Indian personal care manufacturer CavinKare has had its brand presence in Nepal spanning a period of 20 years. The company has 28 products in its portfolio including hair care, hair colour and skin care. Recently, the company appointed Rajesh Hamal as Nepal Brand Ambassador for Indica Easy hair colour. Soumik Chakraborthy, International Business Head of CavinKare was in the capital for the event. In an interview with New Business Age, Chakraborthy talked about the company’s market in Nepal and future plans here, among other things. Excerpts:
What brings you to Nepal?
I visit Nepal quite often. CavinKare has been doing business in the international market for 20 years. And, I have been handling the international business for nine years. This time my visit is special as we are going to appoint a Nepali ambassador for our hair colour brand Indica. Most of my visits are associated with understanding the need of our customers here, doing the correct way of marketing and executing them. This time my visit is focused on the promotion of our brand Indica. We want to put the brand onto a pedestal in the Nepali market which is much higher than what we are today.
How are CavinKare products performing in the Nepali market? How important is this market for your company?
Currently, we have four brands in the Nepali market. The first of the two are the shampoo brands Chik and Nyle. Second is the deodorant and talc powder brand Spinz and the fourth one is the Indica hair colour. CavinKare has around 28 brands in its portfolio including hair care, hair colour, and skin care. We have not introduced other CavinKare brands in the Nepali market. We are selective because we have come up with the right kind of products that are only suited for here. We think that the products we bring for particular markets should make sense for the consumers. The Nepali market is very important because it is a neighbouring country. From the point of view of consumer behaviour, it is very similar to India which makes it easier for us even as a testing ground for international markets.
What about India and other markets?
We have full-fledged operations in Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka where we also have manufacturing plants. We are thinking about setting up a manufacturing unit in Nepal. We have business entities in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We do quite a lot of business in seven Gulf countries and have businesses in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
CavinKare produces products ranging from personal care to food and beverages. What are the areas of focus for your company here?
At present, we are focusing on personal care products in Nepal. Probably, in the next two years we will be starting the sale of milk products here.
What kind of market response you are getting from the Nepali market?
Chik shampoo is one of the leading brands here in hair care competing with other multinational brands. Similarly, the Nyle brand also has a significant presence in the Nepali market. Meanwhile, Indica is a household name in Nepal holding the number two position in the hair colour segment. Spinz is a very well known brand among the Nepali youths.
What differentiates your products from other competing brands?
CavinKare has specialised in terms of production as we have our own research and development centre. Around 100 scientists are working for us in India to develop products based on marketing insights.
Are you planning to launch any new range of products this year?
We have plans to launch hair colour products that won’t be under the Indica brand. Similarly, we are planning to come up with a new range of Spinz deodorants and talc.
What marketing strategies are you employing to promote the brands of CavinKare?
Each brand has different importance product wise. So we employ various marketing and promotional techniques for different brands. For some brands we heavily focus on TVCs. For some brands we go mostly with print advertisements and while for some we put our focus on ground level activities for promotion. Indica Easy, for instance, is being promoted mainly through TVCs. It is one of our strategies that we have signed Nepali brand ambassador for the product to try to communicate the message through the ambassador. Similarly, for Spinz we do a lot of ground activities. Likewise for Nyle, we focus on print advertisements.