|Karnataka-based agarbatti manufacturer N Ranga Rao & Sons - owners of Cycle brand incense sticks – is planning to experiment with regional fragrances and other product extensions such as sambrani (benzene) and dhoops.|
Product extensions and entry into new segments like air-freshners is likely to lead to a near 15-16 per cent growth for the company.
According to Arjun M Ranga, Managing Director, N Ranga Rao & Sons, dhoop and sambrani will be two innovative products that the company will focus on; apart from experimenting with a host of regional fragrances.
For instance, in West Bengal, it launched an earthy fragrance and a woody one under ‘Rhythm Melody’ and ‘Rhythm Beats’ brands. In Maharashtra, for example, its champa (plumeria) fragrance that does well.
This apart, the company is also looking to introduce ‘other puja items’ under its brand portfolios targeting individual users. These would include items like ‘ kumkum ’ (vermilion), turmeric and others like mustard or til (seasame) oil.
“Right now, these products are available but mostly through unorganised players. We intend to introduce branded offerings covering the entire puja samagrihi portfolio. We are also focussing in a big way of regional fragrances, dhoops and sambranis ,” he told BusinessLine .
‘Cycle Pure Agarbathies’ currently has an annual capacity of 12 billion sticks a year spread across its own facility (in Mysuru) and other third part manufacturing ones spread across States such as Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Odisha. Its own R&D facility is located in Mysuru.
According to Ranga, growth should come from the second-half of this fiscal (FY19) – specially during the festival season – with the effects of GST levelling out and trade channels recovering.
“With de-stocking last year June onwards, festival season demand was weak. This lead to a near stagnant growth last fiscal. However, growth should be back this fiscal,” he said.
The company, accordingly, will target a market share of 30 per cent over the next five years.
The agarbatti market in India is pegged at Rs. 5,000 crore with ‘Cycle Pure Agarbathies’ being the market leader with 20 per cent share. Kolkata-based ITC Ltd through the “Mangaldeep” brand is the other major organised player here.
Incidentally, the N Ranga Rao Group is now extending its “specialisation” in fragrances to other offerings like room freshners, car air purifiers and in the home and lifestyle category like potpourri through brands like Lia, Stop-O and Iris.
Godrej’s Aer, Ambi Pur and Odonil continues to be major players in the fragrance segment; while the potpourri category is dominated by unorganised players and Chinese offerings.