Venkata Susmita Biswas

Articles By Venkata Susmita Biswas

189 Articles

Bottled up demand

Sales of deodorants and perfumes have declined as stores and offices remained shut for most of 2020

The deodorant market, which was worth Rs 3,900 crore in 2019, shrunk by about Rs 102 crore in 2020

Ad industry hopes losses will reverse in festive season

About 40% of annual adspend takes place during the festive season

According to a recent report by Dentsu International, adspend is expected to grow by 10.8% in 2021 to reach $9 billion

Hot off the press

Print publications are expected to reach 75% of pre-Covid revenues in FY22

The meagre growth estimates for the industry indicate that publishers will remain focussed on cost control and maintaining the already slim profit margins.

Interview: Dheeraj Sinha, CEO and CSO, Leo Burnett, South Asia

‘Fragmentation of agencies has not helped marketers’

Over the past year, we have trained about 450 staffers on various aspects of the digital medium, says Sinha

War of wearables

Tech-savvy consumers are increasingly preferring smartwatches over fitness bands

India’s smartwatches market is now dominated by brands that sell affordable gadgets.

Consumer preferences driving brands to go green

Sustainable steps being taken as eco-friendly scores big with millennials

As per a 2021 Deloitte study, the environment is a top priority for millennials and GenZ consumers

Gaming gets a new life

The return of PUBG will likely boost the casual gaming segment

Indian users are not yet actively making in-app purchases; advertising is the primary revenue stream for these apps.

Interview: Sumit Dhingra, VP and GM, India and Southeast Asia, Crocs

‘The whole world is moving towards casualisation’

As of now, about 50% of our business comes from the top eight cities in India, says Dhingra

Filling the demand vacuum

There has been an uptick in the sales of robotic and upright vacuum cleaners in India

Unlike the western markets, the penetration of vacuum cleaners remains negligible in India.

Eateries turn to cloud kitchens to survive

Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) estimates that in FY 2020-21, approximately 75% of the industry’s revenues were wiped off

Pivoting to cloud kitchens has helped some stay afloat, but this is not a silver bullet for the industry

Business of greens

Online nurseries and florists are seeing high demand

For now, purchasing botanical products remains a metro and tier I phenomenon, and the same is true for kitchen gardening. 

Interview: Shriti Malhotra, CEO, The Body Shop, India

‘Revenue from e-commerce has grown threefold’

With more young customers coming into the fold, there is a lot of awareness about social good and environmental issues, says Malhotra

Shopping in full ‘stream’

E-commerce platforms are streaming videos within their apps to push products and boost sales

Brand partnerships could give an impetus to the otherwise small fraction of ad revenue earned by e-commerce platforms in India.

Brands rethinking ad strategies

The remaining 31 IPL matches will now be held in September and October, coinciding with Navratri festivities this year

The league, even though split into two parts this year, is still expected to draw advertiser interest

Review Corner

Five recent ads that caught our attention

Ad review

Interview: Rohit Ohri, group chairman and CEO, FCB India

‘We are not focussed on in-housing of skills’

Brands that genuinely help and do not offer lip-service will stand out

Second Covid wave dents ad spend on out-of-home media

The onset of the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to OOH (out-of-home) media in 2020, resulting in a 60% de-growth, according to the Ficci-EY Media & Entertainment Report 2021.

Several brands in the automotive, real-estate and FMCG categories had begun to invest in OOH advertising earlier this year.

Digital to the rescue

We ask experts if other filmmakers are likely to follow suit

The Indian audience is ever evolving and seeking new alternatives for entertainment.

After Hours: Bala Sarda, founder, Vahdam India

'Prioritisation, effective time management and delegation have been my personal hacks for managing time better and maintaining a work-life balance'

From Forest Essentials to Apple are some of his favourite brands

Celebrity intervention

Incense stick manufacturers strive to stand out in the largely unorganised category

Incense sticks are typically priced at Rs 10 for a pack of 14 sticks or Rs 50 for a pack of 80 sticks.

Interview: Ashwin Suresh, founder, Pocket Aces

‘Regional markets won’t drive pure-play growth’

As regional markets are gaining access to the internet and education, they are beginning to consume content in English, says Suresh

Hygiene products lose steam

Companies are rationalising the production of hand sanitisers and masks as demand abates

In a consumer survey from September 2020, Mintel had found that 47% of consumers believed that the use of hand sanitisers will decline once the pandemic subsides. 

Upskilling apps tap into India’s white-collar workforce

Ed-tech platforms claim that those who complete their programmes get pay hikes to the tune of 40-45% and achieve career progression within a year of completing a course

According to industry estimates, enterprises contribute 30-40% to the overall revenue earned by these companies.

Select viewing

Documentaries and plays are finding their own streaming destinations online

45% of the viewership of discovery+ comes from tier II cities, and the rest from metro and tier I cities.

Interview: Vidit Aatrey, co-founder and CEO, Meesho

‘We want to bring 10 crore SMBs online’

Other than fashion and lifestyle, grocery will be our third key vertical for the next couple of years, says Aatrey

Second wave hits IPL viewership

The uncertain circumstances under which the league is being held is likely to be impacting its viewership, and advertisers are getting jittery over their investments behind it, say industry insiders.

“The health and safety of players, staff and everyone involved in the IPL are of paramount importance,” the broadcaster said.

Now trending: Personalised care

Several D2C brands are launching customised personal care products, though scalability remains uncertain

According to Euromonitor, India’s skin and hair care markets were together estimated to be worth Rs 38,339 crore in 2020
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