As part of our new series, ‘Marketers Playbook for 2020 Post Covid-19′, Ankit Agrawal, Partner, Mysore Deep Perfumery House tells us how the fragrance and agarbatti industry is likely to evolve in the post-covid era and adds that now is the time for a company to be cash rich
Covid-19 is going to change everything. There is a lot of anticipation but I honestly feel that we have to take things at it comes, but be ready for anything. The most important aspect for any company is to be cash rich. It’s the only way by which you can fight the unseen.
While many have embraced work from home, for many like labourers there is no scope of work from home. Also, there is very little scope of work from home for office, sales & administrative staffs as operations have come to a standstill. We are seeing consumers’ behaviour and their buying habits change almost 360- degree and the buyer perspectives and practices evolving.
Customers know what they want to buy especially at the point of sale and brand plays a very important role here. The fragrance / agarbatti industry has also been hit like others. Initially, I believe there would be a huge demand as the supply in the market may be impacted but once things stabilise it would go down for economic reasons. However, all of us feel that e-commerce & small grocery shops will dominate sale and thus the need for a brand would increase.
During this difficult period, as consumers’ buying practices and media consumption changes it is important for marketers to comprehend the developing & emerging patterns and envision customer needs. Advertisers and brands will have to rely on real-time knowledge and innovation to develop a strong commitment with buyers. Brands have a chance to convey constant affirmation and a sentiment of association.
During the lockdown, consumers have started spending more time on Digital platforms. We (MDPH) are available across Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. On all the platforms, we post new products and internet based platforms are utilized to advance and increment deals. We are selling our items on Amazon.in and Flipkart.com and MDPH is the leading brand in the Agarbatti segment on Amazon.in. However, I strongly feel that ATL would be the key moving forward.
Upsurge In Sales In The US Market
Several Indian incense product manufacturers have been exporting incense to United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Brazil as well as Argentina among other countries. In 2018, the United States incense market size was 128 Million USD and is forecast to reach 281 Million USD in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 11.89% from (2018-2025). Going by the current trends, the incense market has shown an increasing demand for natural fragrance ingredients.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a serious and unprecedented situation. However, MDPH has registered growth which we attribute to the performance of our MDPH Global team which has ensured continuity of supply in these vulnerable times. The stocks that were exported, for consumption in six-months, have been sold out contributing to 100% sales growth. Our sales have doubled compared to the last financial year. People prefer incense sticks especially fragrances such as fengshui, aromatherapy & lavender.
Diversification To New Products
Many FMCG companies have diversified and are now producing hand sanitizers, hand wash etc. Earlier seen as a luxury medical product, hand sanitizers have now become an essential grocery product and affordable due to Government intervention. However looking ahead eight-months, the excessive competition will result in brands playing a very important role in a category where many MNCs are already present in the market.
Foraying Into Puja Samagri Space With New Products
We have observed that Sambrani Dhoop has generated a lot of interest as it’s made from Benzoin (Loban), a disinfectant. In today`s circumstance with the pandemic, disinfecting the house with Sambrani will help keeping germs and infections at bay.
Demand for fragrances like Lavender & Bergamot is likely to increase. Products like Loban, Sambrani Dhoop, Camphor which are believed to be natural disinfectants may see a surge in demand. In essential oils brand ORVA, Lavender and Bergamote variants are popular on Amazon US as well as in India. We think this is the right time to launch Puja Samagri as an increasing number of people are leaning towards religion.