Move over HLL and P&G, Jyothi Laboratories is on the roll. The maker of Ujala fabric whitener has designs on the FMCG majors' turf.
Even as the company is bets big on fabric care segment, it plans to enter a slew of FMCG categories in personal care domain. These, sources say, include, shampoos, hair oil, dyes and bleaches to name a few. When contacted, MP Ramachandran, CMD, Jyothi Laboratories confirmed the company's big focus on FMCG sector.
He however, denied there are immediate plans to enter new categories. "We are largely in the fabric care and household care space and want to be specialist in the sector. We are test marketing a niche brand in two Southern states and we plan to launch two more this year," he told ET without giving further details.
Sources say, the new production capacities that Jyothi is planning straddles several categories in personal care space. The company, for instance, is setting up manufacturing plant in Uttaranchal near Roorkee, with a proposed capacity of 30,000 tonnes for detergent, and 75-lakh litre for personal care products such as hair oils, shampoos, hair creams, dyes, etc.
Similarly, Jyothi Labs is looking at an additional capacity of 3,600 tonne for fabric whitener Ujala and over 212 lakh-litre for Stiff & Shine, its fabric stiffner. Also in the pipeline, are additional capacities in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh. "We are excited about taking on the FMCG sector in a big way," Mr Ramachandran said. "We know that the market is dominated by HLL and P&G, but serving your consumer in a better way is in your own hands." The company's fabric care division grew 20% last year and even though the market has formidable players, Jyothi Lab is hopeful of a reasonable share in the market.
The company soft-launched Ujala Detergent late last year in Kerala slowly expanding it to whole of South. It now wants to go national. The company is also deliberating on how to take its dish washing bar, Exo, forward. The brand currently sells in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Meanwhile, its mosquito coil brand, Maxo has become a challenger brand in that category, second only to Reckitt Benckiser's Mortein and the herbal soap, Jeeva occupies a small, but promising niche. "We see a buoyant situation in the FMCG sector. There are so many favorable factors that are driving the volume of purchases up in this sector," Mr Ramachandran said. And Jyothi Lab's flagship brand, Ujala fabric whitener enjoys a market share of over 68% and has given Reckitt's Robin Blue a run for its money.
Last year, Jyothi joined hands with Godrej Tea in a distribution alliance to market latter's tea. Jyothi's flagship brand Ujala sells through more than 25 lakh retail outlets across the country and is backed by the frequent servicing of distribution network of retailers.