“Masks off” … Liven up, rejuvenate with a cup of Typhoo … while we “Shelter at Home” during Covid 19 !

By Subrata Mukerji

In my professional Journey of 45 + years in Music, FMCG and Real Estate, the last decade with Typhoo India under Apeejay Surrendra Group is the most eventful period of my career. To see Typhoo combat Covid 19 with great team work is a feat for me to watch. As I look back on the journey I embarked on Typhoo , I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment seeing Typhoo being enjoyed by millions of consumers across India today. It is truly a national brand.

Undoubtedly, the vision and deep commitment of our Chairman Mr. Karan Paul remains the driving force for me and all our team and makes Typhoo what it is to all lovers of tea and health conscious consumers. The Tea business legacy of Apeejay Surrendra Group has strengthened with Typhoo. The adrenaline to create a new business and a memorable brand in a virtually blank category was a true marketing and business pleasure!

Crisis’s creates uncertainties and business opportunities too. The Covid-19 global pandemic is a crisis like none before. As a country, world or a individuals, we have no parallel experience to draw upon, yet we must survive through till it lasts. Typhoo, like any FMCG brand, is a high consumer facing business requiring continuous face-to face interactions, yet we are challenged to do that with “Shelter at Home” and “Social Distancing” under COVID-19. Without a doubt, it is hard to have face-to face meetings with ON/OFF lock downs and drop in consumer foot falls for store shopping.

Typhoo teams came together and adapted quite rapidly to the extremely challenging circumstances presented by Covid 19.

Typhoo teams have been trained to adapt towards Telemarketing using our Mobile Sales Automation while working from home and in an environment where Work From Home is the normal for most. The mobile application helps our teams to tele call our channel partners every day to maintain communication, apprise on our products, promotions and take orders.

They are also pushing in marketing communication and product information via its automated Whatsapp facility. It has been extremely helpful to maintain an effective communication which our partners have welcomed. Simultaneously, we are supporting the stores on their online ordering and home delivery services, with exciting consumer promotions.

Acutely aware of uncertainties , teams remain committed and engaged to their job, adapting and bringing a sense of normalcy into the #newnormal by creating better coordination with each other for a focused common goal of success while working with a deeper connect with the market and thriving the business on their built relationships

We are very proud of the Typhoo Team. GOD BLESS THEM!

The brand enjoys a base of loyalists who are keeping up the demand during this pandemic. Typhoo online sales have increased with aggressive marketing and promotions on the platforms of the big online retailers – Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart – who are witnessing a multi-fold rise in online orders and sales particularly for Groceries and Beverages. Typhoo online sales is already witnessing 30-40 % growth .

The success of Typhoo India during this unprecedented crisis comes from fantastic teamwork across functions. The sense of ownership of the brand’s vision, the drive to work towards achieving success as a team is visible in the speed with which Typhoo’s core Sales & Marketing team members adapted. From using Skype and teleconferencing tools for daily evaluation and communications, they are also in the market working alongside the sales teams and key partners at every opportunity despite the COVID-19 threat. It is a heroic behaviour!

The crisis today calls for an empathic kind of leadership – more relatable on a human level. We have that in abundance with our Chairman Mr Karan Paul at the helm.

Typhoo is uniquely positioned as a brand. Each of the blends are with unique flavours, characteristics, and benefits for the right targeted consumers, at the right time created with incisive studies on consumer behaviour, their evolving tastes and preferences. The brand’s distinctive focus is to provide holistic wellness benefits for mind and body in a convenient, easy to brew tea bag format, for a fine sensation and satisfaction.

Typhoo is a natural fit to our urban lifestyle as also with the challenges Covid 19 has brought on.

Unlike the usual objectives of any other start-up, Typhoo’s focus was to quickly reach the right audience, with the right products, through the right channels, at the right time, with a sharp marketing strategy. Today, Typhoo markets the widest array of 30 + fantastic varieties: ranging from Classic Assam, Black Speciality, Flavoured, Green teas, Fruit Infusions and Organic Herbals teas.

The pandemic has led to a rapid shift in consumer behaviour and consumption habits. It is clear, trust is an essential element for brands, alongside their tangible benefits if they are to thrive in a post-lock down world. It is the trust in our product attributes, the brand’s legacy and heritage which has kept Typhoo thriving despite the pandemic.

The consumers are looking for authenticity and purity of products. The consumer is now singly focused on building immunity and health care hence demand for Typhoo greens teas and Typhoo Organic herbals are growing..  The online shopping for groceries has grown by 2.5X and physical retail business is skewed on home deliveries more, with less contact with real consumers. 

Having spent the last 45 years working with remarkable professionals on an array of fantastic brands across multiple markets, it has fortified my experiences with a 360-degree view across multiple businesses to create a unified business vision and strategy for a business. I have always believed the BHAG concept (Big-Hairy-Audacious- Goal) with an ability to fast assess Markets & Consumers that creates a Go-To-Market motion for rapid execution. FMCG is a fantastic sector to work for those who love the thrill of the unknown, have a passion to excel, an urge to learn and implement ideas in innovative ways for consumer delight. It is a dynamic sector that offers opportunity for creativity by developing new ideas for products, packaging, branding, advertising and first-hand experience in understanding and experiencing consumer behaviour. There is not a single mundane day in the life of a FMCG professional…My advice to those who dream about joining the FMCG businesses is to stay their course !

Subrata Mukerji is Business Head of Typhoo India

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