E-commerce continues to be a big growth area: R S Subramanian, DHL
DHL recently unveiled their new marketing campaign 'We know great is in the detail'. The campaign, with Indian Super League (ISL) is based on the football fans and the facts or trivia on football that not many know about.
Zeebiz team caught up with R S Subramanian, Sr Vice President & Country Manager of DHL Express India who spoke on the reason why sports is an integral part of their marketing plan, their ad spends, competition from the e-commerce and much more.
What value does DHL see in its association with ISL?
World over, DHL uses sports platform for its brand campaign and across many countries we are associated with football. For example, in India we are associated with ISL for the second year running, we are also the logistics partner for Manchester United and Bayern Munich, we sponsor the Chinese soccer league, we have tie-ups with Copa America and the Irish football team. Most sports are about pattern, a lot of can-do spirit and team work, and DHL network in logistics is all about that.
How has partnership with ISL helped DHL?
We see a significant success in what we did last year. We have continued to be logistics partner but we have upgraded it to being an associate sponsor. This tells you that our outlays have grown and we see a lot of merit in what they are doing and we think that this year it will be significantly successful.
What are the mediums that you are using for this campaign?
Typically it is a 360 degree approach. The media presence will be when the matches are on and during the pre-match and post-match presence. There is also the TV commercial campaign which we released for this football season. Along with that we have the partnership which has grown significantly in terms of the on-ground presence. Apart from this our social media campaign ties all this together.
How is DHL dealing with competition from the logistics arms of e-commerce companies?
As far as we can see the kind of network and service capabilities that DHL has, we will still have significant play with all these e-commerce players. We continue to see it as a big potential growth area. It is going to take them significantly long time to deliver a significant portion of their own shipments. DHL express doesn't face this challenge. As of now every single e-commerce player is a DHL customer and they are doing some of their deliveries but we are also continue to deliver for them. The market is growing at such a pace that there is room for everybody.
How does DHL look to leverage from start-ups in India?
Similar to what happened with the landlines and mobile phones, within a 5-6 year period suddenly your mobiles have more penetration than landlines. That is what is going to happen to the overall distribution retail commerce space with the e-commerce space. There is big opportunities in a lot of new formats coming up. There will be a big learning curb and there will be some big shake-ups along the way.
One obvious segment which is doing very well is the e-commerce segment. It is growing faster because it is nascent and the base is small. DHL will remain present in this segment and we see traction across many traditional sectors such fashion, engineering, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and lifestyle, which is a big strength area for India.
What is the growth for delivery business in India? And what is DHL's target?
For the last 5 years we have grown in double digits. The market is growing at about 12% and DHL continues to grow ahead of the market.
We see the express market growing at the 11-12% range in the next few years. Our ambition is to grow ahead of it. Which is the same aspiration we carry for the coming period as well.