600 million Indians 'use one or the other Godrej product every day'

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla, Hindu Business Line, 07 May 2015

Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Godrej Group, is clear about the road ahead for the 118-year-old brand.

Well on track to grow the firm “10 times the size in 10 years", a goal set three years ago, Godrej is categorical that the corresponding compound annual growth rate of 26 per cent can be achieved both organically and inorganically.

While a fair amount of organic growth would be in 15-20 percentage points, the rest would be inorganic, he said. The real estate category would clock 40-50 per cent growth a year.

Speaking to Business Line about the value of brand Godrej, he said though the Group had undergone a brand evaluation exercise around four years ago, when global agency Interbrand had valued the Group at $3 billion, it was time for the company to pursue and understand the value of each brand. "We have many firsts, and our relentless innovation spurs us on to deliver next generation products."

Recalling the Group’s journey since 1897, Godrej spoke about how the company has grown from making one of the earliest soaps in the world purely from vegetable oils, to supplying to the Indian nuclear programme and cryogenic engines for the Indian space programme, which propelled the recent Mars mission, Mangalyaan.

Though the Godrej Group has been a pioneer with many products, its recent innovation in the household insecticides category has spurred sales. "Our Good Knight Fast Card (mosquito repellent) was worth ₹100 crore in the first year of its launch. One billion cards have been consumed, mostly in rural areas, since it does not burn like a coil, requires no electricity, and is very economical," Godrej told a select gathering of reporters in Mumbai.

Consumer products would continue to be the mainstay of the Group. Stating that both fast-moving consumer goods and consumer durables would be a major area of focus, Godrej said 600 milllion Indians "use one or the other of our products each day. That is more than any other Indian group. Though there are larger groups like Tatas or Reliance, they have a lot of B2B (business to business) businesses."

At Godrej, the objective is to "add to this 600 million. We will add a couple of 100 million additional consumers outside the country". International operations tend to contribute around half towards the top line of Godrej Consumer Products' ₹7,583 crore.

The Chairman said he was keen to move brands from their earlier price-led game to competing with mainstream brands on the higher order drivers of demand.