The 11th edition of the Businessworld Marketing Whitebook was unveiled last night in Gurgaon. A spirited keynote session “Gearing up for the consumer-first world” between Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld, and Nitish Kapoor, Regional Director, Reckitt Benckiser South Asia, covered a wide range of topics—from consumer outlook in India to its effects on businesses.
When asked which ones were his favorite brands from the Reckitt Benckiser portfolio, Kapoor stated that the biggest product, Dettol, is his favorite. “However, there are quite a few emerging favorites like Durex, Itch Guard, Ring Guard and Crack that break the monotony,” he stated.
Batra went on to link the conversation with the theme of the Marketing Whitebook, and asked if FMCG products would find popularity in the e-commerce space in the next three to five years. To this Kapoor said, “Right now, the percentage of ecommerce sales in only half a per cent of FMCG products sold online in India. The predictions for India could be anywhere between 3-5 per cent. China moved from this level to 15 per cent in less than 7 years. For us, we can see up to 30 per cent of our business coming from m-commerce, not e-commerce.”
About the price points of these products to be sold online, Kapoor stated that it is not so much the individual product price, but the basket of products. This could range anything between Rs. 100-500. More importantly, we launched a product that was priced at Rs. 3000, and 90 per cent of our sales, multiples of Rs. 10 crore, are coming from online.
“While we talk about digital consumers, spends on digital are very low, do you see these spends increasing in the near future?” asked Batra. To this Kapoor said, “I don’t think spends on digital are that less. It primarily depends on the product categories, reach, cost and effectiveness. For example, 100 per cent of our spends for Durex are on digital. This is because we believe we have a very narrow audience to focus on, and we can achieve high effectiveness by the digital route.”
When asked if he sees digital becoming the primary medium for advertising in India, Kapoor said, “No, I don’t see it as becoming primary any time soon, but, of course, a very significant medium in the coming years.”
Talking of tackling controversy in the digital era, Kapoor stated that brands must be part of the conversation. “If you are not part of the negative conversation happening about your brand, it will trigger another spiral of negative sentiment among consumers.”