A study on the performance of the product
'Equal' (Sugar Substitute) in Kolkata


By

Swati Pal
Mrinal Kanti Das
Lecturers
JIS College of Engineering
Centre for Management Studies
Kalyani, Nadia
 


Introduction

Demand and distribution are the major part of the marketing. Distribution is the process of delivering the product through the marketing channels to the end user as per their demand. In this context we can say that intermediaries play a vital role in smooth distribution of products. Intermediaries are the backbone of distribution system. If they function properly, the demand for the products will rise many folds.

Our study is based on demand and distribution effectiveness of the product 'Equal' which is a sugar substitute of J.L. Morison (India) ltd.

Objective

The main objectives of the study are:

1. To know the supply pattern of the product.
2. To survey the delivery promptness of the product to every dealer provided by the distributor.
3. To know the strengths and weaknesses of the company for 'Equal'.
4. To assess the opportunities and threats of the company for'Equal'

Research Methodology

Research design : An exploratory research has been conducted to find out the objectives.
Population : Distributors, Dealers, Retailers in Kolkata.
Sampling units :  Medical shops, Grocery, General merchant, Departmental stores in Kolkata
Sample size : 308.
Types of data : Both primary and secondary data.
Statistical tools : Bar diagrams, ANOVA.

Findings

Based on our survey in the entire Kolkata zone, the following bar diagrams represent the status of demand for 'Equal' in various shops.We have segmented Kolkata zone in three sub-zones viz. North, South, and central. The findings are discussed below :

Table 1: Status of demand in various shops in North Kolkata


Chem –Chemist shops, Groc.- Grocery shops, G.M- General Merchant
D.S- Departmental store.

Table  2 Status of demand in various shops in South Kolkata


Table 3 : Status of demand in various shops in Central Kolkata


From the above bar diagrams we observe that in all the three zones there is low/medium demand for 'Equal' in chemist shops. Departmental sores in all zones have responded a very poor demand for 'equal'. Grocery and General merchant shops show a very low demand/no demand.

Statistical findings

We have done analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on data gathered from Central Kolkata. The nature of demand for 'Equal' in Central  Kolkata has been shown in the following table.

Table 4: Frequency distribution of demand according to the type of shops.

Demand

Chemist

Grocery

General Merchant

Departmental stores

Nil

37

0

0

0

Low

35

0

1

0

Medium

29

0

0

0

Good

7

0

0

0

Superb

1

0

0

0


We have set up two null hypotheses:

1. Assume the null hypothesis that the demand is homogeneous among the similar types of shops.
2. Assume the null hypothesis that the demand is homogeneous among the different types of shops.

Table 5: Two way ANOVA in between shops and demand of  the product 'Equal' in Central Kolkata

Source of variation

SS

df

MS

F

Fcrit

Demand

284

4

71

1.031977

3.25916

Shops

1771.4

3

590.4667

8.58**

3.4903

Error

825.6

12

68.8

   

Total

2881

19

     

From the table 5, it is seen that there is no significant difference between the demands for 'Equal' among similar type of shops as calculated value of F (1.031977) is less than the critical value of F i.e Fcrit (3.25916) at 0.05 level of significance with (4,12) degrees of freedom. So our first null hypothesis is accepted.

On the other hand, it is found that there is significant difference between the demands for 'Equal' among different type of shops as calculated value of F (8.58) is greater than the critical value of F i.e Fcrit (3.4903) at 0.05 level of significance with (3,12) degrees of freedom. So our second null hypothesis is rejected i.e., the demand is heterogeneous among different type of shops.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis analyses the internal and external environment of the company, where internal environment comprises of strengths and weaknesses of the company and external environment comprises of opportunities and threats outside the company. On one hand by improving the strengths and exploiting the opportunities, on the other hand by controlling the weaknesses and fighting the threats, the company can enhance its competitive position.

Here we have tried to do the SWOT analysis of the company for 'Equal' to find the gaps.

Table 6: SWOT analysis

Strengths
*
Market growth
* Quality product
* Service to customer
* Company's reputation

Weaknesses
*
Irregular visit by sales agents.
* Bad rapport with shopkeepers.
* Lack of promotion.
* Weak distribution of network

Opportunities
*
Untapped geographical regions
* Increasing health consciousness

Threats
*
Better distribution network of existing competitors.
* New entrants


Recommendation

1. Regular market visit should be done by higher authorities.
2. Company should improve distribution network for better service.
3. Company should do more promotional activities.
4. Company should provide allowances and attractive schemes to the retailers.
 


Swati Pal
Mrinal Kanti Das
Lecturers
JIS College of Engineering
Centre for Management Studies
Kalyani, Nadia
 

Source: E-mail June 26, 2008

           

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