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Wellness Business 22 Nov 2017

Opportunity in the male grooming space is a lot: Gautam Hari Singhania

In conversation with Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, Raymond Ltd, who spoke about the brand’s new initiative and future plans.

Revitalizing its male grooming product portfolio, Raymond Group, the leading manufacturer, marketer and retailer of worsted suiting fabrics and ready-to-wear apparel, has announced ‘One Park Avenue’ a customer facing initiative for Park Avenue’s range of men’s grooming products and to extend its global presence. Under the One Park Avenue initiative, the brand Park Avenue will have synergies in terms of a Unified Visual Identity, repositioning itself with a wider grooming portfolio, premium international packaging and innovative products. The overall brand architecture will have blue, white and black colors across product categories. Additionally, the entire range will be available through exclusive brand outlets of Park Avenue apparel along with other sales & distribution channels across India and International markets. The brand is set to make its way to international markets such as the Middle-East, Bangladesh and Nepal, with a phase II plan to enter South Asian markets of Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar in the next six months. Thus, talking about One Park Avenue initiative, Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, Raymond Ltd. spoke to Wellnessindia.com on the sidelines of launching of initiative in Mumbai.

 What is the idea behind One Park Avenue initiative?
The idea of One Park Avenue is built on unique consumer insights backed by strong innovation that will drive consumer acquisition and enhance consumer relevance for our lead brand Park Avenue. Going forward, we hope to clock exponential growth and hence a coherent unified premium imagery and identity of Park Avenue has been created for offering the same product experience globally. At Raymond, we are leveraging synergies across our FMCG businesses to create a strong and monolithic FMCG play in our core categories. Simultaneously we are also utilizing cross organizational expertise to bring in efficiencies and cost optimization to help us invest more aggressively towards newer initiatives such as One Park Avenue.

What is unique with Park Avenue deodorants and perfumes?
Raymond group always gives value for money product for every category including textile and deodorant. Raymond is the only company in the world that offers value and quality of the product that goes thousand times of its price point. We are the only brand which goes across. International deodorant brands are governed by international price standards and our domestic benchmark pricing is nothing to do with our international pricing. We have to compete with the local pricing and that is a very big opportunity.

What is Raymond’s vision for the FMCG business?
FMCG was a small business for us while we were growing in the last 15 years. Our target is to grow more in the next five years. Our aim is to outperform other companies in terms of growth of what they are doing. In this respect we have made a serious effort in bringing the best talent and right governance into the company and putting a little bit of focus into the company.

What factors do you think will drive FMCG products by Raymond?
The engine of growth will be Kamasutra which is in the market for last 27-28 years and being in the sexual wellness space it is a big opportunity for us. Kamasutra seats today in the sexual wellness space which nobody else can occupy. Kamasutra deodorants have different connotations. If you have a good product pipeline and good distribution channel then it will really fuel the growth. The Park Avenue brand is very solid. It is a focus area for us.

Will you be further simplifying the company structure?
It is very simple. Rajiv Bakshi is the chairman of the company. Also, we have got independent directors on board. In the true sense of making our company more transparent and much more governed, I have stepped down as a chairman of the company.

Will Kamasutra be a different brand?
Yes it will be different. You can’t mix the two, it will run as different structure but it will be a different brand.

Are you planning to enter into new categories in the grooming sector?
Opportunity in the male grooming space is still immense. So, we have not been looking at women’s FMCG products. Now, we are entering to generation to grooming solutions that is perfumes. There will be many more exciting offerings from us as we go ahead in the male grooming sections.

What will be your international forays?
Kamasutra is already there in the international market what important is the growth of international business as far as Park Avenue is concerned. It allows us to reignite growth in middle-east where business has gone down. In the next couple of months we will get into Middle-East, Nepal, Bangladesh markets and also we will enter into South Asian markets of Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar in the next six months while eyeing to be the significant player in the global market. We will also drive awareness and trial in those markets.

What is the group’s revenue from the FMCG segment now?
It is below Rs 500 cr and we are looking at doubling it in the next three to four years.

Can we see new retail formats?
In FMCG you don’t really see new retail formats.

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