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Study of the Cement market through dealers in

various parts of Kolkata



Industry Mentor: Mr. Partha Pratim Roy

Faculty Mentor: Prof. A. K. Biswas

Submitted by:
Abhishek Mishra
Roll no. 09 DM 004
PGDM 2009-11 (Marketing Major)

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1. Annual yearly balance sheet, corporate profile 2007-08. Pg. 08

2. Ibid, Pg. 10

3. Century Cement website.

4. Lectures provided by the faculty guide and interaction with other

members of the team.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.


8. Research Methodology, C. R. Kothari, New Age Publications, second

revised edition, Pg. 18

9. Ibid. Pg. 19



12. Research for Marketing Decisions by Paul E Green, Donald S Tull,

Gerald Al Baum; Eastern Economic Edition; Fifth Edition; Pg 110-121

13. Total Quality Management by Dale H. Besterfield, Carol Besterfield,

Glen Besterfield, M. Besterfield; Pearson’s Publication; Eighth Edition;
Pg 75-78

14. Marketing Management (Millennium Edition) by Philip Kotler;

Prentice-Hall India Publications; Tenth Edition; Pg 175

15. Research Methodology, C. R. Kothari, New Age Publications, second

revised edition, Pg. 25-26.


17. Research Methodology, C. R. Kothari, New Age Publications, second

revised edition, Pg. 25-26.

18. Total Quality Management by Dale H. Besterfield, Carol Besterfield,

Glen Besterfield, M. Besterfield; Pearson’s Publication; Eighth Edition;
Pg 75-78

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Researcher’s Name: Abhishek Mishra

Researcher’s Statement:

The topic for this project is ‘Study of Cement Marketing through

dealers’ network in various parts of Kolkata’. Through this topic I
have tried to conduct a survey and find out the various offerings
that the market has in terms of various brands and the opportunities
that they offer henceforth.

Name: Mr. Partha Pratim Roy

Position/Title: Marketing Manager

Organization Name: Century Cement

Location: 12th Floor, 10, Camac Street, Kolkata 700017.


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I thankfully acknowledge the inputs received from my colleagues, my

faculty members and Dr. H. Chaturvedi without whom this report would
not be possible.

I am grateful to Mr. A. K. Biswas, whose valuable insight has helped me in

preparing this report. His generous support and cooperation is something I
will always treasure.

A very special thanks to my seniors Mr. Partha Pratim Roy and Mr. Ranjit
Pathak from Century Cement who provided me with all the required help
and cooperation needed for the project. Without their help, I couldn’t have
imagined my first formal stint with industry anyway better.

Last but not the least, a special mention for Mr. A. S. Mishra without whom
this project would have been possible.

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Serial No. Topic Page

1 Executive Summary 3
2 Introduction 4-14
- Corporate Profile
- Century Cement Vision
- Functional Policies
- About Cement
- Properties of Cement
3 Literature Review 15-21
- Steps in Marketing Research
- Bias in Marketing Research
- Sources of Marketing Information
- Customer Questionnaire
- Attitude – from the dealer’s perspective
4 Statement of the Problem 22
5 Research Methodology 23-26
- Interview Method
- Questionnaire
- Ethical issues involved in research methodology
6 Analysis 27-32
- Cement Industry in India
- Distribution pattern in West Bengal
- Explanation of questionnaire
- Analysis against given set of objectives
7 Conclusions and Recommendations 33-36
- SWOT analysis
8 References 37
9 List of Appendices 38-44
- Appendix I
- Appendix II

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The topic for this project is “Study of Cement Marketing through dealers’
network in various parts of Kolkata”, assigned to me by Century Cement.

The project starts where I have provided a brief introduction where I have
discussed the traditional channel that exists in the cement market. Also I
have explained the reason as to why I have chosen the particular topic.
Then I have gone on to briefly introduce a section on cement.

Then I have brought on the aspect of corporate profile, where I have

spoken about the history of Century Cement, its plant capacity and the
various technicalities that have gone by in the production. Then I have
brought forward the corporate vision, the marketing policy, the HR policy
and the career details. In the last part of this section I have brought
forward the various properties of cement and the various technicalities
that go by in the preparation of the various forms of cement. This part,
though technical in nature is still indispensable from my project’s point of
view as this is the section where I have been able to learn about certain
physical characteristics of my cement.

In the Literature Review section I have tried to link the theoretical aspects
of my project with what has been taught. Here I have linked various
aspects that range from what marketing and research is all about to
various forms of distribution that are prevalent. The topics that are
brought about are such that they bring forward both the critical aspect of
my research as well they connect to it. The kinds of activities that have
been performed have been highlighted by means of the ‘nature of
research’ section and so forth. I have also went ahead and discussed
various aspects like what are the various forms of attitude and how they
are pertinent from the dealer’s point of view. Also the nature of my
research has been questionnaire and interviews so I have also mentioned
that as a part of my literature review section.

Then in the statement of problem section I have discussed the nature of

my problem and the various objectives that were entrusted to me by the
organization. All of it has later been dealt with in the analysis section.

In the analysis section, I have worked on whatever data I had collected.

Here I start by the nature of the cement market in India which is then
followed by the distribution pattern that is followed in West Bengal. Then I
have explained the questionnaire and later analyzed the same. Finally I
have brought a set of recommendations and conclusions which help in
bringing forward the main essence of the work that has been done.

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Finally in the appendix section, I have submitted the details of the dealers
that I had visited with their respective contact details and their stocking

The topic for this project is “Study of Cement Marketing through dealers’
network in various parts of Kolkata”. This topic has been assigned to me
by Century Cement under which I am undergoing my summer internship.
The main crux of this topic is discussed as follows.

The cement industry consists of standardised goods where there is not

much of a difference with respect to the nature of the goods, against
those of the competitors. So in that regards, the organization in order to
survive in the market needs to go that extra mile to see that their cement
does well. My organization had recently undergone a brand makeover
where the name has also changed from Century Cement to Birla Gold.
This has not exactly got the best of the responses from the industry and
has led to decline in the market share as well.

The distribution channel of cement industry in the generic sense consists

of the company as producer on the top. Then right after the chain we have
a Carrying and Freight agent who takes care of the main task of
transferring the materials to the dealers and the subdealers. In cement
industry, the material comes in the goods train and they are concerned
with the storage and transportation job only. They personally don’t take
any further responsibility of the goods. After the Carrying and Freight
agents we have set of dealers which is the most important aspect of my
project as my research had mainly centred around them. Next the cement
is sold either in the whole sale market or the retail market. Both the sales
take place with respect to the dealers only.

Finally the cement is sold to the end customers either by means of the
wholesale or the retail route. The end customers are the one who are in
the form of individual customer, promoter and industries. The last bit
industries are further classified into three forms namely raw materials and
by products, grills and pillars and different form of industries like say the
cottage industries.

As a intern, my main task will be to meet the dealers and to find out the
details about which all cement companies are they dealing in and to what
percentage is each of them contributing to the sales of each dealer. When
a particular cement company is active for the dealer, my job is to see
whether he is convinced to stock cement of some other companies as
well. This will in a way let me know about the viable gap which exists in
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the market and that the dealers have a perception about a particular
brand. Also from Century’s point of view, monthly cement that they are
dealing in will give an idea about the individual capacity of cement that
they handle per month; the greater is their capacity to handle further
more forms of investment.

Cement is the binder that concrete mortars together. This is why it is the
most important component when it comes to giving solidarity and
durability. On a general note, it is used for making concrete for slabs,
foundations beams, sunshades and mortars for brickwork, plastering,
flooring and such similar work.

Three types of cements are used by the customers for their construction:

i. Portland Slag Cement (PSC)

ii. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

iii. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)

From a consumer’s point of view this classification is quite meaningless,

as for them cements is nothing more than a binder. A detailed briefing
about the same is mentioned later in the introduction section.

