Jayati Singh of Usha International Spills the Beans on IPL, Experiential & Targeting Young Audiences

Marketing | April 24, 2017 | Interview

Usha International Mumbai Indians IPL

Usha International, a leading consumer durable company from the house of Siddharth Sriram Group was established in the year 1934 and has since then been a household name when it comes to appliances, sewing machines, fans, power products and other categories. The brand today enjoys massive loyalty in Indian homes owing to its clutter-breaking yesteryears ATL campaigns; however, the brand has continued to reinvent its marketing game over the years.

Usha International entered the headlines again recently as it renewed its association with the IPL as the official partner of the Mumbai Indians team. In an exclusive interview, EVENTFAQS reached out to Jayati Singh, Vice President-Marketing for Cooking Appliances and Sewing Machines at Usha International to find out more about the association and what drives the marketing campaigns of the brand.

IPL 2017 marks the 4th year of the association between Usha International and Mumbai Indians. As a consumer durable company, how has the association worked out for Usha and what has been its impact on the brand?

Our long-term commitment for the 4th consecutive year with Mumbai Indians was a strategic brand initiative towards connecting with people across all age groups, genders, and income groups. This association has had a positive impact in terms of the Usha brand visibility and recall and therefore we have extended our association by another year.

Usha strongly believes in its brand ethos ‘Play’ and work towards developing a sporting ecosystem in the country by supporting numerous sporting initiatives like Ultimate Frisbee, Cricket for the Deaf, Golf etc.  At Usha, our focus is to promote active lifestyle, fun and healthy living; therefore, all our initiatives strategically combine product experiential initiatives seamlessly. Also, Usha has been recognized as the most trusted Indian consumer durables brand by the Brand Equity Most Trusted Brands survey- 2016 which clearly indicates that these associations are positively impacting our brand.

What is the essence of the marketing strategy for Usha International and how important is experiential marketing for it?

Usha believes in keeping the customer at the center and ensures that all the products that are being launched help them in their day to day lives. Identifying the needs of the consumer to ensuring that the consumer finds Usha products at the right places is where we are focussing on through our rigorous Research and Development and Go to market strategy.

An integral part of the Go to Market strategy is to acquaint the customers and consumers with the physical product and let them experience the key features of the product. That’s the reason we lay a lot of emphasis on experiential marketing in-store through demonstrator programs and also working on web-enabled experiential content for the digital space.     

Take us through some of the most recent on-ground initiatives by the brand and their success.

We regularly do on ground initiatives like live Demo stalls a wherein consumers can come experience the products. Recently, we did a product display stall at the Wankhede stadium during an IPL match. Similarly, at a recent Usha sponsored LSR sports meet we were conducting a three-day sewing experiential DIY workshop to creatively engage with the students by introducing them to technologically advanced Usha Janome automatic sewing machines like Dream Maker 120 and Allure.  Alongside, there were live demo stations for the Usha Oven Toaster Griller and hand-held Misty Fans.

Who executes the on-ground campaigns for Usha? Are there any executing partners on your roster or do they vary depending on the requirement of an event?

Experiential marketing through demonstrations and interactive product and solution selling is something that we at Usha take seriously and have more than 500 demonstrators across businesses on the ground. We have manpower agencies to whom we outsource the manpower; however, their training etc. are all being led from in-house.

What is the market share that Usha occupies in the consumer durables category and how do you plan to increase it? 

I really can’t comment on market share right now. However, we are the market leaders in Sewing machines, leading player in fans, coolers, etc.

The brand Usha has a certain lineage that strikes a cord with the elderly, but the brand has lost out on young buyers. Is there a marketing campaign on the way to tackle this challenge?

Usha does strike a deep cord with the elderly and it goes to show the legacy, trust, and credibility that the brand has built for generations. This also has a positive impact as the brand affinity is passed on from the older generation to the newer. The motto for Usha has been to continuously introduce advanced and innovative in products. Usha has been playing a leading role in category creation with the introduction of products like Cold Presses Juicer, Halogen Oven etc. in the cooking appliances category, therefore, gaining the image of a technologically advanced brand. This is increasingly making Usha more popular among the youth as well. Not to mention the association with sporting events like IPL and Frisbee which are very youth-centric.

Usha is popularizing the art of sewing through super hi end technologically advanced machines like Memory craft which are being used and popularized with the young breed of boutique owners etc.

Usha International entered the headlines again recently as it renewed its association with IPL as the official partner of the Mumbai Indians team.

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