Industry veterans discuss whether the Indian food and FMCG industry has an edge over multinationals in gauging market trends
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 9, 2016
Future Consumer Enterprise (FCEL), which boasts of being a source to supermarkets, organized a food show in Mumbai on Tuesday to showcase its products. It also organized a panel discussion at the event on the foods sector and FMCG market in India.
FCEL is among India’s leading sourcing-to-supermarkets food and FMCG companies. Of late, FCEL has expanded its consumer product portfolio. The company has a strong portfolio of brands that include Tasty Treat, Premium Harvest, Golden Harvest, Sunkist, Veg Affaire, Fresh & Pure, Sangi’s Kitchen, Desi Atta Company, Karmiq, KARA, CleanMate, CareMate and Think Skin.
Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group, said, “The vision is to take the company and all the brands under its roof to newer heights. We are all set to launch some more new products in the coming year. We are looking at FCEL becoming the creator and provider of the food palate for a diverse and evolving India. We will continuously strive to upgrade the overall food consumption. FCEL has always been focused on leveraging consumer insights and to catering to India's diversity by sharing the joy of food and its bounty with all its stakeholders.”
“FCEL acts as a catalyst for each of its stakeholders,” Biyani went on to say, adding, “From sourcing, processing, retailing to the final act of consumption, FCEL strikes a widespread cord between the lives of the farmer, a factory labourer, a worker on the shop floor and the housewife.”
Biyani further said, “A company which has built India's first ever integrated commodity sourcing model, FCEL's vast platform is equipped with diverse food production capabilities. FCEL is constantly innovating in every aspect of its value chain – from sourcing, product development, branding and packaging – to create brands in categories that India had not invested in so far,” Biyani added.
Pitch for desi flavours
The food show was followed by a discussion among some industry veterans. The high point of the discussion was the food culture that was evolving in the Indian market and how brands were coping with the trend, to build up the food and FMCG market.
Participants at the panel discussion included Neeraj Kakkar, CEO, Hector Beverages (Paper Boat), Varun Berry, MD, Britannia Enterprises, Ajay Gupta, MD, Capital Foods (Smith and Jones and Ching’s Secret), S Raghunanadan, CEO, Jyothy Labs (Henko), Santosh Desai, MD, Future Brands, and Devendra Chawla, Group President, Food and FMCG, Future Group. The discussion was moderated by marketing expert Rama Bijapurkar.
Ajay Gupta said, “India is one of the five food cultures and is a strong market. Multinationals enter such markets only through acquisitions. We as Indian companies are very pro-active when it comes to meeting the evolving needs and demands of our consumers.”
Berry said that what MNCs brought to the table was global experience. “They have their own formulas but they should know what works around the world may or may not work in India as the taste is very different here.”
Kakkar agreed with Berry, sasying, “Brands that work and deliver good results in other markets need not deliver that well in the Indian market, hence companies should understand how and where to market a brand.”
While Raghunanadan felt it is all about “prioritization of products and projects”, Chawla said that the food culture in India is “evolving and changing every year.” Chawla added, “India’s time has now come for companies which are home-grown.”
Desai highlighted the point that the food industry had seen a lot of changes over the years. “We have been trying to improve our strategies time and again to meet the needs and demands of our consumers,” he pointed out.