The current market has the following major brands operating namely
A.C.C., Birla Gold, Ambuja, Lafarge, Ultratech, Konark and few prominent
mini plants like Durgapur, Bansal, Bengal Super, Pragoti, Bharat Super to
name a few. JP, Binani and Rashi Gold are a few entrants in the markets.

The Indian economy is one whose growth economy is largely propelled by

domestic demand. With this respect, cement industry is one of the sunrise
industries – a direct beneficiary of this growth story. The incessant
demand for this vital material places it as one of the more important that
is inherent to manufacturing process.

In this project report, I have tried to prepare a set of data that emerges
out of the survey that was conducted with dealers and sub-dealers. From
the organizational perspective, the most important is the metric tonnes of
the dealers, from which they are able to guess as to what is their handling

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Corporate Profile1
Century Cement is a division of Century Textiles and Industries Limited, a
flagship company of B. K. Birla Group. The company is well diversified into
having interests in cement, textiles, rayon, chemicals, pulp and paper.

Century Cement is situated in at Baikunth (Tilda) district, Raipur in the

state of Chattisgarh. The train route for Baikunth is 35 kms East of Raipur
on Mumbai – Howrah (via Nagpur), Southeast Central Railway Main Line.
The installed capacity of Century Cement is 1.80 million TPA. Apart from
this, the company has two more cement plants. First we have Maihar
Cement in Sarlanagar, district Satna, Madhya Pradesh having an installed
capacity of 3.50 million TPA. The second one is the Manikgarh Cement at
Gadchandur, district Chanderpur, Maharashtra with an installed capacity
of 1.50 million TPA. The combined capacity of all the cements plant taken
together is 6.80 million TPA. More emphasis is given for production of
blended cement that constitutes to about 95% of the total cement
produced by the company.

It was around 1969 that managers of M/s Century Textiles & Industries
Ltd. thought of diversifying their activities towards other areas and
thought of diversifying their activities towards other areas. They decided
to establish a cement plant roughly 8 kms from Tilda. Subsequently
Baikunth came into existence, which was the place where the present
plant and colony came into existence. Baikunth is about 34 kms east of
Raipur on Mumbai-Nagpur-Howrah SEC railway main line.

The plant’s first kiln was lighted up somewhere in December 1947 and the
second kiln came up in May 1975. The first bag of ordinary portland
cement was despatched on 3 March 1975. The license capacity of the
plant was originally 6.00 lakh MT per annum while the present plant
capacity is 15.00 lakh MT per annum.

Lime stone: The limestone requirement is mostly met through the

captive mine that is situated 1.5 kms away from the plant. The present
requirement is about 6000 MT/day. Originally reserves were in the tune of
220 lakh tonnes. But with the judicious use of purchased high grade
limestone, blending it with more of subgrade limestone and use of
purchased high grade limestone, there are not only conserved proved
reserves but also almost double the mine life.

Raw mill: There are four close circuit raw mills. Initially the capacity of
each raw mill was 65 TPH which has been increased to 75 TPH by means
of various modifications. The ground raw mill is stored in blending/storage
silos with a total capacity of 14000 MT.
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Rotary kilns: There are two dry processes kilns with a size of 64 m
length and 4011 m diameter. The initial capacity of the kiln was 1000 TPD
each, which has been optimized by installing a prcalcinator (N-MFC) and
additional stream of suspension preheater cyclones, increasing the
capacity to 75 TPH by various modifications. The ground raw mill is stored
in blending/storage silos with a total capacity of 14000 MT.

Cement mills: There are five cement mills with open circuit capacity.
While cement mills no. 1, 2 & 3 have a production capacity of 50 TPH
each, the capacity of cement mill no. 4 & 5 is 80 TPH each. The plant is
producing three types of cements namely Portland cement, Portland
pozzolana cement and Portland slag cement. Cement produced id stored
in six watertight cement silos with total capacity about 21000 MT.

Coal mill: There are four air-swept coal mills of the capacity of 10 MT per
hour each.

Packaging: There are four L&T auto rotary packers of 80 TPH capacities
with 12 spouts and one 8 spout electronic packer of 100 TPH capacities.

Wagon loaders & Truck loaders: Presently there are 12 wagon

loaders and 6 truck loaders in the plant.

Capacity power generation: Presently we have three-diesel

generating sets of total capacity of 10.3 MW. In the year 1997 a 15 MW
capacity captive thermal plant was installed.

Energy Consumption: Cement manufacturing is an energy intensive

industry. About 50% of the total production cost is the energy (electric
and fuel). Therefore there is always an attempt to reduce the specific
energy consumption. Total electric energy, thermal energy and energy
consumption figures are as under:

Year Electrical Thermal Specific Specific

energy energy electrical thermal
consumptio consumptio energy consumptio
n (lakh n (Mkcal) consumptio n Kcal/kg of
kwh) n (Kwh/MT clinker
of cement)

2001-02 1407.30 1006580 94.88 830

2002-03 1463.72 961163 94.49 790

2003-04 1509.83 972533 93.20 780

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2004-05 1576.95 1000437 91.82 780

2005-06 15212.98 1040060 88.24 770

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Century Cement Vision2
Tradition: Century Cement is a division of Century Textiles & Industries
Ltd., belonging to the BK Birla Group of Companies, a leading business
house with its presence in core industries like textiles, rayons, chemicals,
paper and pulp and cement, which has been vanguard in generating
wealth for the nation. Our heritage of being a part of this group carries
with it a commitment to quality. All our products meet the most stringent
and exacting standards of our growing list of loyal customers that are
engaged in building Modern India.

Technology: Our core group’s value of quality has built for us an

invincible reputation and for this, the finest technology was sourced from
world renowned manufactures and state-of-the-art equipment installed for
energy efficient and pollution free large scale cement production. The
presence of superior technology is also evinced in our various quality
initiatives which have fetched for us the coveted ISO-9001, an
international certification for Quality Management System. We have also
got the ISO-14001 certification for Environmental Management System
which amply reflects our commitment to the environment.

Trust: Our customer is the focal point for all our endeavours and what we
value most is their trust in us, whether that is in the aspect of reliability of
supply or in the aspect of quality assurance. An extensive distribution
network and a retail chain of thousands of outlets stretching across the
length and breadth of regions, play a vital role in taking our cement units
closer to the customer’s doorsteps. Further, our efficient and responsive
technical staff excels in providing quick and expert care so as to enable
thousands of users to keep smiling and ever wanting products.

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About:3 The capacity enhancement to 7.80 million TPA is under
implementation by carrying out modification, upgradation and
debottlenecking of existing plants & machinery and equipments, which is
likely to be completed by October-December 2007 quarter. All cement
plants are equipped with captive power plant, which not only ensure an
uninterrupted power supply but also help company substantially on power
cost, as power which is self generated is cheaper than the grid power that
is otherwise borrowed.

The company sells its cement under various premium brands like Birla
Gold, Birla Faulad, Century Classic, Century Gold and Manikgarh Gold.

Marketing Policy:

• Product quality exceeding customer’s expectation

• Timely dispatches

• Attractive and functional packaging

• Quick business response

• Prompt after-sales service

• Adhering to fair and ethical business practices

Customer Service:
Customer service cells have established at various marketing centres,
which are manned by qualified and experienced technical personnel. They
provide advice to customer on getting the best value from cement and
offer assistance on civil construction related issues.

Influencing the influencer is a plank of our marketing strategy by

disseminating information about our product through one-on-one
interaction with masons/architects/engineers.

HR Policy:
Developing people to deliver results in changing environment by their
training and skills, by their commitment and team spirit, by their foresight
and resilience and by their dedication and loyalty.

