After expanding its reach to towns and villages, with populations of 50,000-2 lakh, Fevicol-maker Pidilite Industries has put in place a focused team under an ‘Emerging India’ division to unlock growth potential in these markets. In 2003-2004, Pipdilite had set up the ‘Rurban’ channel as a ‘One Pidilite’ division, selling all products in towns and villages with populations of less than 50,000.
This drove growth through focus on penetration and market development in these under-served areas. As a result, these regions were growing consistently higher than urban India.
To replicate the success of Ruban in around 500 underserved small towns with 50,000-2 lakh population, a separate team was deployed to create the One Pidilite model called ‘Small Town India’. The Emerging India division is a combination of Rurban and Small Town India, catering to centres with less than 2 lakh population. Pidilite Industries MD Bharat Puri told TOI, “By having a focused team for the under-served towns, we are able to unlock the growth potential of these areas through sheer focus and resource deployment.”
Mr Puri said, “Unlike an FMCG company that has to only make its products available in rural India, I have to not only make it available to our customers – essentially masons and carpenters – but also teach them on how to use these products. It’s about changing behaviours. So, we have created a new business called Emerging India, which includes small towns and rural, by merging our sales forces. Earlier we were going as separate divisions for Fevicol and Fevikwik.”
The Rs 5,300-crore company operates the businesses of Fevicol, Dr. Fixit (waterproofing), Fevikwik and M-Seal (maintenance), and Fevicol MR, Fevigum, Fevistik, Rangeela, Fevicryl (art stationary) as separate go-to market channels, with each business having separate distribution and sales teams in large cities.
Although nearly 40% of Pidilite’s business comes from Fevicol, Dr. Fixit – a leading product in fixing leakages – is fast catching up as the brand competes against nonconsumption. “Pidilite has been a pioneer in many ways. We spot under-served consumer needs and fill them with a brand. My task is to grow the core, the growth businesses and identify pioneer businesses (such as flooring, end-to-end water proofing facilities),” said Puri.
With the One Pidilite model, the company is actively tracking 230 outlets per lakh of population. The benchmark is to increase this to more than 300 outlets.
What excite Puri are the transitions visible across social demographics. “While rich India is mirroring the west, middle India is moving into more furniture and aspirant India is starting to buy chairs and tables, the pyramid has shifted from 5-15-80 (percentage from top to bottom) to 10-30-60. There are a lot of opportunities for pioneer businesses,” he said, while adding, Five years from now, we will keep going into adjacencies, without losing sight of the core.”