How Arsha Consulting helped Canadian synthetic thatch makers Palmex set up a thriving business in India

Palmex is an internationally known synthetic thatch brand offering eco-friendly, low-maintenance roofing solutions to property owners and the world’s best-known hospitality brands. Palmex began as a Canadian brand and has expanded to 63 countries across the globe. Three years ago, Palmex planned to enter the Indian market and were on the lookout for a reliable local partner, when they crossed paths with Arsha Consulting at a trade fair in Montreal.

Palmex was keen that they partner with experts who not only had experience working with international clients but also understood the diverse needs of a complex market like India. Soon, Palmex International hired Arsha Consulting to create a go-to-market strategy and represent their brand in a new market. It was clear from the very outset that Arsha would have to craft a long-term strategy that invoked trust, assured quality and communicated value to hotel owners, resort managers, architects, and builders, who would be their primary customers.

Based on the initial consultation, Palmex also wanted Arsha to distribute their product within India, and take care of the product lifecycle end to end - from prospecting for clients to installation and execution of the project on the ground.

Market Research

Once Arsha came on board, we began by conducting market research to understand if there was a real need for the kind of product Palmex was offering. Data was collected to understand what competing roofing materials and solutions were available to customers, and how Palmex could address existing need gaps in the market. A comprehensive survey by the team at Arsha also included understanding the short-term sales potential for Palmex: We collected information about upcoming construction projects within the hospitality businesses to set realistic targets for the year ahead.

Devising a Branding and Pricing Strategy

Next Arsha set up creating a customised branding and positioning strategy for Palmex in India. In consultation with Palmex, it was decided that the core target audience for the artificial thatch solution should be hotel owners, resort owners, managers, and architects. Next, we worked closely with Palmex International to understand how the brand was positioned across the globe.

The world over, Palmex is regarded as a premium product designed to attract buyers in the luxury segment. After some thought, Arsha decided against moving away from this positioning, even in a price-conscious market like India. It was therefore decided that Palmex would target discerning customers who were willing to invest in an international quality product, with a long-term perspective.

Hiring the Palmex India Team

Once the strategy was in place, Arsha began scouting for the right talent. Sales representatives who would be the face of the brand in India were hired keeping in mind their experience at influencing decision makers within the hospitality and real estate business. It was important that the team communicate to potential customers that Palmex India was a brand with physical presence in India, capable of taking on large-scale projects and executing them while keeping quality of installation and longevity in mind. The launch strategy was also devised keeping in mind the 'premiumness' of the brand.

Launch Strategy

Arsha decided to unveil Palmex in India at trade fairs that prospective clients were most likely to attend. Two trade fairs during the year were identified, and Palmex India was present during the ‘Food and Hospitality World’ event in Mumbai, and the ‘Hotel Investors Summit’ in the capital, Delhi. A physical stall and marketing collateral were designed for maximum visibility.

India-Specific Digital Strategy

At the same time, Arsha Consulting roped in its sister concern, Gaja Digital, to create an India-specific website, and devise a digital marketing strategy to generate leads, online. This included search engine and social media marketing campaigns.

Palmex India: A Snapshot Today

Today, Palmex India is well on its way to becoming the prefered brand for synthetic thatch in India, and is gaining traction as an eco-friendly, durable, safe, and very low-maintenance artificial thatch solution which can replace natural thatch (which requires replacing frequently). Arsha’s efforts have generated over $300,000 worth of sales for Palmex.

We have successfully executed 14 projects across various locations in India today, and are all set to ramp up activity in the next phase of growth by setting up dealer networks in different regions. We look forward to completing more prestigious projects in the year ahead.

Do contact Arsha Consulting if you are an international business with an eye on India. We will guide you every step of the way and work closely with you to establish your brand, product or service, to reach out to new customers in one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world today.

Preeti Prakash | Journalist

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