Talking Business with Ahmed Talal Khan

Fashion Collection brings you a conversation with Ahmed Talal Khan, Commercial Director at Sipona. Here he talks about the brand philosophy behind Kahva and the goodness behind it.

Fashion Collection: What is the brand philosophy behind Kahva?

Ahmed Talal Khan: In general, if we split tea category, we will find two major sub-categories known as Black Tea & Green Tea respectively where a giant MNC and few local big players combined have the major chunk of the branded tea market share in Pakistan from many decades. So entering into this highly cluttered RED zone was a big challenge for us and indeed would have been taken several years to get a marginal market space.

However, we observed a sub-segment of Green Tea called “Qehwa” existed as a traditional drink of Peshawar, Quetta & Kashmir for many decades and now also has penetrated in Urban/Semi Urban towns. While conducting the in-depth research too on its usage and attitude, we got more confidence over entering this segment as it has a defined consumption pattern in our daily lives at home and outside home. Therefore, we seek this untapped niche market of “Qehwa” as an open opportunity of first-mover advantage for us to grab with value-added product innovation called “Kahva”.

SIPONA brand is not only about healthy life style but also the healthy moments of life. Composition of product with 100% natural ingredients also symbolizes truthfulness of relationships in life.

Fashion Collection: What is the nutritional and natural goodness you offer to customers through Kahva?
Ahmed Talal Khan: Our Sipona “Kahva” is a blend of natural ingredients which have many benefits on our health like aiding in weight loss & digestion, improving vitality and assists in building immunity. We have made sure that every ingredient that we use in recipe is of pure quality and acquired through best sources around the world.

Fashion Collection: How does your brand compete with the green tea brands available in the market?
Ahmed Talal Khan: SIPONA “Kahva” is made with natural ingredients which is not the part of commercial recipes in major green tea brands of the market as they have artificial flavor for taste except natural Green tea. We have further made sure that consumer gets the best value for the price and for that reason we have kept prices competitive in market with other major brands. Lastly, we have positioned our “Kahva” as a right lifestyle healthy drink vs green tea as light drink.

Fashion Collection: What are the promotional strategies planned out for Kahva?
Ahmed Talal Khan: At ATL/TTL level, we have aired our new TVC campaign on conventional medium like TV and Radio Channels as well as Digital Marketing platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Channel to create and reinforce brand awareness. At BTL level, we rolled out trade merchandising, free product testing and in-store intercept activities to induce product trials & purchases. The whole promotional strategy revolves around the healthy life style and emotional association with healthy relationships in life.

Fashion Collection: What is the market share you anticipate for Kahva in the three years to come?
Ahmed Talal Khan: We are hopeful and aiming to grab at least 10% of the current market value share. We are ambitious to increase it year on year but there is no over-ambitiousness to load the markets. We are confident that once we succeed in generating trials the product itself has a strength to increase the share.

Fashion Collection: Do such brands need endorsement by professional health practioners?
Ahmed Talal Khan: There is an increased awareness about healthy life style and people are learning fast. With advent of faster communication channels and revolution in media development, information on different topics are readily available. Advantages and disadvantages are easier to learn and in such era we probably will not require such endorsements in a longer run. Nevertheless, for promotions we might just take aid from renown health professional.

Fashion Collection: How important is aroma vs taste for Kahva?
Ahmed Talal Khan: Although “taste” always drives and overrides but a good “aroma” does complement the taste as boosting agent of Kahva which is present in our Kahva because of the mix of natural quality ingredients.

Fashion Collection: What are the product extensions you foresee for your brand?
Ahmed Talal Khan: We have taken a unique point of entry in hot beverages category with natural ingredients and our extension plans will have the same element of “Uniqueness” as part of the product. We have research underway on other products such as Black Tea and Coffee and we shall soon be introducing such products that can add value to a healthy lifestyle.