We wont hike prices in the near term

Written by Neha Pal | Neha Pal | Updated: Jun 22 2011, 07:34am hrs
Harsh C Mariwala, chairman and managing director of FMCG firm Marico, known for popular products such as parachute oil, is holding on to any price hike despite rise in input costs. In an interview with FEs Neha Pal, Mariwala said that on the price front the company was adopting a wait-and-watch policy. He also talked about the acquisition plans of Marico and the need for policy reforms for overall growth.

Are you planning to revise the prices of your products considering the rise in input costs

Marico will not hike prices in the near term. We are going to wait and watch and at the moment not revising any prices. We last raised prices of our products in January because we were forced to hike due to sharp rise in copra prices which is one of the key raw materials.

How much marketing investment are you planning to make this year

We have been successful in achieving our targets last year and had a turnover of R3,128 crore, a growth of 18% over FY10. We are planning to spend 9-10% of our turnover on marketing activities this year with a focus on our core brands such as Parachute, Nihar, Saffola, Mediker, Revive.

What have been the recent acquisitions made by Marico Any plans for further acquisitions within India or outside

We have already made 11 acquisitions in the past few years in countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh, Singapore and the recent addition being Vietnam where we have acquired 85% equity stake in FMCG firm International Consumer Products Corporation (ICP). We cannont comment on any future acquisitions because it is against our policies.

What are your views on governments response to food-inflation management

The management of inflation in food articles was due to supply side constraints. This had to be tackled through policy and administrative instruments for creating food security, substantial buffer stocks of variety of foodgrains, raising the productivity of agriculture and setting up and improving the cold chain.