As it looks to strengthen its FMCG business in India and global markets, Raymond is consolidating its Park Avenue business under one identity with ‘Gen 2’ grooming solutions.
Textile and apparel brand Raymond is carving out new solutions and has upgraded its products to cater to the next gen ‘complete man’. Having entered the highly competitive FMCG business in 2016, the company is now fixing issues regarding supply chain and system processes to turn around its business in India and global markets. Raymond’s FMCG business includes Park Avenue, Premium, Kamasutra and True Tone, housed under two entities — JK Helene Curtis and JK Ansell. The company bought out its joint venture partner Ansell’s stake in JK Ansell in August this year. It now intends to not only push Kamasutra further globally, but has also consolidated its Park Avenue business under One Park Avenue, for global consumers to identify Park Avenue products under one identity.
“The acquisition has further given wings to our ambition because two entities give us the opportunity to drive cost and revenue synergies between them,” says Giriraj Bagri, CEO, FMCG business, Raymond. “We will look at a unified FMCG business as we go ahead. This allows us to expand our personal care footprint globally.” Kamasutra, which sells in 35 countries, is currently registered in 94 countries and has applied for registration in another 34 countries.
Solidifying brand architecture
Raymond aims to create a brand architecture to simplify consumer navigation across categories and price points. Thus, its portfolio has now been redefined to house blue, white and black colours across product categories. While blue signifies the budget range, black is for the premium range and white for the signature range. Its new Eau De Parfums will be available in 50ml and 100ml packs priced at Rs 399 and Rs 699, respectively. Additionally, the entire range will be available through exclusive brand outlets of Park Avenue along with other sales and distribution channels across India. The brand will soon make its way to international markets such as the Middle East, Bangladesh and Nepal; with the phase two plan to enter the South Asian markets of Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar in the next six months.
Interestingly, the company already has a presence in the Middle East for its FMCG business, which has been dormant for the last three to four years. “Park Avenue was in the Middle East but was dormant because the India business itself was not doing well,” states Bagri. He adds that the JK Helene Curtis business which was a ‘little bit shaky’ is turning around and delivering a double digit growth; thus paving the way for international expansion in conjunction with the Kamasutra business. Industry estimates suggest that the size of the male grooming industry is around Rs 5,000 crore.
While Vini Cosmetics’ Fogg tops the chart, ITC’s Engage is at number three, followed by Axe and Nivea. Most of these brands also cater to the female segment and are increasingly deepening their presence in the affordable deodorant space — an area where Raymond will need to focus on, to stay strong in the game. Interestingly, Kamasutra deodorants sell more than its condoms. Experts state that the dynamics are changing with most FMCG players getting aggressive and a strong e-commerce play emerging.
With Park Avenue spanning across the spectrum from apparel to personal and home care products, the question now is, how it will take advantage of this range and drive synergies? Bagri claims that Park Avenue is a Rs 1,000 crore brand (apparel and FMCG) with the combined FMCG revenue between JK Helene Curtis and JK Ansell at around Rs 500 crore, currently.
“We are looking at a multi-category presence to address a unique consumer segment. We target the young evolving male looking to curate his identity through stylish grooming solutions to ‘unleash his X factor’,” he adds. The company is also in the midst of evaluating how the Raymond brand can expand more in the FMCG space. Currently, Raymond’s FMCG business clocks around `1,000 crore in consumer spends.
The digital game
The Kamasutra brand has greater strength in the pharmacy space with around six lakh distribution channels in the country, while Park Avenue focusses on mom-and-pop stores, general trade, etc. The company plans to leverage the distribution strength of each brand to help the other.
“The distribution network will evolve and with e-commerce becoming big, we have made an initial foray in it,” he mentions. Furthermore, the company is making its moves for an efficient and agile supply chain. In digital, it has struck partnerships with some e-commerce players. “The digital channel is very small for us right now but we have seen significant traction in the last three months,” he adds.
Brands like Marico, ITC, etc constantly try to enter new categories to cater to the new-age male with aggressive communication to boot. While Raymond believes that its brands — all targeting the evolving male consumer — won’t cannibalise each other due to differentiation in price points and formats in different markets, it may certainly need to ramp up its marketing and product distinction game.