Indomie: Thriving Despite Economic Meltdown

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Eromosele Abiodun writes that despite the economic downturn in the country some companies are thriving and putting a smile on the faces of Nigerians

While signing the 2016 budget into law last year, President Muhammad Buhari described the current economic situation in Nigeria as the worst in our national history. In the same vein, the 2016 World Bank Business Report revealed that Nigeria remains one of the world worst places to do business mainly due to cost of operating in our environment. Among the 189 countries surveyed, Nigeria ranked 169th. Despite this situation some organisations are still trudging on. This is because those who survive harsh and life-threatening conditions are not those with the will but rather people who understand how to, in addition to the willingness.

Inasmuch as Nigeria is one interesting place to be, the unsettling and anti-human conditions are enough to deter anyone from investing in the country. However, this does not take away the huge opportunities the country has to offer. Over the years, it has become obvious that more and more Nigerians are being smouldered by the economic and security challenges in the country. It has got to the point that the faith of many has been shaken or dissolved, owing primarily to the aforementioned challenges. Some are, however, still making Nigerians smile while some products have disappeared. Among those who are surviving against all odds is Indomie Instant Noodles. Since its entrance into the Nigerian noodles market in the 80’s, Indomie Instant Noodles seems to keep evolving from ‘better to best.’

Art of Survival
Despite the harsh economic situation which affected businesses in 2016, Indomie offered more value to consumers by launching the new chicken flavour variant named “Indomie Bellefull”; it was an immediate consumer delight.
Unveiling the new product, the General Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Girish Sharma, referred to the new product as a brain child of an extended consumer research and survey: “We are launching the new Chicken flavour product from Dufil Prima Foods called Indomie Bellefull for our valued consumers, and it is borne out of the brand’s effort in catering for the growing need of the family and easing the task associated with purchasing multiple packs of already available Indomie SKUs for meals on the home front.”

The launch of the Indomie ‘Belleful’ also served the opportunity for rewarding winners of the Indomie Bellefull comedy challenge, in which the overall winner received a cash prize of N1 million, while five other runners-up received a N100,000 cash prize each and a year supply of Indomie Instant noodles.

Aside from producing consumer satisfying brands Indomie has also come up with several corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Nigeria such as Indomie Independence Day Awards for Heroes of Nigeria popularly called IIDA. The award is a reward platform to identify and celebrate outstanding display of heroism and selflessness in children who are not likely to be regarded as heroes and most often relegated to the background of history, never to be remembered. IIDA for Heroes of Nigeria 2016 had three lucky winners and each went home with N1,000,000 worth of scholarship for social, physical and intellectual bravery categories.

Visually impaired 14-year-old Salisu Ibrahim is a pupil of Special Education Centre, Bauchi. Another winner was a nascent inventor, Babatimileyin Daomi. He was just 15 year old but invented a vacuum cleaner, a power bank, a portable fan, self-watered flour vase and a functional radio. The other winner was another 15-year old, Favour Unwene from Ikono, Akwa Ibom State in the social bravery category for saving a life.

One cannot forget in a hurry the much talked about Indomie campaign in 2016; ‘You Like No Other’. This campaign took over the media as the innovative method deployed in the campaign is uncanny and remains one of the most successful campaigns as Consumers rushed to get packs that suggests their thoughts.

The TY Bello, 2-Baba (TuFaceIdibia), Alibaba, Ice-Prince, Olajumoke, MI Abaga, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Yemi Alade, Denrele and a host of other celebrities were included in the ‘You Like No Other’ campaign.
The beautifully crafted celebrity packs had distinctive lines like ‘Photographer Like No Other’ for TY Bello, ‘Lyricist Like No Other’ for MI, ‘Model Like No other’ for Olajumoke, with each bearing a perfect caricature picture of the celebrity.

Also in 2016, 12 postgraduate students from different universities across the country received the Indomie M.Sc Nutrition Scholarship awards. The scholarship was worth N450,000 each.
The scholarship was the eight edition of the laudable CSR initiative. The initiative was instituted in 2009 for Nigerian students studying nutrition and dietetics at masters’ degree level with the aim of assisting in the training of high level nutrition and dietetics manpower in the country. The students became eligible for the scholarship award after their application was screened by a panel.