HR Vision:

• Objective Selection Method

• Continous Training and Development

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• Competetive Wages and Salary structure

• Well defined system, rules and procedures

• Goal oriented appraisal system and counting

• Encouraging openness, participation and cooperation

• Synchronizing personal aspirations with organizational goals

• Enforcing professional values and code of conduct

• Providing opportunities for growth and advancement

• Prompt grievance redress system

• Improving quality of life, both on and off the job

• Discharging social responsibilities through the institution of Seva


• Reviewing constantly and improving personnel practices

Career with us:

Human resource is valuable asset to our organization. High calibre young
professionals with proven talents in diversified will be preferred, who can
innovate for tomorrow and will be the face of the company. We offer job
enrichment and enhancement opportunities at all levels. Right
environment with latest infrastructure matched by knowledge and
acumen of our professional make the promise promising future.

Contact Address:

Central Recruitment Cell

C/o. Maihar Cement
P.O. Sarlanagar 485772
District. Satna, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07674-277067/68 Fax: 07674-277806

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About Cement
Century Cement produces 100% blended cement i.e. Portland Pozzolana
Cement and4 Portland Slag Cement. The motivation for the production of
blended cement has been primarily with the aim of preserving limestone
reserves and environment.



• Low heat of hydration resulting in resistance to cracking.

• Resistance to corrosive water and chemical attacks and thereby longer

life to steel/iron structure underneath.

• High degree of impermeability and workability for the concrete mix.

• Higher ultimate strength at longer duration.

• Higher degree of fitness, resulting in –

 Complete chemical reaction

 Easy workability

 Increased plasticity

• Reduced alkali aggregate reaction as also free lime expansion and

thereby resistance to cracking.

• Lower drying shrinkage and low leaching value.

PPC can be used for any kind of construction, which earlier was the forte
of OPC. However due to its special attributes, its use is rather imperative
for the following construction works.

• Hydraulic Structures

• Mass concreting works

• Marine structures

• Masonry Mortars and Plastering

• Under aggressive conditions

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• Avoids premature repairs

• Maximizes durability and serviceability

• Maximum return on investment

• Minimum cost due to nice surface finish & slimmer constructions

• Facilitates speed of construction


• All types of constructions like residential, high rise and commercial


• Underground construction like foundation, drain, canals, culvert, sewer


• Mass concrete works like dams, roads, roof, bridges etc.

• Construction under sulphatic environment conditions

• Heavy foundations like machine/pile foundations

• Sea-shore construction


Physical properties

• Standard consistency of cement – This is the percentage of water by mass

of cement which will make a standard paste, which will permit a plunger
having 10 MM dia and 50 mm length to penetrate to a depth 33-35 mm from
the top of the mould surface when sink into its own weight.

• Fineness of cement - Fineness can be defined as a measure of

specific surface of cement.


o Finer cement offers a greater surface area for hydration and

hence faster development of strength.

o Smooth finishing work.

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o Better workability


o It is more susceptible to air set and early deterioration

o Responsible for drying shrinkage of concrete

• Setting Time – In the initial setting time we have the time elapsed
between the moments that the water is added to the cement to the
time that the paste starts losing its plasticity. On the other hand, in the
final setting time, it is the duration after which the cement loses its
plasticity and becomes rigid. During this time the peak temperature is
reached and finally the cement starts to harden after the lapse of final
setting time.

• Soundness of Cement – It refers to the volume stability of hardened

cement. In particular there should not be any expansion otherwise
under restrained conditions cracks may develop. The expansion may
take place due to free lime, magnesia and/or calcium sulfate in the

• Compressive Strength – It is a measure of strength gain of cement

mortar cube (mixed as per standard manner and standard materials) at
3,728 days.


700 640
600 590
565 570575
540 550
500 450 450
370 OPC
2400 360
c 310 320
/g 290
k300 260 PPC
tS200 PSC

3-D 7-D 28 -D 90-D 18O-D 365-D

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Different types of cement6


HIGH STRENGTH O.P.C. 43 Gr : IS 8112 – 1989
53 Gr : IS 12269-1987
43 S Gr : IS 8112-1989 (AS
53 S Gr : IS 12269- 1987 (AS
1991 (PART-1)

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Before starting on, it becomes important that we analyze the basics.
Marketing mainly concerns with a business discipline that focuses on a
firm’s marketing techniques and the firm’s marketing resources and
activities. Marketing managers have their roles ranging from providing a
holistic view for the entire organization, to study the company in a more
detailed manner.
Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller define marketing management as “the
art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping and
growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating
superior customer value.”

Peter Drucker has defined marketing as “because the purpose of business

is to create is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and
only these two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and
innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the
distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

On a more specific sense, marketing can be defined as the acquisition,

retention and enhancement of business from the customers at a profit to
the business.

The above talks about the generic nature of the marketing as an activity
and how the same can be integrated in the organizational perspective in
order to generate the ultimate goal: maximization of shareholders wealth.
From this report’s perspective another facet which comes along with
marketing is the fact that research also has an exceedingly important role
to play. By 8research we mainly mean scientific and systematic search for
pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of
scientific investigation. The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current
English lays down the meaning of research as “a careful investigation or
inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of

Well, the report doesn’t exactly has a scientific nature attached to it, but
nevertheless it proposes a finite sense of study that is mainly achieved by
ways of a detailed analysis of the prevailing conditions that are existing in
the market. The report aims at studying the marketing environment that
prevails in the particular region and the details that can be derived out of
the same.

While working on the project, concepts have been applied keeping in

mind the theoretical implication that goes along side with it. However,
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what is to be noted is the fact that not all form of theory or rather all the
facets of a particular proposed logic or idea might apply entirely to the
project. This is the reason why there are certain aspects which are more
relevant in comparison with those of another. Nevertheless, there is no
intention to undermine the nature of anyone’s observation.

Continuing with the research aspect, the nature of research that has been
undertaken is descriptive in nature. 9Descriptive research refers to the
description of the state of affairs as it exists in the present. The main
element that goes under this form of research is the fact that the
researcher has no control over the variables that exists and the main job
that exists for him is just to report what is happening and what needs to
be happening.

Steps in Marketing Research10

There are mainly six steps that are involved in the process of marketing
research. They are as follows:

 STEP 1 - Identifying and defining the problem – Our problem needs to

be identified with one or two levels of the management. Sometimes we
might need further definitions of the problem as there might be several
tools for the particular solution.

 STEP 2 - Developing an approach – Our approach should be developed

around a clear set of developed objectives. When we are working on
our objectives we are assessing our team’s marketing skills,
establishing a budget and then understanding the environment and its
influencing factors, developing a model and then formulating a

 STEP 3 – Research Design – This is arguably the most vital step in

marketing research. Based on step 1 and 2 we develop a framework on
which this step is apparent. Some also approach the marketing
research experts here. This step is most vulnerable to the typical
research errors. Here we work on approaches like, incorporating
knowledge from secondary information analysis, qualitative research,
methodology selection, question measurement & scale selection,
questionnaire design, sample design & size and determining data
analysis to be used. We might use any of the above methods or a
combination of few.

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 STEP 4 – Collecting the data – After we have worked on our research
design, it is here that we use the finalized questionnaire on the

 STEP 5 – Performing data analysis – All the analysis can be done on the
basis of the questionnaires that we have prepared. The simple data can
be handled easily while the complex set of data requires various
market research software. Types of analysis that might be performed
are simple frequency distributions, cross tab analysis, multiple
regressions (driver analysis), cluster analysis, factor analysis,
perceptual mapping (multidimensional scaling), structural equation
modeling and data mining.

