Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nutan Stove :Brand with a difference

Brand : Nutan
Company: Indian Oil Corporation
Brand Count : 98

Nutan is a major brand in the Kerosene stove market in India. Nutan was a part of an energy revolution in India. The brand was launched in 1977. Developed by CSIR with funding and marketing support for IOC, this brand was a rage in Indian households during the 70's.

Now also the older generation will vouch for this brand. During the 70's the stove market was dominated by inefficient wick stoves which wasted fuel in soot or smoke. Nutan, developed by CSIR was a sootless stove that saved more than 20% fuel, less smoke producing and more efficient. It soon became the darling of households.

The production of Nutan was outsourced with IOC looking at the marketing of this brand as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Since the product is made as per ISI standards and the quality pegged high, the price is put at a premium over the other brands .

Nutan is in the midst of another revolution. 1990's saw the rise of LPG as the better fuel for households. Indian middleclass shifted to Gas stoves in no time. Further LPG eliminated many negatives that Kerosene stoves had especially on ease of use. With the rising kerosene prices and availability of low priced stoves has now impacted the sale of Nutan stoves ( it is a guess, I don't have market share figures).

I am not sure whether Nutan has a LPG stove, but this brand is slowly vanishing from Indian middle class consumer's mind. It is sad to see an ubiquitous brand slowly losing its relevance. My view is that Nutan had huge potential in the LPG stove market which is valued at Rs 9 Billion is dominated by like Butterfly and a host of unbranded players, it was an opportunity missed by Nutan.

Since Nutan is not a serious brand for IOC, may be no one was thinking about this brand.

If that brand was with a marketer, it would have realized its full potential.... Any one listening?