India soon to be among Reckitt Benckiser's top 3 markets

New Delhi, Mar 20: UK-based FMCG major RB expects India to be among its top three markets globally soon with health and hygiene business led by power brands such as Dettol, Harpic and Durex to drive growth in the country.

The company is betting on emergence of e-commerce, besides its traditional retail channels, along with rural markets for enhanced sales in India, which is currently among its top five markets.

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"We are a big business for the group and we are steadily climbing the rankings. We are not in top three at the moment but potentially we are among top five countries and we are very close to it... We would be there very soon," RB South Asia Regional Director Nitish Kapoor told PTI.

In order to achieve the target, RB India will expand its product portfolio and plans to launch vitamin, minerals and supplements under its health and hygienes business.

In 2015, RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) as a group had a revenue of 8,874 million pounds (Rs 85,246.74 crore) and its DvM (developing markets) had contributed 2,695 million pounds.

DvM comprises North Africa, the Middle East (excluding Israel), and Turkey, Africa, South Asia, North Asia, Latin America, Japan, Korea and ASEAN.

With rural sales accounting for 30 per cent of its sales, RB India is coming up with different packaging and smaller sizes to suit low income group to further increase it, besides being an active partner in government's Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.

"So now we have smaller packs on Dettol soaps, Dettol hand wash, Veet, Vanish and Lizol," he said. Bullish on the rural sales, Kapoor said: "Contrary to what everybody is saying that rural sales is slowing down, we are definitely bullish on rural market...Rural is our fastest growing channel."

The company has set up its own sub-distributors directly in villages as against the earlier practice of selling items in these markets through a wholesale distributor.

"We have increased our numeric distribution in urban area by almost 20 per cent in last two years and we have now gone to by the end of this quarter we have 6,500 villages directly," Kapoor said.

On the e-commerce channel, Kapoor said the company expects contribution from the channel to its total sales to be in double digits in the next five years. Currently onlines sales contributes less than one per cent of RB India's total sales.

"Currently its less than 1 per cent... I am pretty confident that why it should not be in the double digit in five years," he said adding that in countries like China online sales contribute 15 per cent of RB's total sales and in some segment its around 25 per cent.

RB India has key brands includes Dettol, Colin, Disprin, Air Wick, Cherry Blossom, Harpic, Lizol, Mortein, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet, Itchguard, Ringguard, Moov etc.


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