Brand Summit: Kris Lakshmikanth, The Head Hunters India Pvt. Ltd.
Brand Summit: Kris Lakshmikanth, The Head Hunters India Pvt. Ltd.
  1. What according to you makes a brand `hot’?
  • Disruptive innovation is extremely important –  Reliance Jio, Ola, Uber, Airbnb. All these brands altered their industry once they came to the market and have created huge value to the customer.
  • Should be niche player in a crowded market  – Royal Enfield
  • Has a strong credibility – Amitabh Bachchan  ( Even at 75 he is the preferred celebrity to endorse a brand. He is a brand himself)
  • A brand which is relevant to the current generation and is able to innovate itself and look futuristic with periodic updates to its product portfolio will stay hot.
  • Above all, a brand cannot be Hot always –  The word “Hot” has a shelf life as after a point of time it becomes cold if there is no fire to maintain its hotness.  So there should be a consistent effort to stay in the consumer’s mind. Eg., Raymonds.

2. A `hot’ brand within few hours can become `not so hot’. What are your tips for brand owners to help them keep their brand hot?

  • A brand can easily become not so hot  Eg., Maggi  – Chemical problem, KFC – Worms in the Chicken & the recent H&M episode. It can be real issues or it could be created to deliberately malign the brand’s image.
  • Apart from communicating with the consumers through Ads and various marketing initiatives, a brand needs to have a strong presence digitally. Today a person in a village also has internet due to the arrival of JIO. So brands need to have a strong digital presence and monitor consumer behaviour. Connect with the customers directly through social mediums.
  • In the future even personal messaging apps like Whatsapp, LINE could be used for consumer marketing  – Which is not being done now.

Technological boom is the talk of the town. More and more brands are investing in automation tools, AI and content marketing to name a few. How do you think technology can keep a brand hot?

  • Today Information and Technology has reached even far-fetched corners of the country. Every adult today spends a minimum of 60% of their day on the internet. So, technology is everywhere.
  • So definitely a brand that uses technology will have an upper hand over their not so tech-savvy counterparts.
  • Chatbots are already taking consumer experience to new levels.
  • I expect that chatbots in Indian languages will come soon and this will change India further.


Kris has over a decade-plus of industry experience in senior positions as Profit Centre Head, Sales & Marketing Head in Asian Paints, Duncan’s Group, Shalimar Paints. He is the Founder Chairman and Managing Director of The Head Hunters India in 1987. He is a leading industry voice and a sought-after expert on Executive Search, Recruitment Industry Scenarios, HR, IR issues by media – print, TV & Internet. Kris is the former Chairperson – HR Expert Committee – BCIC and the Founding Member of ERA.


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