MNCs look beyond statistics to understand consumer mindsets

Customer understanding is a must-have, especially during hard times.

Today, the first thing a company that considers itself truly global does is say goodbye to the practice of dumping products and services developed for one market in its next. South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai MotorCompany (HMC) is a case in point. With an investment in the region of Rs 182 crore, the company opened its R&D centre in India in Hyderabad during the economic slowdown of 2009. The reason: strengthen India’s position as an R&D and manufacturing hub.

Says Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India (HMI), “When we entered the country the passenger car segment was largely price-driven. This was the time when owning a car was considered a luxury. Today buying a car is about making a statement and when that happens leading companies must bring state-of-the-art technology and design to its customers at the same time globally.” HMI claims that a large chunk of market research work is conducted by its in-house teams.

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