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Despite 2020 being daunting, our resilient team has made us a much stronger organization than ever before: Marzin Shroff, Eureka Forbes
Marzin Shroff, CEO and Managing Director, Eureka Forbes LimitedEureka Forbes
Marzin Shroff walks us through all that is going on at Eureka Forbes
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Despite 2020 being daunting, our resilient team has made us a much stronger organization than ever before: Marzin Shroff, Eureka Forbes

Marzin Shroff walks us through all that is going on at Eureka Forbes
  • Since its launch in 1982, Eureka Forbes has almost become synonymous with the water purifier and vacuum cleaner category.
  • Recently, it re-branded itself, for the first time since its launch.
  • We speak to Marzin Shroff, CEO and Managing Director, Eureka Forbes Limited, to understand why the brand rebranded itself after all these years, how its innovating to keep up with times, and where its future growth will come from.
The year 2020 affected all businesses, but at the same time, it shone the spotlight on brands that work in the areas of health and hygiene, as people became more serious about the safety of their loved ones. These brands had the responsibility of innovating with the changing times, to address consumer concerns and their rapidly evolving demands.

Eureka Forbes, that for a long time was almost synonymous with water purifiers and vacuum cleaners in India identified this changing need and launched Ayur, a water purifier that dispenses water infused with Ayurvedic herbs and spices. It also plans to launch the Forbes Robo Vac and Mop, coupled with a cordless vacuum cleaner and the Forbes DiWa – a surface disinfectant generator.

Identifying the need to change itself with changing times, the brand also recently rebranded itself, after being in existence for over three decades.

We recently caught up with Marzin Shroff, CEO and Managing Director, Eureka Forbes Limited, to understand why the brand rebranded itself after all these years, how its innovating to keep up with times, and where its future growth will come from.

Excerpts:

Q) Eureka Forbes’ legacy goes back over 38 years. So what was the thought behind your recent re-branding?
The building blocks of our branding strategy are based on the following principles:
    1. Right brand architecture across categories, consumer segments, price points and channels
    2. Sharper brand positioning and communication to fully address needs of each target segment
    3. Repurposing our brand and aligning it to make a positive difference
    4. Revitalising our internal team towards this purpose-based vision
    5. Optimising our brand spends under two umbrella brands (closely linking into each other)
    6. Leveraging the strengths of the brand – Protection, Trust, Positivity
Q) Rebranding a legacy brand can be tricky, people identify these brands and there is some amount of affinity due to familiarity. How have you made sure you have retained some of your legacy identity while coming up with the new identity?
Eureka Forbes is a brand which has, over the years, found its place in almost all households across the country. Indeed, rebranding of a true legacy can be a bit tricky. However, for us, it was not much of a challenge because it is not a change, it is more of an evolution as we like to call it. Making the brand identity more cohesive with the brand strategy has been the attempt. Our attempt has been contemporising the brand story and philosophy rather than a complete re-branding.

Q) 2020 has been difficult for most businesses across the globe. How has the year been for Eureka Forbes?
2020 has been an unprecedented year for everyone, and it’s been the same for us at Eureka Forbes. While the initial weeks and a few months were daunting, the resilient team at Eureka Forbes has made this year one of the best in terms of learnings, new ways to market and made us a stronger organisation than ever before. Posibol is a true representation of the attitude at Eureka Forbes.

Q) What kind of growth did you see for your products under the health and hygiene segments? Will these products drive growth for the brand in 2021 too? Are you also looking at launching more products under these segments, given people's increased focus on health and hygiene in 2020?
The pandemic has resulted in an extremely conscious and aware consumer class. Not only have we as consumers become health and hygiene conscious, when it comes to the health of the family, consumers prefer to choose the leader! Both have had a positive impact on Eureka Forbes and our brands Aquaguard & Forbes.

Aquaguard, a brand that defines pure-healthy water in India and which enjoys unprecedented consumer acceptance and top of the mind recall scores in excess of 65% and unaided recalls of 96% +, has seen recent introductions like Aquaguard Ayur Fresh - a first-of-its-kind fusion of age-old wisdom and state-of-the-art technology. The goodness of 7 Ayurvedic ingredients (herbs and spices) now in your drinking water!

