CavinKare wants to replicate its success beyond the Vindhyas: Venkatesh Vijayaraghavan

The Director & CEO of Personal Care- CavinKare, speaks about brand Indica adopting an aggressive stance in the Northern markets and why he believes innovation will drive growth for the company

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 8:58 AM

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venkatesh vijayaraghavan

CavinKare recently brought on board actors Akshay Kumar and Ileana D’Cruz as brand ambassadors for its hair colour brand Indica to help build its business across the country. Launched in 2008 as an herbal hair colour, Indica was re-launched in 2009 with the proposition of hair colouring in 10 minutes. For the company that pioneered the shampoo sachet, the 10-minute hair colouring proposition is just one of the many innovations based on consumer insights that CavinKare takes pride in.

 Extending Formats of Brand Indica

Commenting on the brand Indica, Venkatesh Vijayaraghavan, Director & CEO – Personal Care & Alliances, CavinKare says, “Indica has a differentiated proposition in the hair colour category. Typically, most products deliver results in 30 -45 minutes but Indica does the same in 10 minutes. This product delivers the benefits seamlessly in 10 minutes time and that's one of the reasons it has been able to attain a significant position in the market.”

First launched in the powder format, this innovation has helped the growth of the brand and was then extended to a new product, Indica 10 Minutes Herbal Powder Hair Colours, in the powder category. In 2015, CavinKare launched ‘Indica Easy’ – a hair colour in shampoo format, which delivered the result in 10-minutes.  Recently, the brand re-launched another format, Indica 10 Minutes Crème Hair Colour. “The 10-minute proposition has worked for the brand across formats – powder, shampoo – and the company is now focusing on the crème format, which we believe will drive significant growth,” says Vijayaraghavan.  

In addition to the hair colour formats –powder, shampoo, crème – the Indica portfolio also includes hair colour for beard and moustache.  While the company is yet to scale up the product, this is one category that CavinKare believes has much potential. Says Vijayaraghavan, “Currently, all the four formats are on the growth path. They cater to different sets of consumers and we intend to invest back in the brand across these four categories.”

In terms of numbers, the hair colour category is estimated to be around Rs 4,679 crore with around 50 per cent penetration today across India and growing at 13 per cent.

Taking an Aggressive Stance

While Indica is a leading brand in the South, the intent of the company is clear: replicate its success beyond the Vindhyas with actors Akshay Kumar and Ileana D’Cruz as brand ambassadors. Vijayaraghavan states: “We would like the association with Akshay Kumar and Ileana D’Cruz to help us build a business across the country. We are quite strong in the south and believe that we can increase our footprint and strength across India. We also intend to take it to a couple of more countries where Indian diaspora is present.”

He adds: “Akshay Kumar has a strong connect with the consumer segments we're targeting and we believe that he will help us make inroads into the northern markets far more sharply. As for Ileana D’Cruz, we believe that her presence will appeal to the right audience, particularly women. We are an all-India brand and this association will enable the brand to grow faster and accelerate the speed far more sharply and drive growth in the segment far more sharply. We want to become far more aggressive and stronger in the North markets.”

In terms of distribution, CavinKare has a strong presence in the South and is fairly spread in the non-south markets. CavinKare is present in close to seven lakh outlets across India and the company intends to increase this to 10 lakh over a three to four year period.

The company is also looking to introduce the innovations that have been launched, in the recent past, in the South markets to the markets it is targeting. “We approach markets from a cluster perspective and important clusters for this category would be North – Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, West Bengal in the east and Maharashtra in the west. We want to become stronger in these states. However, some of the innovations have been focused on the south because of the easy access of market and the relevance of the products. We now intend to make them bigger in the other markets as well.”

Marketing Brand Indica

The marketing plan for Indica is to communicate the 10-minute differentiated proposition, quality, and consistent performance and easiness of the convenience and the product portfolio to the masses. The campaign is expected to go live by the end of March/early April. “The lead medium would be Television because to reach non-south markets, television is a critical medium that we need to go through. However, we would have a healthy mix of digital and social media as well. In terms of organized retail presence, modern trade and e-commerce as well, the product will be available and visible in terms of communication in both these mediums. We would be investing a lot more from a marketing perspective because that's one way we believe we can reach out to new consumers and trialists for the brands,” says Vijayaraghavan.

Staying Ahead

Commenting on the competition and getting consumers to try this product he says, “This category is a highly sticky category because consumers don't shift brands too quickly. Since we have a head start in a couple of these products, we believe that our product consistency will help us tide over the competition. We also believe that the quality of the product will help us continue to have sticky customers.”

On a final note, Vijayaraghavan says,CavinKare has always been pioneering innovation. Recently we innovated with Spinz perfume in the sachet format. We will continue to anchor ourselves on innovation and operate across multiple categories of personal care, food, professional care and dairy as well. Innovation continues to be the cornerstone on which we will drive our agenda. Looking forward, expect more innovations from CavinKare in terms of products and also formats”.

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