 STEP 6 – Reporting and Presentation – All the critical information that

we have collected is presented in front of the decision makers. They
take vital decisions based on this research report.

From a critical perspective, all the steps that are enlisted have been duly
undertaken and care has been taken to ensure that the report is free from
any form of human biasness. However forms of externalities like error on
part of the respondents or any kind of false information are difficult to
both trace and remove, especially since the nature of the report is

Bias in Marketing Research11

In spite of its widespread application, marketing research has been often

been discussed as an imperfect science. There are certain inherit bias that
are involved in marketing research. They are as follows.

i. Poor Selection Criteria – These refer to the people who are selected
for marketing research. If the people who are being questioned don’t
fit adequately, then the entire research falls flat.

ii. Non-random selection – Bias can come when the survey of population
that is selected belongs to only one particular segment of the
population. Things get worse if the segment of population doesn’t
aims at our target segment.

iii. Study Design – Sometimes the questionnaire who asks the question
forms it in such a way that it invariably applies to a particular form of
answer. The format of the question might be such that it suggests a

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particular form of answer and this makes the entire process of market
survey gets defeated.

iv. Analysis – In spite of everything going right, the person who studies
the data for his analysis might have certain vested interest in
obtaining a particular result. This makes the process biased. In order
to avoid this we must use someone who is objective in his approach.

As mentioned before, due care has been taken to minimize any form of
error whatsoever that might occur during the preparation or working of
the project.

Sources of Marketing Information12

We can mainly identify the following sources of marketing information.

They are described below.

i. Secondary Sources of Information – These are the information that

is collected by persons for purposes other than the solution to the
problem at hand. Also generally no research is undertaken without
finding out the available secondary sources of information. This is
mainly because secondary sources have lower costs and they might
solve the problem without the help of primary data.

ii. Information from Respondents – Here we might work on the

behavior of a person for obtaining information where people’s action
is investigated or for that matter even predicted. The information can
be either communicated or observed. Information when
communicated can be in the form of surveys and can be included
from various stakeholders. Information when observed is done such
that we are analyzing the behaviour of the people. Such information
is less error prone than the communicated one.

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iii. Information from Natural and Controlled Experiments – Natural
experiment is one where the investigator intervenes only till required
for experimentation. He doesn’t assume any kind of a casual variable.
He just observes what happens. In controlled experiments the
investigator intervenes beyond the measured purpose. Here he might
manipulate at least one assumed casual variable.

iv. Simulation – Various factors like expenses, time involved doesn’t

allow on-field experimentation. It is here that we construct a model of
the operational situation and experiment alongside it. This is called
simulation. Simulation can be defines as a set of techniques for
manipulating a model of some real world process for the purpose of
finding numerical solutions that are useful in the real process that is
being modelled. These models are less frequently used in marketing,
but conceptual models are constructed for obtaining information on
combination of variables.

Customer Questionnaire13
Of all the methods that are involved in measuring a particular form of
marketing research, customer questionnaire is one which is arguably the
most popular. Questionnaire are one in which we obtain opinions and
perceptions about the organization’s products or services. These methods
can however be costly and time consuming. In questionnaires, customers
are asked to furnish answers on what they think about the organization’s
product or services. Normally organizations ask the respondents to grade
the answers on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 against a set of pre-defined
questions. However such methods don’t provide a solution to the problem
as posted by the consumer. The most detailed and useful information is
one which is obtained using a mailed-questionnaire method. However, this
method is again awkwardly flawed in nature as the respondents have to
invest their time in filling the questionnaire. Also people who take the pain
in filling a questionnaire are one who is strongly biased towards a
particular issue. Thus, in refinement to the mail questionnaire the
organization can engage in phone calls with their respondents.

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The most successful form of research being the questionnaire method, in
this project all form of data is collected using this method. All the
respondents have been personally interviewed and this creates a personal
touch to the task.

Kotler has defined attitude as, “attitude is a person’s enduring favorable
or unfavorable evaluations, emotional feelings and action tendencies
towards some object or idea.”

He says that people have attitude towards almost everything in life-

clothing, music, lifestyle, and social ways. People try to either move
towards it or move against it. Attitudes make people behave in a
consistent manner towards similar objects. Also a person’s attitude tends
to get static over a period of time. A person’s attitude is said to be linked
with other attitudes. Thus a person’s change in attitude requires major
adjustments in those of other attitudes.

Dealer’s Attitude & Survey

When we are discussing dealer’s attitude, we can discuss it in the same

light as we have defined attitude above Dealer attitude is one of the many
other psychological factors – the others being belief, motivation,
perception. While talking about dealer’s attitude we are discussing that
some customers may be timid while others may be aggressive. One might
have a traditional view of life while others might be comparatively
modern. These are just some of the factors that influence the dealer and
his attitude while forming a particular decision. It is this dealer attitude
that is of vital importance while evaluating the aspect of marketing and its
inherent applications.

A dealer attitude survey is one which helps the organization by means of


• Measure customer satisfaction levels

• Improve customer retention

• Gauge interest in new products and service offerings

• Pinpoint areas for improvement

There are mainly 3 stages of this customer attitude survey design. They

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• Dealer Attitude Survey Design

• Dealer Attitude Survey Administration

• Dealer Attitude Survey Analysis

Each of these stages is vital in the process of customer

survey. Once the process of customer attitude survey is done, we then
move on to identifying the solutions that have come up as a part of our

Importance of Dealer’s Survey16

We can mainly highlight the following important points with respect to

the advantages or significance of a dealer’s survey. They are,

 Dealer’s survey can help developers of products, services or

programs gauge the market's response to new development concepts.

 They also help in revealing the audience preferences for design,

features and benefits.

 Dealer’s survey can help in evaluating the purchasing attitudes of


 Dealer’s survey can reveal how the market feels about our
competitors’ products and positioning in the marketplace.

 Customer attitude surveys measures the effectiveness, clarity or

emotional impact of a message to an audience.

 Dealer surveys can give insight into market trends and behaviours.

 Dealer surveys can communicate what is most important to the

dealer in terms of our relationship with them.

The research that is carried out in this report is also inherently descriptive
in nature. The descriptive nature of the report is important as here the
nature of research will involve the questionnaire approach that is me
visiting the dealers and finding out the details as and which is necessary
from the organizational point of view.

In the above section, we have discussed the basic that is the definition
that go along with the basic idea of marketing and research. Next we go
on to more detailed concepts like distribution channel.

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‘A distribution or marketing channel comprises a set of interdependent
institutions and agencies involved in the process of making a product or
service available for consumption or use.’

In this respect, my main crux of the topic related to the dealers and sub
dealers that were involved. I have briefly discussed the distribution
network in my introduction of the report. Adding on to it, I was to work on
certain pockets that were mainly in the Kasba region, Kalighat area and
the most important Behala-Thakurpukur market. This is the market where
I am to operate and had to work on.

‘Business channel management is the process of designing a set of

marketing and distribution arrangements that fulfill the requirement and
preferences of targeted market segments and customers, creating value
through direct sales forces and logistics system, and constructing
offerings for the resellers that build marketplace equity.’

From the organization’s point of view, the dealers are the most important
point of connection in the supply chain network. A detailed observation of
the same will be later mentioned in the analysis section.

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My topic for this project is “Study of Cement Marketing through dealers’
network in various parts of Kolkata”.

By means of survey conducted in the market, I am expected to find out

the following that in a way act as the objectives which gets derived out of
my study.

a. The total market volume.

b. The brand wise market share of individual cement brands.

c. Nature of the customers as well as the nature of the dealers.

d. Pocket wise market penetration strategy of various brands.

e. Percentage of wholesalers and retailers.

