.
Realising the nutritional value that the infusions promise, the millennial prefer them more than the past generations. For Typhoo, infusion is a key brand driver in terms of “High Ground” positioning compared to other tea brands.

Tell us about the innovation strategy at Typhoo and how integral it is to the growth strategy of the company?

The century old traditional tea can only grow with product innovation, adding convenience to the consumption and making it relevant to be consumed by the new generation consumers. We at Typhoo consider these factors as the pillar of our growth strategy.

Our current and forward plans include expansion into relevant product varieties, newer home consumption formats with wellness and nutrition at its core.

Based on your research, could you give us the top three to four consumer behaviour trend in terms of tea consumption in India? How is it undergoing a change?

- Top four consumer behaviour trends for me are:
1. Good for me, my health & wellness
2. Ease of consumption
3. Fits my lifestyle and personality
4. Variety

Considering the above mentioned trends, it is easy to say that tea is no longer considered as a commodity but a brand that reflects one’s personality. Also, people are choosing tea basis time of the day, method and the occasion.

Could you tell us about some of the interesting marketing strategies (including the tea appreciation and tasting sessions) at Typhoo?

Marketing Strategies are the backbone of any brand. Each of our marketing activities are curated depending upon the occasion and the target audience, to create awareness, interest amongst consumers
Furthermore, we at Typhoo, always try to be innovative with our strategies and focus on the activities that directly impact our branding like events, in store campaigns, consumer outreach programs, tea pairing with foods, consumer trials and tasting sessions, reviews by nutritionists, food bloggers.

Given that Typhoo is a global brand, how differently do you plan your strategies for developing markets such as India? 

We see India as a key market, since tea is the country’s staple beverage and is accepted as a natural choice of beverage. We see great opportunity in creating relevance via newer products, tastes and occasions. Moreover, the conversion of the new age population of the country in itself is a sizable business that can become larger than many developed countries. Therefore, we have positioned Typhoo as a premium yet affordable brand for the large Indian audiences to upgrade, with smart pricing. Despite of our premium packaging and wide variety, we haven’t positioned our self as a niche luxury product/brand  

How important is digital media for Typhoo's marketing and advertising strategy?

In this age of digitalisation, tapping into digital media has become a necessity. The target audience for our category chooses a brand primarily basis his/her own insight, knowledge and peer recommendation. Customer these days want to be treated as unique and not like any ordinary consumer. Therefore, digital marketing is a key method for them to consume information.

Consumers these days believe in their own judgement and prefer consulting their friends or reading reviews. The concept of mass advertisements is long gone and people believe more on focussed communication. Therefore, we at Typhoo, treat digital media as is a key platform to reach focussed audience apart from the impactful store communication and visibility

Comments (0)

Fireside

Exceptional women and men who have helped shape and grow our industry.