Varun Berry, CEO of Britannia which registered sales of R6,829 crore for FY14, said: The business is doing alright but its growing incrementally on a small base. If we want exponential growth, we will have to recraft the strategy and thats what we are in the process of doing. Betting big on innovations, it plans to increase investments in R&D for its entire business by 25 % in FY15.
R&D will be a big driver of growth. We are looking at innovations in terms of people and equipment and studying different products in different formats within the biscuit category, said Berry.
To fight competition in the R23,000-crore branded biscuit category, BIL is sharpening its focus on the top end. Britannia, which faces stiff competition from ITC, Parle Products and Mondelez in the premium biscuit category, plans to launch more premium biscuit brands this year.
The company is introducing innovations in its distribution system in the urban and rural markets. To start with, it has increased the depth of its distribution in urban markets. We have cut the number of our stock-keeping units to reduce the workload of our salesmen. We have also split the coverage by our salesmen. Instead of one salesman going to an outlet, we send two salesmen with different sets of stock-keeping units, explained Berry. In rural markets, it is focusing on the width of its distribution by running a hub & spoke model. We are increasing our rural distribution by 12% in 2014-15, said Berry.
Last year, Britannia witnessed the exit of many senior professionals. '' When times are tough, attrition levels rise. We have taken measures to retain employees, including giving staff the right opportunities and communicating regularly with them, added Berry.