A different 'Khind' of magic

July 11, 2018 | By | Reply More

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Going strong for 57 years through multiple economic ups and downs, the time-tested Malaysian-born marque Khind Mistral Malaysia (KMM), has played a significant role in the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of electrical and consumer appliances under the brand Khind. Apart from supplying the local market, the brand is relevant in over 60 countries across the world. As for Mistral, the brand is distributed by Khind Alliances Sdn. Bhd., another subsidiary of Khind Holdings Berhad.
In an email interview with theSun, KMM marketing general manager Albert Tan shares a little about the company – how it has remained relevant in these challenging times, its role with the young through its foundation, and how it is faring in international markets.

Q: In Khind’s 2017 Annual Report, a joint statement by the Chairman and Group CEO claimed that in 2016, overseas sales figures surpassed that of local sales, and in 2017, the gap widened as local sales deteriorated. How is the company planning to rectify the local situation, while boosting its brand appeal for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
AT: KMM has rebounded in H1 of 2018 attributed to competitive pricing and product extension with special focus on high growth channels. We expect a 10% growth at least, this year versus 2017.

Q: Due to the economic and political shake-up, what would be some key challenges that the company could face, both locally and abroad?
AT: Some of the key challenges include:
a. Stiff competition from local brands and the emergence of brands from China such as Midea, Haier, Hisense, etc.;
b. Inflation of cost in goods despite zero GST;
c. Innovative product development based on consumer-centric and technology (IoTs);
d. Low brand awareness and trial usage among the younger generation.

Q: Tell us a little about the Khind and Mistral brands – the difference between the two; top-selling products of each brand; and new products rolling out soon?
AT: Khind offers a wide range of consumer home electrical goods, including appliances for the kitchen, air-cooling equipment, washing machines and home improvement gadgets such as emergency lamps and electrical accessories. The Khind brand is known across the board for its ‘value-for-money’ products which are both high in quality and deliver good performance. Our latest products include the Khind automatic multi cooker MC 50D which comes with touch sensor and digital display and offers 20 menus, plus our new generation of Li Ion Battery operated upright vacuum cleaner that is cordless, detachable and bagless.
Mistral is an up market brand that offers a complete range of air moving equipment that caters to the household consumer who appreciates both aesthetic form and function across quality and performance. It also provides commercial users with a complete range of JKR ( Public Works Department ) -approved products that meet most commercial needs from ceiling fans, wall, table and stand fans, exhaust and ventilation fans and now High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fans. Mistral’s top selling products include ceiling fan and air circulator.

Q: Among other electrical appliance brands in Malaysia, how exactly does Khind and Mistral stand out in what is ostensibly an environment saturated with (lesser) brands offering electrical goods?
AT: The domestic market of home appliances in Malaysia has experienced a slow yet steady pace in recent years. However, the emergence of brands from China and stiff competition among brands have no doubt affected the local brands including Khind and Mistral. In order to defend our market share, we have to continuously strive to cost down without compromising quality and safety to ensure our price remains competitive to induce consumer off-take while intensifying promotional activities with key retailers. This short-term strategy will support the sales volume but in the long-run we still have to focus on winning the hearts of consumers in Malaysia by offering consumer-centric, innovative products and outstanding after-sales service quality.

Q: The Khind Starfish Foundation exists to empower and engage young adults to improve the communities they reside in. Are there future plans, either with the existing foundation or something new that not only has CSR-driven objectives in mind, but to also strengthen the brand among youngsters?
AT: Khind Starfish Foundation will continue to give back to society and various stakeholders. We choose to work with young adults or more accurately, ‘undergraduates’ as one of the important constituents, because we believe that they are the future of Malaysia. Our ultimate goal is to inculcate the spirit of volunteerism and contributing back to the common good in the hearts of young people. That is what matters to KSF. It is not so much about brand strengthening.

Q: While Khind aims to ‘deliver happiness’ to stakeholders, how does the company’s core values deliver the same to users and their households?
AT: While Khind constantly emphasises the five core values (Kindness, Harmony, Interesting, Novelty and Development) to all stakeholders, we also believe in the quality of products and customer service, and these are the foundation of our core values stated above. We commit to ‘deliver happiness’ to households in Malaysia via our product quality, functionality and safe-for-use goods, so that consumers can enjoy immersive experiences using these in their homes and places of work.

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Category: Marketing

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