Late mover Advantage
Of course, Nivea woke up to the potential of the Indian market a little later than its European peers such as L’Oréal India, which had formed a subsidiary in 1994 and posted a turnover of Rs 600 crore in 2007. Following the promoter group’s—Hamburg-based Beiersdorf, that is—tilt towards emerging markets, the need to take charge of matters here became imperative.
JL Morrison & Co was the Indian franchisee for Nivea, managing distribution of its products such as the Nivea Crème, the flagship cold cream, in the country.
“The group’s fully-owned subsidiary became operational by end 2005-early 2006,” says Soma Ghosh, marketing director, Nivea India. “By 2007, the company had taken over modern-trade distribution from JL Morrison. In 2008, we took over general-trade distribution too.”
This meant investing in a full-fledged team, investing in a network etc. The effort paid off with its turnover increasing from Rs 40 crore in calendar year 2006 to Rs 63 crore in 2007 to over Rs 100 crore in 2008. It is a fraction of what category leader Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) clocks in its personal products segment.
In calendar year 2008, for instance, the fast moving consumer goods giant saw revenues of Rs 4,328.84-crore coming from its
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