Empowered with freedom and opportunity while aiming to make a difference in the lives of the consumers, Marico personifies India’s story of change. Not only do they claim to add value in the lives of 1 out of every 3 Indians, but are also confident about their values and practices which make them stand out from a million companies. In today’s ‘vocal for local’ edits on Hungerpacks, we bring to you the journey of Marico, which has been a leading consumer products and services company and has been able to constantly innovate by focussing on consumer needs before they even know it.
Over the years, Marico has conquered the different sectors of health, wellness and beauty around the world. Whether it be distributing 155 million consumer packs through a widespread distribution network of around 5.0 million outlets in the country or using 1/10 coconuts produced in India, Marico has been a name which has made impossible a possibility. With revenues from Operations in India, Asia and Africa at a staggering value of 7334 Cr for the year 2018 – 2019 with a net profit of 1028 Crs, Marico is touching new heights with each passing year.
Marico Limited currently has 8 factories in India located at Pondicherry, Perundurai, Kanjikode, Jalgaon, Paldhi, Dehradun, Baddi and Paonta Sahib along with a whole subsidiary operating through the name of Marico Bangladesh Limited which helps to manufacture a vast range of portfolio products in hair care, skin care, edible oils, health foods, male grooming, and fabric care categories. While the household products including Parachute, Parachute Advanced, Saffola Fittify, Saffola Active, Nihar Naturals, Livon, Set Wet, True Roots, Mediker and Revive account for 78% revenue, unique brands like HairCode, Fiancée, Caivil, Hercules, Black Chic, Code 10, Ingwe, Grace, Medipac and Kamillen & Jamilla, are also manufactured for exports to other nations and account for the remaining 22%.
The Birth of a legacy
Bombay Oil Industries, the parent company of Marico, had built an empire dealing with agriculture commodities for over 100 years which was well known for its pepper trade and got them the family name Mariwala. After working for many years in the family-owned business and setting up a nationwide network for Parachute in 1974, Harsh Mariwala was the one who realised the potential of the branded FMCG market and tapped into the liking of traders who wanted a smaller and consumer-friendly packaging for Parachute oil by launching the ubiquitous plastic Parachute bottle.
With the division of Bombay Oil in April 1990, Mariwala’s journey to becoming a market leader in consumer business became stronger and led to the creation of Marico with only two legacy brands ( Parachute and Saffola ) under its umbrella at the time.
The offence of the Indian FMCG Market
Marico created its three P’s standing for People, Products, and Profits which was created to define their corporate values and missions within the first year of creation. Along with this, Marico launched its first non-stick oil Hair and Care, which captured the market rapidly with its innovative packaging.
By the end of 1994, Marico ventured into the clothing department by launching their first-ever clothing starch ‘Revive’ and got listed in BSE in the year 1996. The emerging giant set their feet in the skincare FMCG department with ‘Kaya’ in 2002 which was demerged from Marico and listed as a separate entity in 2013. Marico continued to introduce new products with Masala Oats in 2010, Parachute Advance Body lotion in 2011, Livon Conditioning Cream Colour in 2014 and True Roots in 2018 to show it’s strength in innovation.
Bringing in a Healthy Twist in FMCG food category
At the beginning of 2019, Marico launched campaigns like Heart Healthy India on World Heart Day to promote heart awareness and care among Indian audiences since their discovery of an increase in cases of heart diseases in the country. Moreover, it also launched Saffola FITTIFY Gourmet, a Healthy-Gourmet range that comprises an interesting range of Hi-Protein Meal Soups and High Protein Slim Meal Shakes containing a blend of five superfoods – Moringa, Quinoa,Buckwheat, Amaranth and Turmeric along with an array of exotic and delicious flavours during the same year as well.
Taking India to the world
The company started going global way back in 1994 by setting up its first international offices in Dubai. Post this, the company has never stopped expanding and moreover acquiring various brands like Nihar, Set Wet, and Livon and further diversified their vast product range. Presently operating in over 25 countries within selective markets of Asia and Africa, Marico further aims to expand and gain strength in the adjacent markets of South Asia as soon as the situation comes back to normal.
In addition to this, Marico has numerous awards in the field of Manufacturing and Packaging by organisations in India and abroad and is one company that has proven to grow without compromising on quality and values.
Despite the deflationary cycle of Copra, which is a major component of Oils manufactured by Marico, it is eyeing to build a futuristic portfolio for long term growth and aiming to reduce dependence on Parachute and Saffola by expanding in verticals like male grooming, premiumisation of its hair nourishment business, health foods and skincare. Despite the slow economic growth, Harsh Mariwala believes innovation can save the economy and thinks of implementing the blue-ocean strategy for better results.
Marico’s response to Covid-19
Predicting the increase of awareness in health and hygiene amongst consumers, Marico launched Mediker hand sanitizer on 16th April 2020. Further expanding their portfolio by entering newer categories such as floor, surface and vegetable cleaners, disinfectant sprays and immunity building products, Marico entered the vegetable and fruit hygiene category with Veggie Clean, made with a unique mix of 100% safe ingredients.
Covid-19 has brought many companies to the back foot, but Marico united to provide relief to everyone in every way possible. Whether it be providing safety and hygiene kits to the COVID Warriors or partnering up with Swiggy and Zomato to facilitate meals to the needy and products to their customers, Marico has managed to take care of everything like a boss.
Marico launched another initiative under The Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) with a nationwide campaign #Innovate2BeatCovid, to bring together innovators and corporates and think about alternative options to solve the real problems faced by the medical fraternity during this crisis. Marico has also limited its operations to the production of essentials for consumers in the current times like many others and is making sure to maintain hygiene and social distancing to avoid any spread of the disease.
To sum it up, there is a lot that younger local food companies can learn from the journey of Marico that roots its efforts in consumer benefits, and thrives on constant innovation.
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