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Window – The Silent Hero – Behind the Curtain
Recently my boss asked me,“Who is our biggest competitor?” While I was contemplating, he made several suggestions, the normal suspects – Veka, Koemmerling, Rehau, Fenesta, Aluplast, or Chinese – Lesso, Kinbon, Shide, Konch! After considering all his suggestions and evaluating our own strengths and weaknesses, I realised that even though these were our competitors, they were also faced with the same objections like us.
So then who is our biggest competitor? Aluminium window brothers who tried their best to put down uPVC as plastic, fire hazard and what not? (I was one of them a decade ago).Those have been passé, as many aluminium window producers have today realised the advantage of uPVC windows and themselves have ventured into it. Many uPVC Window producers too have added Aluminium Window lines. So, again the same question- who is our biggest competitor?
My boss prodded further, “What is it that our competitors are doing which we aren’t?” Ok, we aren’t advertising, we aren’t participating in exhibitions, we are not into events, but sure, we have grown year by year through our network. Focussing more on building the network, and training them to deliver good windows. Still a long way to go but what do we do to increase the overall market share of uPVC Windows and our business?
Nearly a decade back, Parryware started a revolution – ‘No more bathrooms, only glamour rooms’. The advertising industry created several icons in the Bathroom category – Hindware, Cera, Jaguar Bath Fittings and many more which changed our views on the once often neglected room constructed in one corner of the house. We have Shah Rukh Khan – the Baadshah of Bollywood, going into the bathroom repeatedly just to admire the Hindware Sanitary ware! Really?
I jumped up and said, “That’s what we need! A bold commercial which will glamourise the windows – who cares if the window profile is tested for UV resistance for 8Gj/m2 for 8000 hours and resist impact? We need Virat Kholi or Dhoni smashing the cherry on the window – whack – no crack!
Who cares if the window can resist Vardah storm! We need Geeta Poghat pushing against the Deceuninck window to show how strong it is! Why did we test them for proof load of 2.4kPa! We imported a test rig to do our own tests in the future. What a waste!
We need a Maserati or Ferrari to show how smooth our rollers run. Perhaps we can rope in Priyanka Chopra sashaying down the red carpet to show the smoothness! A Hinglish tag line ‘Deceuninck Windows Slide like Makkhan’!
Hey, how about Deepika matching her room colours with the wonderful colour laminated finishes of our window and in walks Prakash Padokone .Or a locked in husband (Ritesh Deshmukh) struggling to open the door to snuggle up to their smouldering hot neighbour girl. In walks Genelia – ‘Keep the heat out with Deceuninck Doors!’
Alia Bhat reading a book (seriously?) while the whole world is bursting crackers and celebrating India’s World Cup victory outside. Deceuninck Windows – ‘Shut out the noise’. Poor girl walks in a restaurant the next day asking, “What happened to the match last night?” Only she can pull this off naturally!
Lot of things rage in my mind. Buzzing with new energy, ready for the next one on one with big boss, I pick up the newspaper to catch on some real news. The Nation wants to know …..Deceuninck Windows – shut the noise, read the news snaps to my mind. I pick up ipad to jot down all the crazy ideas which have been popping out since last night.
I heard my wifey talking to her friend the other day, “Did you see the advertisement of Shah Rukh and Gauri? Window Technique. It looks wonderful nah!” What? Shah Rukh in a window advertisement? Who, how, someone stole my idea? I know better than to interrupt my wife while she is on the phone. After nearly an hour of cryptic clues overheard by walking into the room couple of times to help my wifey clean up, I gather it is in the newspaper. I start looking page by page and wham there it is – Shah Rukh and Gouri advertising Curtains – DDécor.
I immediately write to my boss – “Our biggest competitor is Shah Rukh Khan. Need to rope in the Sena!”
In the last few years, we changed our window curtains couple of times to be in line with the latest fashion. Once to match the interiors and upholstery of our furniture. We spent a lot of time going through the different schemes, colours, fabrics, fittings, operators and what not. When I calculated the cost of the curtain per square meter, I realised we had spent nearly 5 times or more every time we changed them. I realised the glamour attached to the curtains, the show rooms which displayed the curtains, curtain rods, automatics…the whole industry was flourishing. They had huge show rooms in expensive malls, areas just selling these Purdahs.
I gather sadly that we don’t think of our windows the same way as we think of other things we buy for our homes. Windows are behind the curtains, performing the best they can, some better than others but nevertheless unseen. We, as an Industry (aluminium/wood/ uPVC), have failed to create this value for Windows as a whole.
Just thinking aloud, “Isn’t the body more precious than the expensive clothes that adorn it?”