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Before moving on to the methods that are involved in research, it
becomes important that we differentiate between research methods and
methodology. Research methods can be understood as all the methods or
techniques that are used in conducting a research. They are the methods
that the researchers use in performing research operations. Since the
objective of the research is to arrive at a particular solution, the available
data and the unknown aspects of the problem have to be related to each
other to make a solution possible. Research methodology on the other
hand refers to a systematic way of solving a particular problem. It refers
to not only the research methods but also considers the logic behind the
methods that we use in the context of our research study and explain why
we are not using others so that the research results are capable of being
evaluated either by the researcher himself or by others.

When working on the methods of data collection we are to

understand that there are two types of data namely primary data and
secondary data. Primary data are those which are collected afresh and for
the first time whereas secondary data is one which has already been
collected by someone else and which has already passed through
statistical process.

The collection of primary data can be done through several methods

especially through

i. Observation method

ii. Interview method

iii. Through questionnaires

iv. Through schedules

v. Other methods which include warranty cards, distribution audits,

pantry audits, consumer panels, using mechanical devices etc.

While working on the research methodology, I will be mainly

focusing on the interview method and questionnaire. A detailed
explanation about them is given below.

Interview Method17

This form of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli

and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. This method is used in two
forms namely personal interview and through telephone interview.

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The personal interview form mainly involves the interviewer involved in a
fact to face contact with the other person. The investigation can be either
direct personal investigation or indirect oral investigation. The former
relates to the interviewer has to collect the information personally from
the sources concerned. Indirect oral investigation on the other hand
relates to the interviewer cross examining other persons who are
supposed to have knowledge about the problem under investigation.

Merits of personal interview

• More information and can be collected.

• The interviewer can overcome the resistance of the respondents by
his own skills.
• Provides greater flexibility.
• Personal interview can be obtained easily.

Demerits of personal interview

• It is an expensive method.
• There is a possibility of bias either form the respondents
or from the interviewer himself.
• People of varied income groups might not be easily
• This method is more time consuming.
The telephone interview method on the other hand involves
collecting the information on the telephone itself. It is not a very widely
used method.

Merits of telephone interview

• It is more flexible in comparison to mailing methods.

• It is faster.
• It is a cheaper method.
• Recall is easier as call-backs are easier and economical.
Demerits of telephone interview

• Not much time is given for the interviewer to answer.

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• Surveys are restricted to respondents who have telephone facilities.
• Extensive geographical surveys are restricted by cost considerations.
• Possibility of the bias on part of the interviewer is relatively more.


Of all the methods that are involved in measuring a particular form of

marketing research, customer questionnaire is one which is arguably the
most popular. Questionnaire are one in which we obtain opinions and
perceptions about the organization’s products or services. These methods
can however be costly and time consuming. In questionnaires, customers
are asked to furnish answers on what they think about the organization’s
product or services. Normally organizations ask the respondents to grade
the answers on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 against a set of pre-defined
questions. However such methods don’t provide a solution to the problem
as posted by the consumer. The most detailed and useful information is
one which is obtained using a mailed-questionnaire method. However, this
method is again awkwardly flawed in nature as the respondents have to
invest their time in filling the questionnaire. Also people who take the pain
in filling a questionnaire are one who is strongly biased towards a
particular issue.

In addition to the above discussed primary data sources, I might also be

working on secondary data which will be provided by company.

The reason why I have chosen the following as my primary data sources is
that for my project, it was important that I regularly interact with the
dealers and hence personally avail the critical data which is required for
the working of my project. The various details are very vital for the
company and this collection of these would have been possible only
through personal interaction.

Ethical issues involved in research methodology19

When we are talking about ethicality we are denoting morality and

matters which are right and wrong. In the same way when we are talking
speak of ethics in context of marketing research activities; we are dealing
with the judgment that certain types of research activities are
inappropriate. Such questionable activities of individuals for testing a new
product, attempting to secure information from individuals who are
unwilling to respond, and delving into the privacy of an individual who are
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unwilling to respond. Thus the issue of ethics is very vital in research

The ethical issues can be classified in two respects - issues with respect to
the treatment of respondents and issues relating to treatment of

Issues relating to the treatment of respondents

There are mainly two issues that are addressed by American Marketing
Association (AMA)

i. The activity must be research and not have as its real purpose the
sale of merchandise to the respondent.

ii. If it has been agreed to or promised, the participants’ anonymity must

be protected.

Tybout and Zaldman have together suggested the following rights which
are important for the participants.

• The respondents should have the freedom to choose whether ro or

not to participate in a study.

• The respondent’s anonymity should be maintained and that he/she

should be protected from physical or psychological harm.

• The respondents must be informed on all aspects of the research.

• The researchers should try to convince consumers that the research

activities will ultimately benefit them with products and services that
will be more attuned to their needs.

Issues relating to ethical treatment of researchers

There are mainly two issues that are addressed by American Marketing
Association (AMA)

i. The first of these obligations is that the user shall not knowingly
disseminate conclusions that are inconsistent with or not warranted
by the data. The distortion of results not only misleads the audience,
but is potentially damaging to the researcher and the firm as well.

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ii. It is unethical for users to solicit unique designs or concepts not
commonly available and then to deliver it to another researcher for
execution. Researchers rightly regard these techniques as being
proprietary. Another possibility is that the client will utilize the
information obtained from proposals and incorporate the researcher’s
ideas into a project that will be carried out by his or her own staff.

However, one thing to be noted is the fact that this report is devoid of any
form of descriptive or hypothesis testing research. Thus there hasn’t been
any hypothesis proposed, on the basis of which another set of statement
that follows can be accepted or refuted. The nature of the study here is
exploratory that is objective

Page | 32
Cement Industry in India

Cement industry can be considered to be one of the sunrise industries

that the country has. Driven by a booming real estate sector, global
demand and increased activity in infrastructure development such as
state and national highways, the cement industry has witnessed
tremendous growth. Production capacity has gone up and top cement
companies of the world are vying to enter the Indian market, thereby
sparking off spate of mergers and acquisitions. Indian cement industry is
currently ranked second in the world.

The origins of Indian cement industry can be traced back to 1914 when
the first unit was setup at Porbandar with a capacity of 1000 tonnes.
Today cement industry comprises of 125 large cement plants and more
than 300 mini cement plants that is again increasing on an everyday
basis. The Cement Corporation of India, which is a central public sector
undertaking has 10 units. There are 10 large cement plants owned by
various state governments. Cement industry in India has also made
tremendous strides in technological upgradation and assimilation of latest
technology. Presently, 93 percent of the total capacity of the industry is
based on modern and environment-friendly dry process technology. The
induction of advanced technology has helped the industry immensely to
conserve energy and fuel and to save materials substantially. Indian
cement industry has also acquired technical capability to produce
different types of cements like Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland
Pozzolana Cement (PPC), Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement (PBFSC), Oil
Well Cement, Rapid Hardening Portland Cement, Sulphate Resisting
Portland Cement, White Cement etc. Some of the major clusters of cement
industry in India are: Satna (Madhya Pradesh), Chandrapur (Maharashtra),
Gulbarga (Karnataka), Yerranguntala (Andhra Pradesh), Nalgonda (Andhra
Pradesh), Bilaspur (Chattisgarh) and Chandoria (Rajasthan).

