MICA HOSTS ALUMNUS AND CO-FOUNDER OF ‘HAPPILY UNMARRIED’ FOR AN INTERACTION WITH STUDENTS | Press Release

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Ahmedabad, January 31, 2016

Friday evening saw a buzz of activity as students of MICA assembled at the Mani Aiyer auditorium on campus to participate in a fun interactive session with MICA Alumnus and successful co-founder of ‘Happily Unmarried’, Mr. RajatTuli. Organized by the student-run Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC), the session was aimed at cultivating the sense of entrepreneurship among students and providing them an opportunity to take inputs from their own alumnus who has made it big in the world of business.

The session, which lasted for an hour, saw Mr.Tuli recount valuable experiences of his education at MICA and how the institute helped him on his professional journey. He shared his growth story with the students, peppering it with interesting instances and examples to illustrate it. He gave valuable advice to students who were thinking of starting up their own ventures and emphasized that marketing is only as good as the product and that there should be no compromise on the quality of the product.

“Product is the greatest brand ambassador. Products decide brand personality, positioning and bank balance. All other marketing, brand are peripheral.” Mr.Tuli explained how his initial journey was difficult as they started out on an unchartered territory of ‘Indianized goods’ and how the success of their line of products was a result of careful observation more than superior design. Happily Unmarried, as a brand,worked on creating a better and funnier way of making products and merchandises. Indianization of commodities, using more of observation than design. He cited examples of using Bhojpuri on a shot glass, quirky Indian quotes on Note-pads and Customized chai cups.

“The challenge was to emerge as a desi-cool brand. The answer was in listening to popular terms, what people are talking about, what attracts their attention ranging from popular and emerging trends todesi pop-art. Changing the size of a problem helps in looking at it from a different perspective. Magnify it, shrink it, and add bigger problems to it.”

Talking about the nature of the brand they built, Mr.Tuli said, “We are in the business of sharing fun. We’ll do things that will make you smile. The key is to connect to your audience. What helped us was the usage of social media to reach out to advertisers, especially the effective usage of Facebook. The most important facet of multi-channel marketing is the need to be consistent in communication across platforms. Be safe throughout. Everything you write or talk about needs to have the same tonality.”

Discussing about how Happily Unmarried decided to expand and grow into new domains, with reference to their Men’s grooming brand Ustraa, Mr.Tuli said that brands need to constantly reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant, and as they grow bigger, increase scale and scope.

“Personal care was a challenge. But we used the brand of ‘Happily Unmarried’ itself as a platform. We were already everywhere the young tend to be. When we went for carving a niche for ourselves, we discovered that almost all cosmetic companies use industry level chemicals that aren’t safe for the skin. We wanted to make Ustraa safe and hygienic, without that being the key selling point.”

Ustraa eventually came up with a cool, macho and rugged image, usimg the tagline “Not tested on animals, only on rascals.” The products carried unconventional names for each flavor of face-wash and launched innovative products like the ‘beard wash’, packaged in distinctive bottles and sold in boxes structured like ammunition boxes in the army.

Talking to students after the session in an interactive Q&A exercise, Mr.Tuli stressed about how brands’ success depend upon their consumer-centricity. “The era of selling a pre-made product to the people is over. Only Apple does that now. Today you identify the need first and then build the product to cater to it.”

About MICA

Established in 1991, MICA is the first residential institute in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region, dedicated to creating Leadership in Strategic Marketing and Communication.

Its spirit lies in its grasping of contemporariness, addressing the needs of an ever-changing environment. The MICA brand assures effective delivery of Strategic Marketing and Communication solutions to the industry, government and community.

Today, it is the alma mater of professionals serving in leadership positions in some of the best known companies in India and the world, in marketing, brand management, research & analytics, advertising, media, digital and other strategic marketing and communication-driven businesses.

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