Dhinagaran Ramachandran, R&D Director, Newell Brands

Pen, pencils and other writing instruments are an unassuming part of everyone’s daily lives. Most start out with pencils in their childhoods and then graduate to pens. Even in the increasingly digital age, writing on a piece of paper with the pen of choice is nowhere near going obsolete. In fact, many people still have a special preference for certain types of pens over others, gauging the flow of ink and the ease of writing with it.

A lot of thought goes behind the development and design of each writing instrument – a fact evident in Reynolds’ process. When one thinks of Reynolds, they think of nostalgia, of the prestige that the Trimax pens hold and of the brand being a part of their academic, professional and personal journey.

“This is not by chance. Reynolds India has been dedicatedly working towards developing the best-in-class products for India, a key market, with carefully sourced raw material from India. Reynolds’ ‘India for India’ campaign conceptualises and tailors products to suit the needs of the Indian customer across different age-group at its Research and Development facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,” said Dhinagaran Ramachandran, R&D Director, Newell Brands. Newell Brands is the parent company of Reynolds.

When developing a product, the Reynolds Research and Development team, whose primary focus is on writing instruments, considers multiple factors such as the popularity of a design, customer usage pattern, ink preference, product weight, grip length, writing angle and even the product’s comfort for a left-handed or right-handed person and their age. The make of writing instruments differs from one country to the other, and Reynolds ensures that it customises its products to suit local customer needs.

“For instance, Reynolds has identified that Indian consumers prefer blue ink, finer lines and smaller diameter pens for a comfortable grip, while their American counterparts prefer black ink, bolder lines and wider pens for writing. Additionally, the concept of refillable pens is also unique to India, when compared to the US. We all remember going to out nearest stationery shop to buy an extra refill for our favourite pens. Reynolds takes care of the minutest needs of its customers,” Ramachandran added.

With the ‘India for India’ campaign, Reynolds caters to these differences in customer preferences with the best-in-class products that go through the strictest quality norms supported by extensive engineering. Keeping in mind Indian consumers’ preference for low cost but best quality products, Reynolds ensures that it keeps the cost level intact by procuring resources from local vendors in India.

Along with serving as a centre for India-specific innovations, the Reynolds Research and Development centre in Chennai also supports the US market owing to India’s stronger supplier base and the availability of low-cost high-quality raw material. There’s also the added advantage of quicker decision making and faster speed to market in the Indian geography, which gives Reynolds a competitive edge. Products are introduced in international markets once they’re proven successful in India.

The Research and Development centre also houses the manufacturing unit, fostering a collaborative environment. Reynolds is constantly innovating, even in the fields of colour expansion and ink development, to continue offering exciting products to its customers. Along with Reynolds, the centre also undertakes the development and manufacturing for other global Newell brands and businesses such as Rotring, Parker, Waterman and more. Another major part of the centre’s portfolio is consulting and assisting Newell’s international teams in engineering, testing and any other aspect of product development as required.

Reynolds recently introduced an array of products for the Indian consumers such as whiteboard and permanent markers, correction pens and ink system based products that can gradually get added to the other products that are already a part of the daily lives of Indians.

Reynolds’ product development and innovation is evidently consumer-centric with a heavy involvement of the brand team. The comfort, ease of use and presence of Reynolds writing instruments in different walks of life can be attributed to the company’s careful study of the Indian market and superior assessment of changing customer sentiments.

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