Myopia refers to nearsightedness or shortsightedness. Marketing myopia refers to the myopia shrouding the vision of certain companies or industries. It occurs when the company/industry focuses mainly on selling its products and services, instead of paying attention to the needs of the consumers. They concentrate their efforts on selling, instead of marketing their product. They tend to ignore the adage, “the Customer is King”, which more often than not results in disastrous consequences.
The concept of Marketing Myopia is applicable to Indian companies as well. Many Indian companies historically have failed to define their purpose from the consumers’ point of view. These firms have focused more on producing their goods and services and then finding customers to sell them to, instead of getting to know the consumers’ needs and then producing goods to meet those needs. The situation was made worse by the licensing era and closed Indian economy till 1991, which led to little competition for firms. This resulted in customers having to buy products of only those companies, which created a high demand for their products.
One Indian company that suffered from marketing myopia and paid a heavy price for it is Hindustan Motors (HM). It was founded in 1942 by Mr. B.M. Birla, and was the producer of the Ambassador and the Contessa cars.
Hindustan Motors: The History
The Ambassador began production in 1958, and was based on the Morris Oxford, a British car. It was an extremely popular car in the Indian market for several decades. It had a constantly growing market, initially due to the prestige associated with the car, and later due to the growing affluence of the population, and was helped by the fact that its only rival till 1983 was the Premier Padmini. There was a long waiting period to acquire an Ambassador, and the company was reaping huge profits, without having to focus on consumer needs. Also,...