The portfolio seeks to buy businesses with strong brands that provide:
– Sustainable Competitive Advantage
– Capable Management Team
– Good Corporate Governance.
Brands not only help to create a strong recall in the minds of consumers but also make for a worthy investment theme. This is because companies with brands create a distinct bargaining power due to economies of scale, high entry barriers, strong pricing power and/or operating in under-penetrated markets. These translate into superior margins and growth. Effectively generating higher investor returns over business cycles!
Brands may be a result of : –
1) Strong connect with the customer
2) Differentiated positioning
3) Distinguishable product/service quality
4) Consistency in delivery of good performance
How many of us know “Peter-England/Louis Philippe/Allen Solly”, are Indian brands owned by Aditya Birla Group?
Does “Brand” have any Monetary Value?
There are hundreds of brands that have survived and growth in decades, driving through many cycles, adding more and more value to the shareholders. And, there are few (very few) brands that failed as well. One such example is “Kodak”. When the electronic based storage started replacing the “film-technology”, the company had collapsed.
An excerpt from the Forbes on the failure of Kodak is appended: “Immensely successful companies can become myopic and product oriented instead of focusing on consumers’ needs. Kodak did not fail because it missed the digital age. It invented the first digital camera in 1975. However, instead of marketing the new technology, the company held back for fear of hurting its lucrative film business, even after digital products were reshaping the market”
Another example in this regards is Microsoft, when the smart-phones gaining momentum. Apple’s i-phone and Google’s Android were way ahead when Microsoft launched its Window-phone. However, Microsoft, brand has not failed due to various other innovations and Management capabilities.
So, basically – Products may fail, Businesses may become out dated, and Brands fail (rarely !)
The investment Philosophy of Axis Brand Equity PMS is based on three strong and practical reasonings of the Portfolio Manager :-
• Companies with brands create a distinct bargaining power – due to economies -of-scale, high-entry-barrier, strong-pricing-power, operating in under-penetrated markets
• Due the reasons stated, brands create superior margins and growth.
• Brands generate higher investor returns across various business-cycles.
Investment Strategy of Axis-PMS – “Axis-Brand-equity”
• Bottom-up” stock pick up is followed, and higher allocations are given to “best-ideas after bottom up research” within the frame of “strong-brands”.
• Portfolio is constructed as a “balanced-mix” of established brands as well as emerging brands.
• Portfolio follows multi cap investment strategy with exposures across various sectors and market-capitalization.
• Portfolio strives for enhanced risk adjusted returns and follows screening mechanism to select quality businesses.
• Portfolio follows low churn and companies are selected with over 3 years perspective.