Internationalisation of Nicolites e-cigarette in India

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There are a number of factors that compel businesses to trade and market their products internationally. For instance, international marketing enables businesses to (1) increase their customer base and market share, (2) minimise their reliance on any single market and (3) avail benefits of becoming multinational brand (Buckley and Ghauri, 2004). Over the last decade and a half, international marketing has become substantial (Hill, 2012); to the extent that consumers barely notice the fact that a majority of the products they consume routinely are either sourced from international markets or contain components that are sourced from international markets.

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Successful international marketing requires a diligent strategic planning process involving the assessment of the business environment and suitability of the target market. A conductive business environment of the target market and the presence of a lucrative market gap render a target market as suitable (Tallman, 2007). Following this assessment, a brand intending to internationalise needs to plan and execute ‘the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives’ (Sak and Shaw, 2004 p. 3). This essay relates to the internationalisation of Nicolites, the company that produces Nicolites electronic cigarettes in the UK to the Indian market. This essay evaluates the suitability of India as a selected target market for the expansion of Nicolites. It also evaluates a suitable entry method for Nicolites in India and suggests marketing strategies for the product as well.

Market Opportunity

Despite being widely considered as hazardous to health, smoking of cigarettes prevails at large across the globe. Therefore, any measures that can reduce the consumption of cigarettes, including providing an alternative for smoking are widely seen as a positive development. Provision of an alternative for smoking tobacco based cigarettes is the core marketing concept behind Nicolites e-cigarette. Nicolites e-cigarette was first introduced in 2007 in UK (Nicolites, 2015). Nicolites e-cigarette does not have any tobacco whatsoever, and hence it is free of more than 4000 known toxic chemicals and substances present in a regular cigarette (Nicolites, 2015). Nicolites e-cigarette is an innovative product that offers smokers a right alternative for regular cigarette through a true simulation of smoking experience – which is cleaner, safer and healthier. Despite having a glowing red tip depicting a real flame, Nicolites e-cigarette does not require any flame or fire to burn. Moreover, it does not cause any unpleasant smoke and odor, or gather smoky residue on walls, clothes, skin and hair of the users (Nicolites, 2015).

Justification and Evaluation of the Target Market

According to the Datamonitor Market Insights report titled ‘Tobacco in India’ (2011), the overall tobacco industry in India was estimated to be worth approximately INR 58,730 crores (or $10 bn),

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