In this episode of power list, we invited the founder director of Indian Home & Personal Care Industry Association (IHPCIA), Mr Sanjay Trivedi to share with us some of his insights into the India market, technologies and new areas of growth.
Power List is an initiative by SourceSage to feature thought leaders in each industry and region to explore critical issues and market trends relating to the industry, drawing lessons from each individual's success, experience, and knowledge.
Mr. Sanjay Trivedi has a degree in Chemical Technology (IIT-K) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business & Finance Management. He has over 40 years of experience in Home & Personal Care Industry with expertise in Engineering, Surfactants, Oleo chemicals and Specialities.
Mr Trivedi is currently also the Chairman of Trivedi Groupe (TG) which has its HQ in Mumbai, India and a Regional office in Singapore. He was also Vice-Chairman of the CAMP committee under the E&C group of Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF).
Mr Trivedi is also associated with various International & Professional organisations.
Can you give a short introduction of yourself and IHPCIA?
I have been connected with the home and personal care industry for 40 years now and am the Founder Director of the Indian Home & Personal Care Industry Association (IHPCIA) which is also a member of International Network of Cleaning Product Association (INCPA) and Asia Oceania Soap and Detergents Association Conference (AOCSDAC). IHPCIA represents the Home and Personal Care (HPC) industry producers and represents their interests with respect to the government as well as interaction with the consumers.
The Association which has 40 core members and 7 Affiliated Industry Association who represents 1350 small scale manufacturers in the HPC space.
What are some of the traditional ways that companies in the home and personal care industry find market information or look for customers currently?
Indian is an unique market. We have 29 states so the market is very fragmented. It is more to "mom and pop" shops that the retailing is done. In term of consumers, depending on the area – whether is urban or rural, the approach with be to connect with the consumers directly or through the different trading (platforms).
So earlier days, we used to have the wholesaler retailer model for home and personal care products. That is being replaced now through modern trade and with the recent demonetisation and drive for digital economics, the focus has shifted to direct digital sales and that's being growing at three times the rate in the last six months. So consumers can be found by direct approach or through digital media.
Moving forwards, where do you think the opportunities for growth lie in the HPC industry in India?
Growth is very, very dynamic because it is a large population, with more than 1.2 billion people. Each segment runs differently. In the home care segment, detergents are growing in tandem with the GDP at around 6.1% per year. If we look at the personal care products, there are again differentiations in the category, shampoos are growing in the double digits at close to 18%, skin care is moving at, again, double digits, within 25%. So depending on the category you are looking at, today India has one of the lowest per capita consumptions for HPC products. So the only way forward is as the economy improves and as you have more disposable income, the growth will be driven. So the growth will be typically in the double digits range.
How do you think technology will change the way HPC industry works?
As I have said, with demonetization and the government’s initiative to have a single Goods & Services Tax (GST), the way of doing business in India is changing rapidly. It will drive growth - there is more money on the table, and we do expect that the growth will be through the digital mechanics of selling of the products. So we do expect growth because of the government’s policies which are more visible and more pronounced. But we also do expect a lot of innovations in the product portfolio itself. You start in low cost product because (consumers) can’t afford to buy, then the approach is different from what you can make as (consumers’) disposable income improves. So the focus now is also changing from the mass market (approach) to products which are (profound) and (those) which are more sustainable.
So we do expect in India to have a quantum leap in technology, from the conventional dry mix detergent powders which are made by the non-tower route all the way up to concentrated liquids, compacts and mono-dose products. (And) there are a lot of efforts right now been focused on those.
How do you think SourceSage will be beneficial for companies in the Home Personal Care (HPC) industry?
Well, you need to connect with each of the active players. You need to take advantage of the digital medium as a way of moving forward, of connecting buyers and sellers, or connecting information which is required, (which is dynamic). So we do see a strong potential for SourceSage in this business.
Lastly, any words of wisdom for company who would like to approach IHPCIA or India market in general?
The only point I would like to make is that the India is a very cost sensitive market. Consumers are extremely price conscious – they want value for money. It’s a very large market with 1.2 billion people, and a masstige category of close to 300 million people – a masstige category is one where the consumer can afford to have the product of his choice. So it is huge market for anyone coming in with services or products to meet the aspiration needs.
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