How the father-son duo took Kent Ro Systems to greater heights
Started in 1999, Kent RO Systems, has grown exponentially throughout the years.
The patented technology, Kent’s Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifier, has helped Kent RO Systems to grow. It has grown stupendously since its inception, but the major turning point in the business was when Varun Gupta, son of Mahesh Gupta, Managing Director, Kent RO Systems, joined the business. It was then both thought for business expansion and took a mutual decision to enter TV media for promotion. Last year, the revenue growth of the firm was Rs 580 crore.
Started in 1999, Kent RO Systems, has grown exponentially throughout the years. Mahesh Gupta, Managing Director of the company, says, “One should have the passion to work and not the passion to earn money.” Did anyone hear an entrepreneur saying like this? No! Usually you will find that a businessman looks for revenue growth and outcome rather than maximising customer satisfaction. He says his 15 years experience teaches him to “serve customers” and satisfy their wants.
The growth story of the company is an inspiration for the first generation entrepreneurs and the aspiring ones. “The success mantra is our customer-centric approach,” says his son Varun Gupta, Director, Kent RO Systems.
Varun who also has been a guiding mentor in the growth of the company, says, “I joined the company in 2005 after I completed my Computer Engineering from Purdue University, Indiana and MBA from Colombia Business School, New York in the US. When I joined the business, the growth was neither small nor big. The turnover of the company was around Rs 25 crore. The company was still at a nascent stage.”
Surprisingly, in 2001, the water purifier business got sudden attention in the potential market. Customers started liking the products of Kent RO Systems and revenue generation started showing upward movement. “In 2005, we started our unit in Roorkee, Uttarakhand. We already had a small production unit in Noida prior to that. In March 2006, we decided to enter the mainstream media. We started advertising on TV. This is the time when we launched our patented Mineral RO technology. It was the turning point in our entire business. Our business started growing at 40-45 per cent,” says Varun.
Also, the TV advertisements of Kent RO water purifiers captured audience’s attention thoroughly. In fact, if you step into their office in Noida you will find that their promotion activity starts from the company’s premises. The posters of Hema Malini, the yesteryear actress of the Hindi Cinema, who is their brand ambassador, will catch your attention.
Mahesh convinced the “Dream Girl of Bollywood” to start endorsing the brand. After she started promoting the brand on TV, the company’s business took off speed and was functioning at an altogether different level. This was the time when the real growth started happening! “The company’s growth was not substantial during the initial days. But, we were trying to focus on to increase our revenue. This happened only after 2006,” says Mahesh.
The company was not only trying to capture the Indian urban market, but also made sure that rural market should not remain untapped. Mahesh says, “We came out with a product that matches the requirements of the rural market. The product is the low cost version of Kent water purifier and is affordable.”
The Fall After Rise
The business growth momentum showed a declining trend from 2011 onwards. During this time, the company’s revenue growth slipped substantially as compared to the corresponding years. “Surprisingly, we started growing at 20-25 per cent in the subsequent years,” says Varun.
Currently, Kent has captured more than 30 per cent of the water purifier market. “Our growth has been stupendous from 2006 to 2010 but still we have not been able to reach to that level where we are expecting. We have room and scope to grow in the market,” he adds.
Maintaining A Business RelationshipThe father and son share a cordial and understanding relationship. Varun says, “Since childhood, I have trusted my father’s advice. I have observed that whenever I took his advice, it hardly went wrong.”
Together they tried to make things fall in line by implementing ERP System, Capacity Requirements Planning system and Supply Chain Management System that helped the company to grow. “We have been able to manage a vast distribution and service network with the use of latest technologies in our operations,” concludes Varun.
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