FMCG majors eye greener pastures overseas

Elaborate strategies are being drawn up for the global market in order to beat the sluggish growth at home

A CASE of raw deal at home, relief overseas?

With most categories within the personal and home care business continuing to show sluggish growth conditions, downtrading and price discounting, FMCG majors such as Hindustan Lever (HLL), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) and Dabur India are stepping up activity in overseas markets. The initiatives range from setting up third-party manufacturing facilities in other regions, to positioning themselves as sourcing hubs for global markets, to increasing brand presence in international markets.

HLL, for example, has reorganised its export business into three distinct categories home and personal care, beverages, and speciality exports. Export businesses of the first two categories have been aligned and integrated with domestic personal products and beverages respectively, to leverage on supply chain synergies.

For its Pears brand, the company has commenced operations in the UK and West Asia, besides the US. "Plans are in progress for entry in other markets with a reformulated Pears range, and the business has got listings from key retail chains in the US," says HLL. Besides, HLL has secured trial orders to service the Unilever European market for toothpaste.

The company said that despite tough market conditions in its key export markets last year, its home and personal care exports business grew by 6.4 per cent. According to the company, personal wash volumes more than doubled, led by increases in Lux and Lifebuoy businesses to West Asia and Africa. HLL's skincare exports have clocked 14 per cent increase in volumes, riding on the Fair & Lovely and Dove brands.

GCPL, which has its FMCG range present across 36 countries, is exploring further opportunities to increase presence in international markets. To begin with, the company is considering setting up base in Latin America and Africa to diversify its reach and tap opportunity in these regions.

First Published : May 29, 2003

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