The cement industry in India has gone over a consolidation phase. Some
examples are Gujrat Ambuja taking a stake of 14 per cent in ACC and
taking over Rassi and Sri Vishnu Cement. Grasim has also acquired the
cement business of L&T, Indian Rayon’s cement division ad Sri Digvijay
Cements. Foreign cement companies are also picking up stake in large
Indian cement companies. Swiss cement major Holcem has picked up 14.8
per cent of promoter’s stake in Gujrat Ambuja Cements (GACL). Holcem’s
acquisition has led to the emergence of two major groups in the Indian
cement industry, the Holcem-ACC-Gujrat Ambuja Cements combine and
the Aditya Birla Group through Grasim Industries and Ultratech Cement.
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Lafarge, the French cment major has acquired the cement plants of
Raymond and Tisco. Italy based Italcementi has acquired a stake in the
K.K. Birla promoted Zuari Industries’ cement plant in Andhra Pradesh, and
German cement company Heidelberg Cement has entered into an equal
joint venture agreement with S P Lohia Group controlled Iondo-Rama

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Distribution pattern in West Bengal
In West Bengal Century Cement distributes its cement through handling
agent and direct sales. Century Cement has got its dump in Cossipore,
Shalimar, Kalighat, Kalaikunda, Burdwan, Bandel, Malda, Siliguri, Saithia,

The following are the handling agents for the dump:


 Cossipore Jagannath Paul.

 Shalimar Ramtech Industries Ltd.

 Kalighat Ramtech Industries Ltd.

 Kalaikunda Ramtech Industries (P) Ltd.

 Burdwan Maa Kali Agency

 Bandal Agragami Distributors

 Malda R. Basak

 Siliguri S. Basak

 Saithia Maa Kali Agency

 Berhampure A. K. Distributors

As soon as the rack has being placed at the damp/railway siding, few of
the materials are being delivered directly to the dealers on the basis of
programmed of dispatch given by the company. Through the authorized
transporter of the dealers, the balance materials are stored at the
godown. Again, deliveries are made from the godown to the appointed
dealers as per their requirements. The dealers give the transport charges
to their authorized transporter. Materials are delivered on the basis of
companies challan issued by the carrying and forwarding agent and the
challan is then counter signed by the authorized transporter of the
respective dealer. As soon as the transporter acknowledges the materials
and signs the challan, the company’s liability ends. Hence the entire
responsibility of the material goes to the dealers. One copy of the challan
is sent to the company’s sales office for the preparation of invoice.

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Explanation of the Questionnaire
In the start of the questionnaire, first there are general questions that are
in the form of name, address and who is the owner of the shop. Next we
have the phone no. of the organization. Here both the office and
residential no. were sought by, however the respondents normally replied
with only the office no. There is a column of ‘person met’, which is done to
show that it might not always be such that the owner is available at desk.
They might also have a manager concept prevalent.

Next we see a column that is probably most important from the

organization’s point of view. It contains all the details that are important
from Century Cement’s point of view. It has a detailed bifurcation with
respect to the amount that is purchased and sold. In the purchase column,
we see whether sales are made directly from the co. or from someone
else. Simply put, it is done to find out whether a particular dealer
purchases directly from the co. or from some other that is acts as a sub
dealer of sorts. In the quantity sold portion, we have the sales that are
what percentage of sales is in the form of wholesale and what is in the
form of retail. The security deposit part is mentioned to find out what
amount the dealers had to pay in order to get the agency. Also there is a
section to find out the interest that the dealer expects out of the security
deposit. Rarely has this interest exceeded the rate of interest provided by
the banks. Then we have something in the form of credit period that the
dealer provides, and finally we have the volume target scheme which
mentions whether the co. provides some kind of such scheme or not or
rather whether the dealer has availed any of such scheme or not. Then
the duration of dealership provides how long has the dealer been in
business which is provided to bring forward the experience element of the

The next column which talks about the main dealers in the area is done in
order to cross check on the materials handling capacity of the other
dealers in the area. Thus this kind of provides a statistical check, without
getting into the details. Note that this information proved to be quite
helpful as confirming the details of the dealers with other dealers gave
away the falsifying information that would have otherwise occurred.

Next the questionnaire asks the dealers as to what are the brands that he
personally prefers out of a given set of brands that he stocks. This is done
with the reason of finding the dealer’s biasness for a particular brand and
to what extent. The reason for such biasness is normally because the
dealer might be getting more commission from a particular brand.

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The next question asks about the whether the dealer wants to take an
agency of some brand in the future. This will not only let us know about
the popularity of a particular brand, it also lets us know about the gap that
exists in the market and how can it be duly taken care of.

Next question asks about the fact that who influences the purchase of
cement customers. For those who are preparing their own houses and
hence are more involved in the raw materials that go in, the ‘mistri’ is
very important. On the other hand for people who purchase flats and are
less involved, the contractor becomes a more vital reason for purchase.
Few of the shopkeepers have also said that they themselves have helped
the cement customers decide on the industry.

About the question of mergers in the industry and how it will affect their
operations, none of the dealers had any idea and this in a way made the
question kind of redundant.

The next question asked about the fact that whenever the purchase of
cement occurs, what are the various parties that are there as customers.
Almost the entire dealers quoted that about 60-90 percent of their parties
were the customer themselves while there were quite a handful of parties
that said that customers come along with the mason as well and that the
contractor himself comes along for the purchase. One reason why most of
the dealers said that the customer himself comes along is that the nature
of the residences that were going on was surprisingly individual homes
instead of the normal high-rise apartments that Kolkata is so used to.

The next form talks about the various forms of promotion techniques that
are possible for the various cement brands. There were many instances
when the dealer used to stock certain brands of cements while for the wall
hoarding they show only a particular brand. The dealers however didn’t
bother much about this as the company representatives themselves later
got the wall done in various time periods. Wall painting is an important
aspect as the same is the most visible feature of any cement market.
Similar importance is given to the sign boards as well.

The next aspect talks about the intangibles that are involved with respect
to the cement that the dealer is using. Here the availability of cement with
regards to an unforeseen demand is important that is during a particular
month if the demand for cement exceeds the normal average for the
dealer. The next set of options talks about the behaviour of company
representatives and how frequently they visit them. Also the accounting
system that each company has separately with the dealer is kind of vital
from the organizational point of view. Finally I got quite a varied response
when it comes to the packaging of materials. The dealers were normally
Page | 37
impressed with ACC’s packaging while on the other hand they were not so
impressed with Lafarge’s packaging. This was owing to the fact that
cement takes up a huge space when it comes to the inventory and if some
of it is left in the open, then slightly miscalculation on part of packaging
from the company’s side makes a huge difference. This is true especially
during the rainy season.

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Analysis with respect to the set of objectives
The main aspect of the questionnaire that is vital from the organizational
point of view has been discussed in the annexure. It mainly consists of the
purchase capacity of the individual dealer and the credit period that is
involved. It also mentions the full address of the dealer and their contact
details. Then there are the details that belong to the credit period of the
dealer with the companies involved.

The total purchase that is involved gives us an idea about the total market
volume for that particular dealer. If we add up the total volume of a
particular set of market then we get the total volume for a particular
market. The reason why I have not done the same is because of the fact
that I was unable to cover all the shops that were there in a particular
region. This was owing to a few limitations that had come up while
working on the questionnaires.

The next objective consists of the brand wise market share that was
worked on during the market. Well, each market was dominated by
certain individual brands. For example, there was Lafarge that was
dominant in the Behala and Thakurpukur region owing to the fact that the
C&F of Lafarge was nearby and this made transportation easy. Lafarge
was on the other hand not a dominating player in the Kasba region.

The nature of the customers was in a way a mixed lot. There were
elements of customers coming for either construction of their own house
or for that matter construction of the flats. In the former the customer
involvement is arguably more. The dealers on the other hand were also a
healthy mix of both the wholesalers and the retail dealers. The wholesale
dealers are one who operates in bulk and from whom the dealers later
purchase the materials, for probably further selling. Also the idea of
wholesaler also kind of generates from the fact that these lot deal in bulk.
It might not necessarily refer to the traditional idea of wholesale that
exists in the distribution channel.