Rewarding Students
Speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony, Brand Manager, Indomie Instant Noodles, Mr. Amber Yadav said: “The scholarship scheme is a noble course which the brand is pleased to be associated with. He said the scheme serves as a means to give back to society and most especially to the field of Nutrition and Dietary which is synonymous to the brand.”

In spite of having the first-to-the-market-advantage which the brand paid its due for, Indomie continues to improve on quality rather than rest on its oars. Indomie is indisputably the brand to beat as no other instant noodle can rival its quality and still remain in business at that high level of commitment to standards.

Dufil’s flagship brand, Indomie Instant Noodles, has been enabling food vendors to own kiosks and small business outlets all over the country, thereby providing jobs to thousands of jobless Nigerians; the emergence of Dufil Prima as the labour friendly organisation of the year by Nigeria Entrepreneurs Awards is seen by stakeholders as well-deserved and many arrows will point to Indomie’s contribution to the group.

The question of how a brand becomes a super brand has long been answered by Indomie Instant Noodles. A super brand is not restricted to any category in the mind of the consumer and Indomie’s repeated upstaging of brands from diverse categories that have been the numerouno for decades and centuries at different fora is a great testimony to the quality of the brand.

The noodles segment has continued to grow with many brands joining the fray, however, this has not affected the share of mind of Consumers for Indomieas the brand is still the first choice noodles. The many consumer oriented awards received by the brand is a solid confirmation that the Indomie brand has unlocked a satisfaction gap other brands have been struggling with, 2016 is a testament to this fact. The leading global instant noodles brand has continued to set itself way apart from competition as consumers’ first choice in the noodles category by consistently adding unrivalled value to its offerings.

These offerings have not only been appreciated by the consumers who by predilection for taste and quality have consistently made the product the best in the comity of brands. Last year proved to be one of the most rewarding calendars for the brand as it received several accolades. Despite the harsh economic realities plaguing businesses the brand, made by Dufil Prima Foods, still impressed consumers and stakeholders. Consumer support for the brand saw it cart away multiple awards at the Advertising Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) Awards in Lagos.

Indomie was unanimously voted the best in three major categories overshadowing other global heavyweights: The Brand of the Year 2016 (Most prestigious award category) with Coke and Heineken finishing as Runners up. Brand Manager of the year 2016 was won by Brand Manager, Indomie Yadav while the New Brand Revitalisation 2016 Award went to the brand for Indomie Bellefull. The brand only came second in the Digital and Social Media Category. Indomie had earlier won ‘The Best Consumer Brand of the Year’ (FMCG category) in the popular City People’s Awards.

Research Findings
According to an international research conducted by a research firm, Kantar Worldpanel, Indomie topped Africa’s most chosen noodles brand ranking for 2016. The research firm’s study covered 15,000 brands, 200 categories, 44 countries and five continents, representing 74 per cent of the global population; Indomie attained the number one position in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) category across Africa.

Indomie vied with some of the biggest products in Africa and the world such as Coca Cola, MTN, Unilever, Etisalat, P&G, Nestle, Nigerian Breweries, First Bank, Guinness, PZ Cussons, Friesland Campina, Airtel, Stanbic IBTC, Honeywell, Cadbury, Grand Oak, Nigerite amongst others.

Still relishing the several awards, Indomie received yet another award based on consumer preference for the brand. The fourth edition of Brand Footprint report took place in November in Lagos with an award ceremony that saw Indomie Instant Noodles clinching ‘The Most Chosen Brand in Nigeria Award’. Runners-up at the awards were other international giants such as: Peak Milk, Cowbell Milk, Maggi, Milo, Klin, Bournvita, Ajinomoto, Onga and Dano respectively.

Brand Footprint report gives marketers, brands and agencies solid bases on which to make business decisions that could lead to success. Brand Footprint ranking reveals the influence consumers around the world have through their buying decisions for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands. The report highlights the opportunities that brands could exploit while leaving footprints in the minds of consumers and rewarding brands with high quality such as Indomie Instant Noodles. Also, Indomie has over the years become a household name in homes, offices, eateries and schools in Nigeria. Aside from making the most delicious noodles in the market, the brand is well-known to have enabled direct and indirect employment and made the reward of its consumers a priority with several consumer benefit activities such as the just concluded ‘You Like No Other’ campaign.