Sudhir Sitapati, the former Unilever executive who took over as chief executive and managing director of GCPL in October 2021, said in an exclusive interview that the move will help the company think local, but act locally. worldwide, as well as centralizing strategy, product development, innovation and brand communication for its three main categories: household insecticides, hair color and air care. Four countries – India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Bangladesh – currently account for 80% of GCPL’s revenue.
The strategy is a change from the previous structure where each country had separate category teams and it will help the maker of consumer brands such as Goodknight, Hit, Cinthol and Aer reduce costs through collaboration and exploitation of synergies. “The strategy will leverage twin drivers of successful category development and innovation to achieve double-digit volume growth,” he said.
GCPL will democratize categories through innovation and accessibility by breaking down price barriers to bring a set of new consumers into the fold, Sitapati said.
“We have relaunches in the first quarter of FY2022-23, which we believe will significantly boost the relevance of our categories. We have introduced breakthrough access packs in Household Insecticides in Indonesia and Hair Care in India “, did he declare. GCPL, which had democratized the Indian hair cream market by offering the first hair cream in sachet at ₹30, will launch it at ₹15.
In recent weeks, Sitapati has made two high profile appointments, former
leaders Rajesh Sethuraman and Vijay Kannan, to its global leadership team. While Sethuraman will join as general manager for the Asean region, Kannan will lead business transformation and digital businesses.
In the fourth quarter of FY22, the ₹12,000 crore GCPL recorded price-led growth of 7% year-on-year, even as volume in India declined by 3%, amid continued pressure on input costs.
The fuel for growth will come from a radical, digital simplification of the company. Sitapati bets on people with potential and uses accelerated training to fill experience gaps. The idea is to think outside of traditional job demands and foster a culture where great people with potential rise to the top. “Through this, we believe we can create space for diverse talents that have been weeded out of the traditional process to thrive in the traditional workforce,” he said.
“The purpose of any business is to solve consumer problems. We have a formidable portfolio of products, categories and markets with significant growth potential, a culture of disruptive innovation, an obsession with quality and a state of frugal spirit. We also have the humility to point out our weaknesses, such as complexity, and strive to address it. With our track record of value creation, strong fundamentals and a clear strategy, I believe that we can achieve double-digit volume growth,” he said.