Raymond focuses on Park Avenue, Premium to revive consumer goods business

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Mumbai: Apparel and textile maker Raymond Ltd is focusing on its Park Avenue brand of male grooming products and home care brand Premium to revive its consumer packaged goods business, a top company executive said.

Raymond has launched a set of mid-premium men’s perfumes under the Park Avenue brand and is reviving the brand of air fresheners, talcum powders and cologne Premium as part of this attempt, Giriraj Bagri, CEO of Raymond’s consumer goods business, said in an interview.

“We have launched an initiative called One Park Avenue,” Bagri said. “As we try and globalize ourselves, we want consumers to get an identity (of the brand) which is the same wherever they buy it.”

The brand Park Avenue—which includes apparel and personal care products—is already worth Rs1,000 crore, Bagri said.

Raymond’s total consumer goods sales stand at nearly Rs500 crore, said chairman and managing director Gautam Singhania, at the relaunch of Park Avenue in Mumbai.

“So far, we were treating each product as a (separate) category,” Bagri said. “For example, beer shampoo was a unique ‘category-in’ and not a ‘brand-out’ approach. We need to give the consumer a sense of one-ness.”

Sales at Park Avenue male grooming business grew 10% in 2016, as per market research firm Euromonitor. Euromonitor estimates the market is expected to grow at 5% compound annual growth to become Rs10,550 crore by 2021.

“It is fashionable for a lot of companies to enter into male grooming because it is an obvious area to go seeking for growth,” Bagri said. “The question all of us need to be answering is do our brands have the right to succeed in that area.”

Procter & Gamble’s subsidiary Gillette India Ltd is the market leader in male grooming in India with 22% share, as per Euromonitor, while Marico Ltd has identified this market as one of its three drivers of growth for the next three years.

Raymond also plans to begin selling its consumer goods in Nepal and Bangladesh in the next 6 months and will then look at ‘stable’ markets in the Middle East, Bagri said without specifying a timeline for the middle east plans. Indian consumer goods firms like Dabur and Marico have struggled to sustain their middle eastern businesses as they face geopolitical uncertainty and unfavourable currency conversion rates.

Raymond’s consumer goods business, which includes Park Avenue, Premium, Kama Sutra condoms and KS Deos among other brands, is housed in two entities—JK Helene Curtis and JK Investo Trade (JKIT). The company bought out its joint venture partner Ansell Ltd in JK Ansell in August this year, transferring its Kama Sutra business to JKIT, Mint reported on 18 August.

While the firm said it was moving to ‘consolidated’ Park Avenue, it has yet to consolidate the holding structure of the consumer goods business. Bagri declined to comment on if and when that will happen.

Shares of Raymond Ltd closed on Thursday at Rs941.60, up 2.48% while the benchmark BSE Sensex closed 1.06% higher at 33,106.82 points.