Marketing Strategies of ALIMCO:
A Critical Analysis


By

Randhir Kumar Singh
Lecturer
Dr. Gaur Hari Singhania Institute of Management & Research
Kamla Nagar, Kanpur-208005
 


Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) is the only corporation in India of public sector which indulges in the manufacturing and selling of artificial limbs in and abroad India for physically, visually and hearing handicapped people. The corporation headquarter is located at Kanpur. One of the prime targets of corporation is to fulfill the demands of the domestic market and start exporting the products at an international echelon. In order to achieve the objective, the corporation plans for  up-gradation of present facilities with state-of-art technology, expansion of existing manufacturing base through setting up of additional production centers, widening of product range, training, research & development through international collaboration.

The major steps taken by ALIMCO to meet the objectives are as follows:-

  • Customization of Products: The Corporation produces 355 different types of aids and appliances. The products developed are customer friendly and easy to use with least inconvenience. Some products in prime demand are - lower limbs orthotics (calipers), lower limbs prosthetics (artificial legs), upper limbs prosthetics (artificial hands), aids for visually handicapped like Braille slate, Braille typewriter, Braille cane, hearing aids etc.
  • The corporation produces quality aids and appliances required by orthopaedically, visually and hearing handicapped persons. The product range includes orthotic and prosthetic appliances for upper and lower extremities, spinal braces, cervical collars, traction kits, rehabilitation aids like wheel chairs, crutches and tri-cycles etc. The corporation also provides special tools and equipments required for fitment of orthotic and prosthetic assemblies by the limb fitting centers. For visually handicapped, the corporation produces Braille slate, folding cane and Braille shorthand machine. For hearing handicapped persons, the hearing aids and appliances are manufactured by the corporation.

  • Design and Development: The Corporation is equipped with sophisticated machines backed by its own design and development. The design of product is constantly up to maintain optimum efficiency level and to ensure high level of customer satisfaction. The products are manufactured under rigorous quality control so as to confirm international quality standards.
  • The Corporation markets its product within the country through its offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, and Mumbai with the help of an extensive distributor / dealer network to ensure availability close to the important limb fitting centers and customers.

    The marketing of aids and appliances can be more beneficial with implementing the concepts of segmentation, targeting and positioning.

    1. Segmentation: The major buyers of the aids and appliances can be segmented as:-

    a) National Institutes: The national institutes are established to conduct research and development in their specific field. These are: Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi; National Institute for Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata; National Institute for Visually Handicapped, Dehradun; National Institute for Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai; National Institute for Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad and National Institute for Rehabilitation Training and Research, Cuttack.

    b) Dealer Network: The Corporation appoints various dealers through out the country depending upon the demand of the area in order to facilitate the supply of aids and appliances to the persons with disability. For the people who are interested in getting the dealership from the company has to contact any of the 4 R.M.C.'s (Regional Marketing Centers) or the corporate head office which is situated in Kanpur.

    The discount for the wheel-chairs and tricycles are fixed which is based on number of sales of these appliances. The dealers have to show continuously a good performance and fulfill the terms and conditions as well as the demand in the market in time. At present, the company has more than 38 dealers through out the country for smooth & effective delivery of aids & appliances to its customers.

    c) N.G.O. Network: The Corporation conducts ADIP (Assistance to Disabled Persons) camps in association with different N.G.O's like: Rotary Club, Lion's Club, Rotract Club, and Leo Club to distribute the aids and appliances to the disabled persons.

    d) State Government: For the benefit of disabled person, state government provides fund to district authorities for the purchase of aids and appliances. District authorities give cash order to the company for supply of aids and appliances.

    2.  Targeting: Most of the products of corporation are sold through various schemes of government of India at national and international level. Now the corporation is targeting itself and branding their products in such a manner that the individual customers can purchase their products directly through the corporation or through their dealers; in this step the company increases its durability, quality, design and development considering the customer focus.

    The corporation is also targeting its product for the least developed and developing countries, especially for the Asian and African continents. The corporation makes several bilateral agreements with war suffered countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. The disability is directly related to the poverty level of people, the corporation targeting their products both from effectiveness and worth of the product for the people who are suffering from poverty and backwardness.

    3. Positioning Strategy: Along with segmentation and targeting aspects of marketing, the corporation also gives emphasis on the positioning aspects of marketing. Proper positioning of the product has a great impact at national and international level. To attain maximum benefits of LPG (Liberalization Privatization and Globalization), the corporation desires to extend their products to the customers around the globe.

    At present the corporation products are focused towards the poor and downtrodden masses, now is the time of brainstorming of the corporation officials to re-position their products in such a manner that their products has an equal demand for both the deprived and high class of society. The re-positioning of the products is also required to enter the market of developed nations.

    Future Prospects: Analyzing the national and international market, it is found that ALIMCO products are of reasonable price and good quality when compared to that of developed nations; thereby there is a fair chance for the corporation to make its footing in the international market. Cost and quality are in no case a hindrance for the corporation to compete with developed nations of Europe and America. Re-positioning should be done in such a manner that it enhances the customers delight and brand image.
     


    Randhir Kumar Singh
    Lecturer
    Dr. Gaur Hari Singhania Institute of Management & Research
    Kamla Nagar, Kanpur-208005
     

    Source: E-mail April 4, 2009

              

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