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Sandeep Kaul

CEO-Personal Care Products | 24 Sep 2008

The 21st century Indian woman is one who is radically different from the generation that preceded her. She stands for innate confidence, style and taste, and is extremely aware of all beauty products available to her today. She stops at nothing to look and feel good. Today, the ever discerning consumer has very specific product requirements. We aim to offer products that satisfy all these needs.

Sandeep Kaul, CEO-Personal Care Products Business, ITC Ltd, has had an 18-year association with ITC, joining the group in 1990.

In these 18 years, he has served across divisions such as Personal Care, Market Research, Consumer Research and Tobacco.

Buoyed by the success of Essenza Di Wills, its exclusive range of fragrances and super premium personal care products, ITC has launched Fiama Di Wills, a premium range of shampoos, soaps and shower gels. Fiama Di Wills continues ITC’s tradition of bringing world-class products to the Indian consumer.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Indrani Sinha, Kaul, an alumni of Birla Institute of Technology, speaks about Fiama Di Wills and the ITC Group’s plans for this brand.

Q. What is the role of Fiama Di Wills in ITC’s personal care portfolio? What is its target group and competing brands?

Fiama Di Wills is a premium range of personal care products offered by ITC. The 21st century Indian woman is one who is radically different from the generation that preceded her. She stands for innate confidence, style and taste, and is extremely aware of all beauty products available to her today. She stops at nothing to look and feel good.

We are proud to present this new range of premium personal care products to today’s empowered women, who are smart, evolved customers and are very sure of their choices and what they want.

Q. What product categories does the brand represent?

Fiama Di Wills has a presence in shampoos, soaps, shower gels and conditioners. The brand operates in the premium market segment and we will expand the portfolio, depending on the various opportunities that may arise in the future.

Q. What was the thought process behind the Fiama Di Wills brand? Who is your agency?

Based on our market understanding, we have positioned Fiama Di Wills as a combination of nature and science, which give gentle and effective care. The creative agency is Law & Kenneth.

Q. Are you planning to have any brand ambassador/ celebrity endorsement for this brand?

Deepika Padukone is a perfect embodiment of the brand personality and we are extremely gratified with the positive consumer response to the brand’s association with her. She has gone a long way in building awareness about the brand and we may look at other celebrity endorsements in the future.

Q. How do you plan to extend the brand's promise of 'Beautiful you, today, tomorrow' to on ground events?

Consumer engagement has been targeted through multiple touch points. This includes mediums like television, press and outdoor as well as direct consumer engagement through one-on-one contacts at various points of congregation as well as in-store. In addition, all possible media have been leveraged to emphasise salient features of the brand.

Q. Have you tried any new distribution channels or sampling methods to popularise the brand?

Customer engagement, along with promotions is extremely important for any brand. To achieve these, we have carried out widespread consumer activation at various malls, multiplexes, colleges and in stores.

Q. Is the brand available pan-India or is it being launched in a phased manner?

The brand is available across the country.

Q. How are you priced vis-à-vis your competition?

Fiama Di Wills products are competitively priced vis-à-vis premium personal care competitive products. Our shampoos are prices at Rs 99 for a 200 ml bottle and Rs 54 for a 100 ml bottle. Our shower gels are priced at Rs 90 for a 200 ml bottle.

Q. Could you tell us something about any packaging innovations that you have done?

We are aware that packaging plays a vital role in premium personal care products. The product packaging for Fiama Di Wills has been developed by international design houses to ensure high quality standards.

Q. What kind of volumes/ market share are you looking at to begin with?

Fiama Di Wills has so far gained widespread acceptance in the market. In terms of product quality, packaging and pricing, the response has been very encouraging. Our aim is to make significant inroads in the premium personal care market segment.

Q. You have several trademarks competing in the same categories like shampoo, soaps, etc. What is your overall strategy for your personal care business?

As I had said earlier, consumer engagement has been targeted through multiple touch points. Today, the ever discerning consumer has very specific product requirements. We aim to offer products that satisfy all these needs, and in the process establish Fiama Di Wills as the leading brand in the premium personal care market segment.

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