There is something called as the market penetration strategy that relates

to all the brands that have been covered. The penetration strategy that
has been concerned with mainly concerns with market where there is
some form of gap that has been existing and henceforth is a more or less
maturing market. This form of market is one where there is a chance for
other cement companies to enter. Well one thing to be noted is the fact
that all the markets that I had operated under didn’t have any kind of or
rather negligible presence when it comes to Century Cement. My study is
not to be confused with some kind of survey in the way Century Cement
was operating in the market. It was more of an analysis of the existence of
Page | 39
other cements in the market and how Century Cement can make a foray
into the same. These markets are also one that has reasonably matured
over a period of time and as such there is intense competition that needs
to be crossed before Century can do the required amount of cross hold.
The way in which the same can be achieved is by overcoming the
negative points that has been pointed out so well and henceforth creating
an unparallel cement company that is inherently devoid of the usual flaws
that exists in other cements.

Finally, the percentage of wholesalers and retailers can also be derived

out of this data that has been provided. It is nothing else but an extension
of the earlier data that has been derived.

This has been pointed out but again needs to be strengthened that the
idea of this survey is to find out the installed capacity that exists with
respect to dealers that is they are operating to what level of their capacity
and to what extent.

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This project has been prepared keeping in mind the format as prescribed
by the college. While the survey was being conducted, there were quite a
no. of issues and observations that had invariably led to certain
recommendations, as part of changes that I found were necessary and
needed to be looked into. What needs to be noted is that these changes
are merely suggestive in nature and I sincerely hope that a few of them
could be seriously considered.

 There was a sense of resentment amongst the cement dealers that

they don’t have that much of power in their hands when it comes to
making decisions that are in a way slightly strategic in nature. E.g. they
need to be consulted when there is a shift in the way the packaging
needs are taken care of.

 The business model of cement industry needs a big overhaul. For

instance, the return on investment in the cement industry is as low as
Rs. 5 for Rs. 500 that a dealer invests. That is abysmally low and again
it would make sense if the same could be taken care of. Lesser amount
of investment on part of the investor as a part of the cement model
would probably make a bit more sense as compared to the high rate or
investment that is currently followed now.

 The price determination of the cement industry is not something that is

completely determined by the owners themselves. There is a huge
element of demand supply determinance that is the price being
determined by the interaction of the market forces. This is the prime
reason why there has been a huge no of cement shops that are located
in or around a particular area, and this makes the competition
associated with it kind of extremely cut throat. I had proposed a
business model in which the no of shops that are operating in a
particular location be brought down. This is done on the basis of say
people who don’t deal with ‘x’ no of tonnes of cement are not allowed
to work on the same. This will make the dealers market a lot more
cartelized, but at the same time one thing to be noted is that since
they will start dealing in bulk, they will be able to book higher profits
and accordingly be able to make the necessary adjustments that are
otherwise so difficult at the sales part. On the part of the company, it is
not that much of an issue, as there they are still having their profits
guaranteed, no matter what. They can always control the supply side of
the model by limiting the supply in case any kind of problem arises.

Page | 41
 On account of the physical properties, there was a marked difference
that was noted in the packaging that was provided by ACC and say
Lafarge Concreto. This is owing to the fact that the company is so
particular about the packaging that is done in the bulk that they are
not much concerned about the cement that is dealt in smaller
quantities. There were very few people who had spoken about Century
Cement, but the overall impression about the packaging was good.

 Even though my survey was to centre with the fact that I wasn’t to
show any inherent bias towards any particular brand of cement, I made
it a point to find out about the performance of Century Cement. The
reason for Century not doing well is because some time back it had
went into a brand makeover and this had led it to losing some of its
credibility. Plus there were other instances where cements with Birla
names were coexisting and this made it kind of difficult for Century
which now had existed as Birla Gold to make its own name. There was
no set rationale which was derived out of this move of brand makeover.
Thus a lot of advertising and other form of promotion is necessary in
order for Birla Gold to make a mark. The good news is that Century still
hasn’t been forgotten and had an excellent reputation. In this way,
whatever is done from their side will be taken in a positive direction
only. The fact that the real estate and infrastructure market is here to
stay makes it extremely promising from the organizational point of

 There is a rising concern over the gradual rise of the mini plant dealers
in the state. These manufacturers are the one who don’t follow all the
traditional methods that are involved in the manufacturing process –
especially when it comes to the extracting process. Thus on account of
the fact that they have discounted a part of the processing stage and
hence have not incurred any capital expense, they are able to make
considerably higher amount of margins as compared to their other
counterpart. In accordance to the same, there is a rising issue that has
come up with regards to the issue of quality. Cement is one commodity
on whose quality people are not willing to compromise. Still the
question of profits is something that has interested a lot of dealers in
stocking these cements which are a ready hit in the suburban areas of
West Bengal.

 Cement industry is something that is dependent a lot on other natural

resources that are present in the nation. Thus if there could have been
ways by which the same could have been controlled then it would have
made a significant impact to the way the raw materials was handled.

Page | 42
Thus in accordance with all that has been discussed; there is a brief SWOT
analysis that has been done for Century Cement.


o The production capacity utilization is over 90 percent.

o Presence of ‘bleakness’ makes it a preferred brand, especially since it

carries an important functional attribute.

o The packaging is well received as compared to many popular

counterparts, which makes it kind of preferred.

o The demand of cement has been excellent in the recent past

acknowledging it to be nothing short of a sunrise industry. They are
much sought after in the infrastructure and housing sector.

o It is a qualified ISO: 14001 certified company.


o The marketing team of the Birla Gold doesn’t have a very good
relationship with their channel partner members. What is needed is
that they must be a lot more proactive and responsive from their side.

o The competitors are much ahead with their promotional activities as

compared to Birla Gold that makes things extremely difficult for them.

o The brand name is not perceived to be something great, especially

when it comes to Ambuja and ACC as their counterparts. Thus what is
required is that they create a superior brand perception and further
more for brand recall to occur, high sets of advertising is a must.

o Cement when ordered in small parts turns out to be a low order

commodity and hence long transportation adds on to the cost of the
commodity, which is again largely market deterministic.

o The low cost of return that is involved in the cement market that again
makes it highly unattractive, especially for small players.


o Cement industry has no signs of slowing down in the near future and
this makes it an extremely viable industry.

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o The Indian core industry is clocking excellent growth over the last year,
quarter after quarter so that is also a positive sign.

o The FDI in the infrastructure sector is going to increase in the coming

years, again making the cement industry a direct beneficiary.

o The no. of people who are aspiring to buy houses is on the rise. Plus
with the softening of the interest rates from the unusual high that they
were in has once again made financing a viable option.

o The brand name of Century isn’t exactly diluted so if Birla Gold stems
up the promotional activity they do have a healthy chance.


o There have been talks of Government walking in to adjust the price of

the cement.

o The prices of coal increasing on a perennial basis and this might again
hamper the prospects as coal is an important commodity as a raw

o The small players in the market have more than just been giving the
big houses the regular headache. Mini plants are slowly making their
presence felt.

o Other brands like ACC have an extremely high percentage of brand

loyalty, something that was evident from the survey that was

o A huge amount of small players are grabbing a large chunk of lower

income cement base.

A brief note
This project was done with the intention of finding the nature of the
cement market by means of visits to the dealers. However the project has
certain inherent limitations as well. Not everyone was willing to talk when I
had approached them. That brought the question of conversion rate being
extremely low when it comes to the no. of people who were willing to

The nest aspect was the fact that there was no physical address given to
me by the project guide. The entire project was done on the basis of
something called as a broad location contour that was mentioned that

Page | 44
made things again extremely difficult for me. I had to physically go and
search for all the shops that were around and this in a way made things
slightly complicated. The nature of the cement shops is something like
that of a small unit, simply owing to the fact that the infrastructure cost
that is involved in setting up a shop is at its bare minimum. Often this fact
made the spotting of the dealers a bit difficult. A good look at the
annexure points out that there are substantial fractions of the people
around that are nothing else but just small dealer.

