Brands need to have a social side, beyond the marketing ideas that they have: Ali Harris Shere, ITC Ltd
Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer - Biscuits and Cakes Category, Foods Business Division, ITC Limited on Sunfeast’s association with Indian Run As One.
The ongoing pandemic has impacted millions of livelihoods like never before. In these uncertain times, it's our collective responsibility to come together and help the lesser privileged ones.
Sunfeast India Run As One is an attempt in that direction. This virtual event, which is also one of the biggest in the world, aims to raise funds to support livelihoods of those who were most affected.
To talk about Sunfeats’s association with this event, we spoke to Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer - Biscuits and Cakes Category, Foods Business Division, ITC Limited. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your association with Sunfeast India Run As One?
This idea was so topical that we found an instant connect. It deals with an issue that is ongoing and has impacted millions of people and completely aligns with our approach. Sunfeast as a brand stands for certain values which is about making India a happier place, so all these factors made it easier for us to come on board. I think all brands need to have a social side, beyond the marketing ideas that they have.
What has been your experience of dealing with this unprecedented situation?
It genuinely has been an unprecedented situation as it posed challenges that we had not seen in the past. But we have tried to look at the opportunities instead of the challenges.
Our business has done good. Our category which is biscuits, has proved to be a versatile category as it is accessible and provides good value for money. The packaged food took a little boost because it is hygienic and healthy. The back end and the front end team has done a fantastic job to be able to provide the right manufacturing and availability of the product for the consumers. The consumers are also looking forward to this category.
Your category has a substantial dependence on experiential, how are you translating that into digital experiences now?
In this context e-commerce has become a very important and a huge part of the business over the past three months. Because consumers found it safe to stay home and order and get products delivered instead of stepping out.
The smaller neighbourhood outlets or the nearby kirana stores which were losing a little bit of their charm because of e-commerce came back as people did not want to travel so much and go to any bigger crowded departmental stores.
How do you see this festive season? What are your predictions for this year?
We have never seen such times and so much uncertainty ever before. I think that the spirit of festivals is going to be there, but it will definitely be limited. Consumers are also looking forward to something that could cheer them up in these gloomy times.
The festive spirit will be intact but the challenge will be to translate it into consumption and purchase. Our category is also used for gifting purposes and a lot of consumers might opt for online gifting. The scale could get impacted but I am positive about the festive season.
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