Last tuesday (August 25, 2009), in the peak of heat, i went to C-88, sector-2, noida... to conduct an interview... it was my 1st one... and it went pretty well... i guess... read on!!!
Sanjeev Sharma is the branch manager of Eureka Forbes, Sector 2, NOIDA Branch. He also handles the Sector 57 branch. He has been associated with Eureka Forbes for the past ten years. We are thankful to him to have had taken out some time aside to answer some questions to aid this project report. He answered all the questions without a glitch even though he was pressed for time because of a delivery schedule.
After a brief introduction about the project and the required information, this is how the interview went:
Group 10: Sir, could you please throw some light on the history of Eureka Forbes Limited?
Forbes has been around for about a century now. The first product of Eureka Forbes was a vacuum cleaner and was launched in the year 1909. Eureka Forbes came to Eureka India in the year 1981 and began its operations in . We are almost at a 1000 crore turnover company and have an export turnover of about U.S. $382,000. Delhi
Group 10: Congratulations sir, for completing a hundred years. This must mean that you have a huge customer base and an even bigger turnover.
Sanjeev: That’s right! We have a customer base of about 6 million. We have our presence felt in about 131 cities and 398 towns in
. We have a total of 136 outlets. In fact, we have 10 franchisees in NOIDA itself. India
Group 10: In the web site, it was mentioned that Eureka Forbes deals with Water Purifiers, Vacuum Cleaners, Air Purifiers and Security Solutions. Which one of these products sells the most?
Sanjeev: Yes, we do deal in all the products mentioned. Out of these, the water purifiers sell the most. In fact we have a dedicated customer base of about 40-50 lakhs in
. Out of these, aquagaurd contributes to about 10 – 12 lakhs. We have established Aquamall exclusively for our water purification systems. We are ISO 14000 and 9000 certified and last year we had a turn over of about 15.5 crores and a profit before tax of about 1.8 crores in the segment. India
Group 10: Could you let us know about your contact plans, how you collect and build upon your database and what is your distribution channel?
Sanjeev: Well, Eureka Forbes has always been into direct sales and we intend to stay with the same. As for our database, we already have a huge database, for more customers we rely on references from our existing customers. We also tend to advertise and involve in various camps such as school camps, park camps, doctor camps etc.
Group 10: What exactly is a school or a doctor camp?
Sanjeev: Well, here our sales reps tend to focus on the particular segment in a particular area. For example, if a sales person has been allocated a doctor camp in Noida, then he has to go to all the doctors (and only doctors) present in the area and educate them about our products.
Group 10: So, how do you get the information about all the doctors of a particular area?
Sanjeev: (laughs) Yellow Pages.
Group 10: What other promotional and advertising activities do you involve in?
Sanjeev: Well, we tend to advertise in all sorts of mediums, from print media to online media to television advertising. You must have seen our friendly sales person ad or the Smriti irani ad, haven’t you?
Group 10: Yes sir, very much. So how many ads do you release in a year?
Sanjeev: Well, its very hard to please a customer, and it is even harder to retain an old one. So to build an impression and to remain a trustworthy brand, we tend to release 1 - 2 ads each year. We also tend to focus on a friendly relationship with the customer and like to be treated as a part of as a family, hence our ads are also oriented toward the same. You might remember the ‘ussay kya hoga ad’?
Group 10: Yes sir, that was a very cute ad. So, have you had any converts because of the ads?
Sanjeev: Yes, we get numerous calls on our 24 hour helpline. We are able to convert most of them on the basis of a simple demonstration. After all, a customer would only call for a demo is he or she is already convinced by the ad.
Group 10: Initially you said that you are in direct sales. Could you please tell how many prospects receive a demo in a day and how many converts do you get out of them? Please be specific about your water purifiers as they are on the hot list.
Sanjeev: According to the company policy, a sales person needs to give about 3 demos a day. But, a sales person is only able to manage 30 – 40 demos in a month. The conversion ratio is about 3:1.
Group 10: Could you please throw some light on the sales force that you have in
India and in the region? Also, are you men oriented or you employee women as well? Delhi
Sanjeev: I estimate that we should be having a sales force of about 6000 + employees. The
region must have about 400 – 500 employees. Yes, we do employee women, but as we have a lot of door to door selling and women avoid getting into the field, the ratio is around 98:2. Delhi
Group 10: Could you also tell us about the margins that you have in a product?
Sanjeev: O no! I cannot do that. That is top class information. Next question please.
Group 10: Alright sir, could you at least tell us about your discount policies?
Sanjeev: We do not give any discounts until and unless there is a bulk sale. There also, we only provide a discount upto 2 % and the minimum order should be of at least 11 products.
Group 10: What about the sales people?
Sanjeev: What about them?
Group 10: What is their share? Do they get any incentive?
Sanjeev: The sales people are paid according to the bracket they sell in. For example, if they sell 8 units, they fall into the 180 slab and if they sell 12 units, they fall into the 220 slab. They get a bonus of Rs 50 per sale.
Group 10: Sir, you have launched many products in the water purifiers segment itself. Could you please highlight the complaints that the customers generally face?Sanjeev: Well, first of all, we upgrade from one product to another, not because there were faults in the first one, but because we need to customize the product according to the current requirements. We do not receive many complaints, but incase we do, we tend to solve them within 24 hours. We believe in the concept of friends for life, hence we wish to retain a customer, so we tend to sell the right product in the first instance. But, we do have a return policy for dis-satisfied customers. We refund their full money incase they wish to withdraw within a week of installation. We have never needed to resort to this policy though.
No, everything given in this is not a word to word interview... i did add a lot of extra information (almost 90%) on the basis of research... internet is a potential tool i must say!!!