Tarun Arora: Even nascent categories witnessed a rush of new players in 2010

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Marketing | February 10, 2011

2010 was a robust year for the FMCG industry as a whole. Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) reported strong revenue and profit growth. Our three core categories - toilet soap, hair colour and household insecticides - showed healthy growth combined with encouraging improvements in market share.

We are the second-largest soap player in the country with three strong brands, Godrej No 1, Cinthol and Fairglow. In hair colour, we have consistently been market leaders.

In this category, we have a range of offerings including Godrej Powder Hair Dye, Godrej Expert Powder and Liquid Hair Colours, Renew and Nupur. Our household insecticides business with brands such as GoodKnight, HIT, Jet and Banish has been witnessing phenomenal growth.

Niche segments have been witnessing a significant amount of play in the burgeoning Indian market. Categories as nascent as the hand sanitiser market have seen the entry of major players.

GCPL has been one of the early pioneers in the hand hygiene category with 'Godrej Protekt' Instant Hand Sanitisers, Hand Washes and Wet Wipes.

We continued our aggressive inorganic growth with two acquisitions in Latin America, one in Africa, one in Indonesia and one in India. Demand for FMCG products continued to be strong in spite of high food inflation in the first half of last year - it is now showing signs of cooling.

However, commodity prices have been steadily rising which is putting pressure on the margins of all players.

2011 is likely to be a very positive year for the FMCG industry. It is also going to be a year of increased media spending with brands becoming competitive on all forms of media especially in the rural markets, which will grow faster than urban ones.

With the recent acquisitions, we are also evaluating the potential of products from Indonesia to India and leveraging hair technology from Argentina for the Indian market. So the opportunities for cross border sharing and synergies are tremendous.

Consumer sentiment is strong indicating an action-packed 2011. In terms of challenges, the industry is attracting a lot of attention from international players. Large companies have entered the market and forayed into various categories through the inorganic route.

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