Interview: KAI India’s strength lies in its Japanese Heritage – Hitesh Singla

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Kai India
Kai India plant
Kai India plant

KAI India

Founded in Japan over 115 years ago, the KAI Group established its presence in Neemrana, Rajasthan, bringing with it an 800-year-old Japanese legacy of forging blades. They introduced a range of kitchen products as well as high-precision beauty and personal care items, enhancing the daily lives of Indian consumers. Kai India‘s vision is to contribute to ‘Make in India’, ‘Sell in India and Overseas’, ‘Skill in India’, and ‘Women Empowerment.’

KAI’s strategy in the Indian market focuses on catering to consumers and retailers who value quality and affordability by offering them the opportunity to experience their products’ exceptional quality and design first-hand. Intrigued by Kai India’s distinctive offerings and future plans, TheGlitz conducted an in-depth interview with Hitesh Singla. Here are key highlights from that engaging conversation.

Hitesh Singla, Head of Marketing, Kai India
Hitesh Singla, Head of Marketing, Kai India

With nearly two decades of experience, Hitesh Singla is an expert in marketing and brand operations. He has successfully created new brands, refined positioning, revitalized existing brands, and consistently delighted customers. His extensive background spans consumer durables, healthcare, commodities, retail, personal care, and housewares, making him a visionary in crafting and executing impactful marketing campaigns.

Hitesh, given your experience in marketing and the familiarity with the insights into the local markets. What is the Indian audience’s preferences?

Based on my understanding of the Indian market, the audience has a strong preference for products that offer a combination of quality and affordability. They seek innovative solutions that align with their everyday needs and lifestyles. Kai’s products are designed to meet these expectations, providing high-quality, reliable options at accessible prices. Additionally, Indian consumers value convenience and ease of use, so our products are developed with these factors in mind.

Kai Besty 5 Blade Shaving Razor for Men
Kai Besty 5 Blade Shaving Razor for Men

For a long time, Kai has had a loyal following. Why, in your opinion, has it maintained such popularity, notably in the cooking, grooming and beauty care industry?

Kai has maintained its popularity due to its unwavering commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and innovation. We focus on understanding customer needs and continuously improving our products to meet those needs. In the cooking, grooming, and beauty care industries, customers look for products that are durable, safe, and effective. Kai’s long-standing reputation for delivering on these fronts has helped us build and retain a loyal customer base. The company’s Japanese heritage and attention to detail also resonate with customers who appreciate high standards and meticulous design.

Kai Beauty Care product range
Kai Beauty Care product range

You have experience working with a variety of brands in different industries, such as Stabilo, Rapid, Revlon, and Godrej & Boyce. What has drawn you to these brands?

I’ve been drawn to these brands because they represent a diverse range of industries and share a common thread of innovation and customer focus. Working with Stabilo and Rapid allowed me to explore the world of consumer durables and office products, while Revlon offered insights into the beauty and personal care industry. Godrej & Boyce, a well-established name in Indian industry, gave me the opportunity to work with a legacy brand. The key attraction for me is the challenge of creating and revitalizing brands in different sectors, where the focus is always on delivering value to customers and driving growth through innovative strategies.

In your capacity as the Head of Marketing of Kai India, share the challenges to growth and development in a region as diverse as India?

India’s diversity presents unique challenges to growth and development. The country’s vast geographical spread and cultural differences require a tailored approach to marketing. Language barriers, varied consumer behaviours, and distinct regional preferences make it essential to develop localized marketing strategies. As the Head of Marketing, I focus on understanding these nuances and creating campaigns that resonate with local audiences. This involves close collaboration with regional teams, in-depth market research, and adapting our products and messaging to meet the unique needs of each area.

What is Kai’s greatest advantage when it comes to craftsmanship?

Kai’s greatest advantage in craftsmanship is its deep-rooted Japanese heritage, which embodies precision, attention to detail, and a commitment to excellence. This tradition of meticulous craftsmanship ensures that our products meet the highest quality standards. Our manufacturing processes are designed to maintain consistency and reliability, resulting in products that are durable and effective. This reputation for quality craftsmanship has earned Kai a trusted name among consumers in the cooking, grooming, and beauty care industries.

A physical store is a crucial factor in conveying the brand’s narrative. What approach is Kai India taking?

Kai India understands that physical stores play a vital role in conveying a brand’s narrative, providing customers with a direct experience of our products. Although we focus on e-commerce and online platforms, our distribution strategy includes a robust offline presence through general trade and modern trade stores nationwide. This approach allows customers to interact with our products in various retail environments, from traditional stores to larger retail chains.

While we don’t have our own physical stores, our extensive network of retail partners serves as a platform to communicate our heritage, quality craftsmanship, and innovative design. Through these partnerships, we can showcase our product range and engage with customers on a personal level. This multi-channel strategy helps us build a strong brand presence across India and sets the foundation for future growth, with plans to continue expanding our reach in both online and offline markets.

Kai Bi-Hada Ompa Body and Bikini Trimmer
Kai Bi-Hada Ompa Body and Bikini Trimmer

What plans does Kai India have for the future?

Kai India has ambitious plans for the future, focusing on expanding our presence across India and reaching new markets. We aim to continue innovating and introducing new products that meet the evolving needs of Indian consumers. Our strategy involves strengthening our distribution channels, forging strategic partnerships, and enhancing customer engagement through various touchpoints. We also plan to increase our investment in new communication channels to reach a broader audience. Overall, our goal is to become a household name in India by providing quality, innovative, and accessible products across multiple categories.

Looking to add Kai to your kitchen? Visit kaiindiaonline.com

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