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BL Agro to expand mustard oil brand Bail Kolhu to newer markets, will go aggressive on TV and digital

Richa Khandelwal, Director, Marketing, BL Agro, talks about the company’s future plans and marketing initiatives for Bail Kolhu as well as its newer nutrition brand Nourish

Richa Khandelwal

BL Agro’s mustard oil brand Bail Kolhu—a household name for kitchens in Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand region which began its journey almost 50 years ago—is now looking to expand to newer markets.

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Richa Khandelwal, Director, Marketing, BL Agro, said while they have not been keen on advertising earlier, they are now all set to get aggressive in their new journey.

“Bail Kolhu has been available for a long time in the markets of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. So, earlier, we used to only focus on maintaining quality and the rest would be taken care of by word of mouth. It did play in our favour for a long time and did very well. Over the years, we become the king of this particular industry in Uttar Pradesh.  Thereafter, when young people like my brother and I decided to join the business, we decided to move to newer areas. But if we would have taken the old strategy of word of mouth, it would have taken us a very long time. In order to make it faster, we have decided to take the advertising route,” she said.

While Bihar and Jharkhand are the immediate targets, the near target is to be present at least in the Hindi-speaking belt of the country, she said.

On the back of this plan, the brand recently announced a campaign featuring Gangs of Wasseypur actors Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddique and Pankaj Tripathi, which will be rolled out soon.

Speaking about the campaign, Khandelwal said, “We as a brand started from the very basics, and we started from the roots. Slowly and eventually, we made it to where we are now because of our quality, our commitment, our consistency. As a matter of strategy, we did not want to go ahead and take very flashy faces for the brand. We wanted a similar lineage in whosoever will be promoting the brand. Bail Kolhu is a cult-level brand in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The trio carries the sons-of-the-soil story, they are self-made, they have worked hard, seen the ups and downs of life and have reached consistency on their own with the quality of their work. That commitment and that parallel we saw with our brand was what made us go ahead with these three names. The three names also represent Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand if you look at their natives and where they come from. That also played a major factor,” Khandelwal said.

She said the agency Brand Connect helped them in analysing the briefs that BL Agro provided to it. “We as a company never wanted to make an advertisement, which has only oil or shows a wok with food that is made out of that oil. We were clear that we wanted something other than food, which represents the personality of our brand and does justice to it. That’s how we collectively arrived at the decision.”

Khandelwal said they will go 360 degrees with the campaign with special focus on television and digital. “We are going 360 degrees with a major focus on GEC Entertainment channels as our target is the housewives, followed up with digital media and OTT.”

For Nourish, another brand under BL Agro’s belt launched almost two years ago, they have roped in Shilpa Shetty as the ambassador. While they aim to take Bail Kolhu to all major cities of North India, Khandelwal said they have a pan-India expansion plan for Nourish. “For Nourish, we have a pan-India expansion plan so we have been advertising aggressively and are getting a nice response.”

Asked what they want to derive from both the campaigns, she said, “As a brand, the major concern remains to derive revenue out of it. For Bail Kolhu, we are looking at opening in newer markets. We also want better engagement and brand recall for the brand. For Nourish, as it’s a new brand, we are focusing on nutrition to get associated on a mass level. Slowly and gradually, we will want to build upon that.”

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