It's not often that a FMCG company gets a chance to hit big with two mother brands, especially that came back to back under its fold.
In June, Emami, maker of personal and healthcare products, which brought under its fold brands 'He' and 'She Comfort', one organic and another inorganic, is now working on ways to turn these into mother brands for future male and female personal care categories.
While 'He' is a brand developed by Emami for the male deodorant space, launched with much marketing spent by roping in Hrithik Roshan as the brand endorser to break the category clutter, 'She Comfort' is a small-sized sanitary napkin brand acquired from Mumbai-based Royal Hygiene marking the Kolkata-based company's foray into women hygiene.
Brand He would be the first to be exploited bringing in more male grooming products, while She Comfort would first be strengthened raising the production capacity of this highly underutilised brand, director Harsha Vardhan Agarwal said.
"There are plans to expand brand He certainly within the next 12 to 18 months in the male grooming space, including skin care or even hair care. As for She Comfort, it's too early. New manufacturing capacities would be created as there is tremendous potential in the category it is present now. Presently, we would be focusing on the existing product itself, and then we will come out with extensions," Agarwal said.
The sanitary napkin brand is a fringe player in the Rs 2,000 crore market dominated by the multinationals, and growing at about 20% a year.
Emami, in line with peer like Marico, has come out with satisfactory quarterly earnings with 25% growth in sales at Rs. 482 crore, highest jump in last 15 quarters.
While EBIDTA at Rs 75 crore grew 26%, net profit dropped marginally at Rs. 65.76 crore for the quarter ended June compared with Rs 66.02 crore a year ago.
Profit fell mainly due to significantly higher incidence of tax, which was up from Rs 93 lakh to Rs 2 crore. Growth in the topline came mainly from its international business, which grew by 104% during the quarter.
Apart from these two brands, facewash variant of Fair and Handsome Fairness brand, 7 Oils in One Hair Oil and Zandu Balm Ultra Power were some of the recent launches which contributed to the growth during the first quarter.
"This quarter has been good mainly because of seasonal products, new launches, overseas markets, including Bangladesh Saudi Arabia and Oman in the Middle East, Kenya and Uganda in Africa, and Russia amongst the CIS countries performed well," HV Agarwal said.
Emami, however, is winding up its presence in the UK, where it has a dormant subsidiary and reviewing operations in Egypt.
"In the UK, we had strategies to enter the market but were abandoned," said Prashant Goenka, director in charge of overseas operations.
"We are applying for liquidation of our UK subsidiary, which has remained dormant for sometime. It is an operating company and has been there for years. For our Egypt venture, where we have a manufacturing structure remaining, we are evaluating that project in the light of the sociopolitical situation there," Naresh Bhansali, CEO-finance, strategy and business development, said.