Under the brand Forbes, we introduced state of the art Upright, Steam and Robotic vacuum cleaners and new Air Purifiers.

Forbes DiWa is our newest introduction. The Forbes DiWa Surface Disinfectant Generator uses just Common Salt and Water to produce Sodium Hypochlorite that is listed by USEPA as an active ingredient against the human coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 & kills 99.99% viruses & bacteria in just 5 seconds on multiple surfaces.

Forbes Coronaguard is an innovative device that uses PMEE technology ‘physically attenuates’ the homing mechanism on the virus and prevents infectivity, eliminating the bridge between the virus and the human cells. The air disinfection efficiency of ‘Forbes Coronaguard’ has been tested and proven by leading institutes across the globe.

All of these and some more innovations in the near future shall certainly drive the overall growth in the ‘health & hygiene’ segment and help us consolidate our leadership.

Q) What does your performance in this FY look like. What kind of expectations do you have from the new financial year?
As I said, it has been a muted but extremely challenging year. We’ve recovered well from the early days of lockdown and while the categories are showing a positive trajectory, the washout of Q1 of 20-21 is yet to be completely recovered. We are looking at a positive 2021 and we know it surely is ‘posibol’.

Q) You were one of the pioneers of direct sales in India. How has your approach changed now? What do you think is the most effective way to sell to consumers now?
Eureka Forbes which started as the pioneers of direct selling in the country is now one of Asia’s largest direct sales company. Our direct sales business is as pro-active as ever, however we are a multi-channel organisation and would like to leave no stone unturned when it comes to serving our customers, hence we have spread ourselves across channels to reach out to our customers. Although our approach towards direct selling essentially remains the same, it is now adapted and revised to help our employees reach out to their target customers. While we believe that Eureka Forbes has its roots quite deep into its Direct and Retail sales channels, considering the current scheme of things, it would be the e-commerce/digital platform which is emerging both effectively and profitably due to the various advantages such as having easy access to the market and the scope of rapid growth. There is also perpetual improvement in the way we approach our customers thanks to various online marketing and analytic tools.

Digital as a platform essentially has two core digital structures (digital platforms and ecosystems). The first includes global platforms such as Google, Facebook, WhatsApp etc. which allow a range of digital products to be built on top of them—advertising and media sitting on top of it.

Ecosystems, by contrast, often start with a consumer need for a service, such as real-time management of products as well as service requests etc.

At Eureka Forbes, we are building a large CRM solution that is based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 through which different platforms interact to give our existing and new consumers a never before experience.

Yes, purely on digital advertising vis-à-vis traditional advertising, the spends will keep going up.

Q) Where will Eureka Forbes' next phase of growth come from?
Eureka Forbes is a multi-product, multi-channel organisation. In the next phase of our journey we wish to grow forward and upward and the same is not limited to a particular segment of business as we wish to grow as a whole, as one organisation with uniform growth across categories and businesses. The pursuit of moving forward and upward is the inspiration behind our new brand identity. This spirit has resulted in a symbol, which is the combination of ‘POSitive’ and ‘SYMBOL’- POSIBOL. The POSIBOL sign embedded in the logo signifies a new world made for customers, partners and society – one that leaves a positive footprint.

Q) What is your vision for brand Eureka Forbes?
The vision of the organisation has been revisited for the changing times and is now envisaged as: ‘A healthy world. A protected you. A happy us. The world is ever changing and dynamic and for an organisation to stay ahead of the curve, it must keep adapting to constantly improve. Eureka Forbes’ resolution to provide health and hygiene to its customers through the most advanced products is sustained and the new identity sings the same tune. For the 3+ decades of its existence, Eureka Forbes has not only promised but also practiced its claim of being ‘Friends for Life’ to our huge customer base. With a promise so pure we aim to make the world a better place by being involved in activities that help the society, going that extra mile to make a positive difference.