WAI WAI: A Brand Synonymous with Noodles In Nepal for decades
For those who do not know much Wai Wai is a brand of instant noodles produced in Nepal by Chaudhary Group under Thai Preserved Food Factory, Co., Ltd. (TPFF) in Thailand. The brand has been in production since 1972 by Thai Preserved Food Factory Co., Ltd and in Nepal it begun in 1984.
Looking to move further in the snacks business after the success of Pashupati Biscuits and to basically utilize the Maida that was being produced in his mills , the legendary business tycoon of Nepal Mr. Binod Chaudhary decided to enter in the field of noodles which was just picking up gear in Nepal with the introduction of Rara Instant Noodles which was white noodles.
Starting from 30000 packets a day and with some skepticism from the Thai company Chaudhary Group started Wai Wai in Nepal with televised marketing and today it is exported over 30 countries, and is spreading its manufacturing base to Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Even after almost 4 decades of its existence in Nepal Wai Wai still reigns in as the number one noodle brand in Nepal covering almost 20 flavors and producing 15 lakhs packets in a day. So the question arises how did they manage to rule for so long. Let us find out:
1. Right Place at the Right Time:
Nepal had left behind its isolation in 1950’s and there was heavy influx of tourist after wards. Afterwards in 1960’s and 1970’s Nepalese citizens also began to go overseas for various reason. Both the tourists and Nepalese brought the outside habits to Nepal which included instant noodles as well. Tens of thousands of noodle packets were imported in Nepal including Nestle’s Maggie. Similarly Gandaki Noodles had begun to produce Rara instant noodles in white noodle category. Sensing the time is ripe CG introduced Wai Wai in Nepal in brown instant noodles category which was an instant hit replacing and displacing the titan Maggie for almost 20 years or so.
2. First Mover Advantage:
While Maggie was imported in Nepal as a instant noodle but Wai Wai was first of its kind in Nepal and was produced in Nepal which gave it the advantage of being the first mover in Nepal.
The first-mover advantage refers to an advantage gained by a company that first introduces a product or service to the market. The first-mover advantage enables a company to establish strong brand recognition and product/service loyalty before other entrants to the market and same thing happened to Wai Wai
3. Feeble Competitors:
Although the noodle companies mushroomed in Nepal after the introduction of Wai Wai but very few were able to stand up to Wai Wai. Products like Ruchee, Mayos, Rumpum were great hit at first but could not sustain for long. Wai Wai won the battle against the others.
4. Diversifying the Flavors:
In order to have upper hand against its competitors Wai Wai begun to diversify its flavors which now come in almost 20 flavors. It includes flavors like tandoori chicken, tom yum, pizza and so on.
5. Joining the Mass:
Wai Wai is the first brand in Nepal to veer into CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility). Corporate social responsibility is a business model by which companies make a concerted effort to operate in ways that enhance rather than degrade society and the environment.
Through its CSR programs like CG Gyan Uday program it has provided scholarships to almost 500 students to attain higher education. By doing this Wai Wai has been able to connect with the mass which has helped Wai Wai to become number one.
6. Aggressive Marketing:
Wai Wai was one of the first brands in Nepal to use televised advertisement using a model which became very successful and entrenched the brand in Nepalese heart and minds. Even when it was cornered by other noodle brands it used marketing as one of its tool to fight its way out the situation and absorbed more market share than before.
7. Globalization of Wai Wai:
After its success in Nepal CG has decided to take Wai Wai international. According to Mr. Chaudhary the inspiration to take the this brand global came while waiting for his luggage at the Dubai Airport where he saw Nepalese youths who had come to work in Dubai had bought cartoons and cartoon of noodles because they though they could not find it in Dubai. Describing that as one of the most joyous moment in his life Mr. Chaudhary has taken the brand global in countries like India, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and even in Europe.
8. Quality of Product:
Maggie Instant Noodles is the product of Nestle India which in turn is the subsidiary of Nestle S.A a swiss food and drink giant but it has been investigated and banned numerous times( although the bans were overturned) in many countries regarding irregularities in its product.
Wai Wai on the other hand has never seen such days like Maggie. That alone describes the quality of product and why it reigns supreme in Nepalese hearts and minds.
In South Asia when it comes to buying any product every thing comes back to the price of the product and same goes with it too. Its price has been consistent and affordable for decades for its ultimate consumers.
10. Nepalese Taste Buds:
Wai Wai has been able to rule the Nepalese taste buds with it 20 more flavors for more than 3 decades. This has allowed the noodle brand to became number one for the long period of time and will remain so in the future.