Page | 45

01. K.C. Krishnend ULTRATECH (R) 10 7 GOOD

Builders. u DURGAPUR
1716/1A Chatterjee CEMENT (R)
Bosepukur .
Road. Kol- Ph No.
42 (033)
02. Joy guru Haripadu LAFARGE (R) 70 7 GOOD
Builders. Das.
45 Ph No.
Main Road.
03. Friends Biswanath ULTRATECH (D) 45 14 V.
Enterprise. Adhikari, GOOD
114 Paritosh
Purbachal Dutta.
Main Road Ph. No.
Kol-78 98360128
04. Maity Sukhdev ULTRATECH (D) 130 21 GOOD
Hardware. Maity. KONARK (D)
58 Ph. No.
Rajdanga (033)
Gol Park 2442-0636
Kol -107
05. Swapan Swapan ACC (D) 70 7-15 OKAY
Biswas. Biswas.
Sarat Park, Ph. No.
Kol - 107 98301870
06. BT Tapan ULTRATECH (D) 300 14 V.
Enterprise. Kumar AMBUJA (D) GOOD
1392 PM Das.
Road, Kol- Ph. No.
07. Chandra Sukumar ULTRATECH (D) 100 14 OKAY
Hardware. Chandra. AMBUJA (D)

Page | 46
Road. Kol-
08. S. Prasad. S. Prasad AMBUJA (D) 120 21 GOOD
09. Roy Joyonta LAFARGE (D) 340 14 OKAY
Traders. Ray KONARK OCL (D)
166 DH Ph. No. ULTRATECH (R)
Road. 24976248
ur Road
10. Nacto H. K. Dutta ACC (D) 100 7 OKAY
Enterprise. AMBUJA (D)
Road. Kol LAFARGE (D)
11. A. K. Roy Arun Kr. ACC (D) 70 21 V.
Choudhary Roy BIRLA GOLD (R) GOOD
. Choudhary LAFARGE (R)
133/2 DH Ph. No.
Road. Kol- (033)
08 2447-4175
12. Roy & Co. K. Roy ACC (D) 50 5 GOOD
533 A DH Ph. No.
Road. Kol- (033)
34 23478138
13. DB Dilip AMBUJA (D) 100 7 GOOD
Constructi Kumar LAFARGE (D)
on. Biswas.
Thakurpuk Ph. No.
r, JL Sarani 94336621
Joka. Kol- 46
14. Pal & C. Pal. BIRLA GOLD (D) 45 14 GOOD
Sons. Ph. No. LAFARGE (D)
JL Sarani (033)
Thakurpuk 2467-3543
ur. Kol-62
15. Chakravort Sushant ACC (D) 110 14 V.
y Chakravort AMBUJA (D) GOOD
Enterprise. y LAFARGE (D)
79 Ph. No.
Daspara (033)
Road. 24073765
Thakurpuk 94334460
ur. Kol-63 08
16. Ringtu Ringtu AMBUJA (D) 170 21 OKAY
Kundu. Kundu. ULTRATECH (D)
29/4 Ph. No.
Satyen 94330845
Ray Road. 02
Page | 47
17. MS Iron & Bapi Das BIRLA GOLD (D) 350 variab GOOD
Co. Ph. No. ULTRATECH (D) le
274 (033) LAFARGE (D)
Sarsuna 24931032 AMBUJA (D)
Main Road. ACC (D)
18. Das Tamal Das ACC (R) 60 7 OKAY
Enterprise. AMBUJA (R)
Main Road.
19. Das Nilanjan AMBUJA (D) 60 variab GOOD
Enterprise. Das. LAFARGE (D) le
Ramnagar Ph. No. ULTRATECH (D)
Gangaram 93319522
pur Road, 34
20. A. Ray A Roy DURGAPUR (D) 30 None V.
Choudhary Choudhary GOOD
. .
187 DH Ph. No.
Road, 93311745
Thakurpuk 713
21. Lokenath Kanti ACC (D) 300 21 GOOD
Builders. Ghosh. AMBUJA (D)
9 SN Ray Ph. No. LAFARGE (D)
Road. 98314206
Kol-38 10
22. Das Narayan LAFARGE (D) 60 15 OKAY
Trading. Chandra
67 Das.
Majedpada Ph. No.
Post 92316935
Office, 83
23. Economic Pranab LAFARGE (R) 30 21 GOOD
Traders. Roy. BANSAL (D)
160E 90512952 PRAGATI (D)
Bhupen 27
Roy Road.
24. BD Bijay K AMBUJA (D) 30 10 GOOD
Enterprise. Das, KONARK (D)
Nabapally Nilima Das
JL Sarani,
Page | 48
25. Partha Partha ACC (D) 110 15 GOOD
Builders. Das. AMBUJA (R)
10, Ph. No. LAFARGE (R)
Bosepara 94335734 DURGAPUR (R)
Road. JL 01
26. Mahalaksh Khadiram LAFARGE (D) 60 15 OKAY
mi Stores. Rit
642 DH
27. Ramesh Ramesh ACC (D) 2000 variab V.
Mallick. Mallick. CENTURY (D) le GOOD
Sivarampu Ph. No. LAFARGE (D)
r, 033- ULTRATECH (D)
Maheshtal 24880054 KONARK (D)
a, Kol-121. BANSAL (D)

28. Southern Subir ACC (D) 100 15 GOOD

Builders. Majumdar. AMBUJA (D)
92/1 LAFARGE (D)
Roy Road
29. Industry Raju ACC (R) 40 7 OKAY
Builders. Ghosh CENTURY (R)
133/2 Ho LAFARGE (R)
Chi Min
30. Paul Sunil Paul ACC (D) 500 variab GOOD
Enterprise. CENTURY (D) le
406 Ho Chi LAFARGE (D)
Min Sarani. ULTRATECH (D)

Page | 49

Appendix II

1 a) Name

b) Name of the dealing person Mr. /Ms.

2. Address

3. a) Phone No. i) Residential

ii) Office

b) Mobile No.

c) Person met

4. Fill in the blanks with appropriate answers

Name of Quantity Quantity Secur Inter Cred Volu Duratio

the purchase selling ity est of it me n of
compan (mt) (mt) Depo Secur Peri Targ dealers
y Direc Fro Who Ret sit ity od et hip
tly m le ail (Rs.) Depo Sche
from oth sale sit me
co. er (%) (if

5. Who are the main dealers of this area

Nam ACC Ambu Centu Lafar Ultrate JP Bina Rash OCL Birla Othe Total
e of ja ry ge ch ni i Samr rs

Page | 50
the Gold at

6. When a customer asks for a particular brand do you try selling other brands?

Yes ( ) No ( )

If yes, then which are those brands? Why?

7. Have you ever thought of taking dealership of any other company in the

Yes ( ) No ( )

If yes, then which are those brands? Why?

8. According to you, who influences a cement customer purchase most?

9. What have you got to say about the mergers in the cement industry?

10. What percentage of your cement customers are

Reseller Contractor Individual Individual Mason

Customer customer
d by mason

11. Advertising / Sales Promotion (Write poor/ok/good/very good in the

appropriate blank)

Name of TV Radio Wall/Sho Sign Press Gifts Any

compan p Board Other
y Painting
Page | 51

12. Service (Write poor/ok/good/very good in the appropriate blank)

Compan Regular Behaviour of Visits by Accounti Packagin

y Name availabili company company ng g
ty of representati representati system
cement ves ves

13. Any other remarks / Opinions?

Date: ………………………………

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Place: ……………………………..

(Surveyor’s Signature)

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