October 30, 2002 | Outlook

Tata Salt

Kapil Mehan, VP, sales and marketing, Tata Chemicals Ltd

How have you reached here and how do you intend to keep that position?
Launched in August 1983, Tata Salt was the first national brand of packaged salt to be marketed in India. To millions of Indian housewives, it presented a welcome move away from the loose, unbranded salt of suspect quality to the reassurance of clean, pure salt - guaranteed by India’s most trusted business house. As consumer acceptance of Tata Salt grew, so did the attractiveness of the category to potential manufacturers and marketers, both large and small. The last 19 years have seen the launch of scores of new brands of packaged iodised salt, including over half a dozen national brands. Yet, Tata Salt continues to be the leader in the category with 37 per cent share in this segment.

Tata Salt has been ranked at No. 4 in the Brand Equity survey. Do you look at this as an achievement of sorts for the brand, especially from a product category like salt?
Most definitely. Even more so, if you consider that the salt category wasn’t even on the list last year. It is a great honour for us, and a tribute to all the hard work that has been put in over the years, to create such a strong brand.

You have aligned the brand as the salt of the nation, does this positioning come from the core values of the brand?
Tata Salt has the intrinsic equity and strength needed to shoulder such an emotional platform. We have reaffirmed our leadership position by changing the category paradigm of health and taste. While Tata Salt has so far been positioned on the rational aspects of ‘purity’, this new positioning places this very proposition within the larger context of the consumer’s life, encompassing both rational and emotional manifestations of purity. It thus juxtaposed the kharapan of the product against the honesty and integrity of ordinary Indians. Thus, it reinforces the brand’s leadership position, both in the marketplace and in the minds of Indian consumers.

How do you see the standing of local brands in face of the opening up of trade in India?
We see a rationalisation of the market. The large national players will consolidate but many of the small local players will be there catering more and more to the lower end of the market.

What is your vision and goal from here?
To grow and retain market leadership by a wider margin.