Arif Husain: Mastering The Marketing Mix Through The Art & Science | CEOInsights Vendor
Arif Husain: Mastering The Marketing Mix Through The Art & Science

Arif Husain: Mastering The Marketing Mix Through The Art & Science

Arif Husain, Head - Marketing

Arif Husain

Head - Marketing

The FMCG industry plays a vital role in con¬tributing substantial government tax revenues through sales, value-added, and corporate tax¬es. Effective marketing holds significance for FMCG brands, as studies indicate that customers with fa¬vorable brand experiences spend 140 percent more than their counterparts. Arif Husain, the Chief Growth Officer at SDPL, with over 17 years of experience in the FMCG sector believes it is critical to provide a 'compelling value for money' offering in order to be a leader in any category.

Arif Husain also has rich experience in leading and de¬veloping diverse marketing strategies and establishing a brand’s presence ubiquitously in the digital sphere of the brands he has managed till date.

During a candid interview, Arif shared valuable perspectives on the intricacies of the industry, and the functioning of the organization, and also outlined his future professional aspirations within the sector.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional history and encounters? Additionally, what inspires and propels your daily practices?
I commenced my professional journey with a family-run business, which had a huge appetite for fast growth backed up by new ideas as well as a risk-taking capacity. The ethos of enterprise dealings instilled a distinctive mindset early in my career. During this period I imbibed the practice of focusing on consumer pain points, and problems and closely identifying them.

In this context, I realized that solutions, often existing in FMCG and daily essential categories, are readily available. The key lies in connecting these existing solutions to consumer problems seamlessly. Delighting consumers through this connection became a paramount objective, as it addressed longstanding problems that lacked proper identification and execution. From my early two-decade career, I've retained this fundamental learning that guides me. My approach centers on understanding and addressing consumer problems, adding value to their lives.
This philosophy has consistently shaped my marketing perspective.

Share insights into your leadership style. Elaborate on the principles or approaches you adhere to as a leader.
My leadership approach is direct. Upon joining, I prioritize understanding the organization's core strengths, brand-consumer connection, and competitive position. Leading a business involves building around core strengths: people, product, brand story, consumer experience, and price.

For this requirement, you need individuals with a consumer-focused attitude and capabilities. Once everyone aligns on strategy, your role as a leader is to inspire those with the right skills to execute it. I invest in marketing training programs to empower teams with the necessary skills for success. This undoubtedly results in smarter decisions and outstanding work that drives business growth. As a leader, my purpose is to assist ambitious managers in proving their points, equipping them with knowledge and tools to unlock their full potential. I assess the competitiveness of elements and their value to consumers.

Connecting with consumers is critical part of my assignment to that there is strong alignment with the organization. Drawing from two decades of diverse experience, I've found that as a leader, a strong consumer connection is paramount. It aligns all marketing mix components effectively: pricing, promotion, distribution, logistics, and product development.

As the Head of Marketing, share your latest strategies for operational enhancement, audience engagement, and market expansion.
First of all, you have to sharply identify triggers and barriers creating your ops strategies accordingly. At the end of the day, our manufacturing and marketing efforts impact consumers. If a consumer isn't satisfied or their unmet needs persist, it indicates a flaw in the business model. In such cases, I encourage my team to collaborate and address the issue head-on.

If another company has already successfully solved a similar problem, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. When encountering unique challenges, I lead my team to brainstorm innovative solutions, prioritizing value over meeting targets. I inspire them to identify unsolved problems, boosting confidence and leaving a lasting impact.
My emphasis is on meaningful accomplishments that add consumer value, going beyond routine key performance indicators.

How do you stay abreast of current industry trends to guide your organisation toward the future?
Instead of getting caught up in day-to-day operations and administrative details, it's crucial to shift focus towards understanding consumers better—how they are becoming more connected and evolving. Over the last few decades, India has undergone significant transformations from a socialist to a capitalist economy, with rising individualism and increasing prices.

Consumers are changing rapidly, but it's essential to remember the enduring fundamentals. Always question why your category or brand exists, emphasizing a first-principle approach. Instead of getting swayed by flashy advertising and pricing strategies, those navigating their career paths should grasp that while consumer behaviours change, the fundamentals remain constant. Understand that, at the core, consumers share fundamental traits globally. While trends may come and go, don't attempt to revolutionize; rather, focus on evolving in harmony with consumer choices.

In marketing, adopt consumer first approach to develop a market fit product and rest marketing mix will fall in place

What lies ahead as your future destination?
As someone deeply rooted in consumer-centricity, my focus is consistently on identifying problems within the category that I can address. Particularly in the FMCG sector, numerous challenges persist, often rooted in basic technology. Within our organization, the primary goal is to discover innovative ways to solve consumer problems, leading to sustainable revenue and business models. By adopting this approach, we prioritize reaching out to the consumer first, confident that once we understand their problems, the rest of the elements will seamlessly fall into place.

Arif Husain, Head of Marketing, SDPL Group
Arif Husain is a seasoned marketing professional with 17 years of rich experience in Brand Management, Sales, and Trade Marketing with leading FMCG companies, has effectively led these companies.

Trending Stories