MUMBAI: New product development and international expansion are among the strategies being adopted by two of India’s FMCG companies as they seek growth in the year ahead.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), the home and personal care business, is looking at as many as nine new product launches during the 2019 financial year, according to chief executive officer Sunil Kataria.

In remarks reported by the Economic Times, he described the company’s innovation focus as “aggressive”, adding that “We are looking at 25-40% of this year’s growth coming through new product development”.

The first new product coming to market is a powder-to-liquid handwash under the Protekt brand, which Kataria believes has the potential to transform this category, being competitively priced against traditional soap and being more easily distributed than standard liquid handwash products.

“[Liquid handwash] is very small for us right now,” he said. “Our aspiration is, in four years (it should be) Rs 500 crore and in two years Rs 200 crore. Once it reaches that level, it will be a meaningful part of our portfolio.”

His long-term ambition is that every soap user will start using liquid handwash, the use of which is currently limited to higher income families in urban areas – but the pricing strategy could change all that.

“I think it would be great if this category can double its penetration in urban over the next two to three years,” he said. “If we can also start a meaningful penetration happening in rural, it will be a big success.”

Meanwhile, growth at the FMCG sector’s biggest disruptor in the past few years has slowed, necessitating a new strategy for the future.

Patanjali’s rapid growth was predicated on its novelty factor, followers of Baba Ramdev buying its range of ayurvedic products and entry into multiple new categories. Future growth, analysts argue, will depend on it taking shares from competitors who have developed their own range of natural and ayurvedic products in response.

A spokesman said the company was “strengthening our management structure and supply chain to address global expansion. This will result in another phase of our growth driver status in the FMCG marketplace, both in value and volume terms.”

Sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff