Sameer Satpathy, CEO, ITC Ltd, talks to Financial Express Online about Engage’s recent offering, the source of its fragrances, challenges faced by the perfume industry and ITC’s upcoming projects.
With the deodorant market alone pegged at around Rs 3,047 crore within the fragrance segment, ITC Ltd’s Engage has a considerable footprint with one-tenth hold of the market. Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive Officer, Personal Care Products Business Division, ITC Ltd, talks to Financial Express Online about Engage’s recent offering, the source of its fragrances, challenges faced by the perfume industry and ITC’s projects in the pipeline. Here are edited excerpts of Sameer Satpathy’s interview with Prachi Gupta:
How large is the affordable fragrance market in India? How much is ITC’s hold of that?
Engage holds nearly 11% of India’s deodorant market which is currently at Rs 3,047 crore. Engage is growing at 17-18% year on year and the pocket perfume segment is approximately 4% of the total deo market.
What are the challenges that the fragrance industry is facing in general?
India continues to be an under-penetrated market for fragrances and is till metro-centric. Low-Unit Packs (LUP) help consumers to try and experiment more often. They drive penetration, induce trials and help deliver increased value for money.
What can be expected from the company in the fragrance segment in the near future? Any ventures in the pipeline?
Insight based innovation has been the bedrock of ITC’s Personal Care Business. Desire, affordability and convenience will continue to be the core. Engage ON India’s leading pocket perfume launched in 2017 was a segment disruptor and introduced a new category in Engage perfumes. This summer, Engage ON launches a unique range with the Engage ON 2in1 perfume spray, a format which combines two fragrances in one pocket perfume pack. The innovation caters to the evolving grooming needs and the basic human need for variety.
Where are the fragrances for your perfumes sourced from? Do you engage French perfumers in curating your fragrance profile?
Engage perfumes are co-created with international fragrance experts and most of the fragrance oils are imported from France.
What is the target audience for Engage perfumes? Are you looking to diversify to other audiences? Why/Why not?
Fragrances are steadily becoming an important part of grooming in India. Engage offers a diverse fragrance choice for every individual. The portfolio mix caters to young college students as well as a more mature audience who makes a choice based on occasion and lifestyle.
Are there any other fragrance brands that ITC’s Engage faces stiff competition from?
With the evolving attitude and lifestyle of consumers, the segment offers an enormous opportunity to educate and drive category growth. We have always believed in healthy competition and co-existence that enables category growth.
What are the key components that one has to think of while creating perfumes? How is it India specific?
The tropical nature of our country and the evolving olfactive taste of our consumers is at the core of designing an Engage fragrance. As Engage is the only brand in India that offers couple fragrances, the mix also needs to complement each other and also provide for long-lasting fragrances. The creation is a detailed process and partakes a multitude of facets.
Is Engage ITC’s only fragrance brand? How many products does Engage offer?
Engage is one of the top two deodorant brands in India. Engage offers a portfolio of deodorants, perfume sprays, Eau De Parfum and a range of innovative firsts of Pocket Perfumes. With the core of playful romance at its core, the portfolio presents a range of fragrance families from Aquatic, Woody, fresh to floral, fruity and sweet for men and for women.
Essenza Di Wills is a luxurious marque dedicated to the creation of an exclusive, international range of fine fragrances and personal care products for discerning individuals. Made and designed in France, the range of fine fragrances offer an exclusive mix for Men and Women in Inizio, Mikkel and Ignite.
Has Durjoy Datta’s engagement with ITC helped the brand leverage the young adult writer’s popularity?
Pocketful O’ stories is one such innovation where stories of unexpected moments of love bring out the Engage philosophy of playful romance and product characteristics. With Durjoy as the co-author of this book along with our consumers, Engage initiated a unique conversation that not only reached a wide group of online communities but also enabled overwhelming participation for the crowdsourced compilation of microtales.
Durjoy Datta is one of India’s bestselling authors in the romance genre and the launch of the book with Penguin India has already made it to the top of Financial Express’ best seller list in fiction. (Source: Published list on Sunday Financial Express dated 17th February 2019)