FMCG: Ruchi Soya: Betting big on e-tail

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May 24, 2022

Written By Akanksha Nagar

Having acquired Patanjali Ayurved’s food retail business, the company has ambitious plans

While its edible oil business has been its mainstay, Ruchi Soya’s CEO Sanjeev Asthana is confident that the share of FMCG revenue could touch 20% this fiscal.

Ruchi Soya has its sights set on clocking `20,000 crore- `22,000 crore in revenue over the next five years from its FMCG business, after recently having acquired Patanjali Ayurved’s food retail business worth `690 crore. The Patanjali food portfolio comprises 21 major products, including top-selling items such as ghee, honey and juices, besides staples such as atta and spices.

To achieve its target, Ruchi Soya plans to launch a D2C (direct-to-consumer) channel in the next two months for its nutraceuticals business, with more categories to follow, while also increasing its investment on e-commerce and expanding its offline footprint. It is quite active across all key online marketplaces including Flipkart, Amazon and JioMart.

According to the latest Statista report, India’s FMCG market was valued at $110 billion in 2020, and by 2025, it is expected to touch $220 billion, as more brands adopt the D2C route. Several top FMCG makers, including Hindustan Unilever, Dabur and Emami, have launched D2C brands in the past two years.

Oiling other products

While its edible oil business has been its mainstay, Ruchi Soya’s CEO Sanjeev Asthana is confident that the share of FMCG revenue could touch 20% this fiscal. It is targeting `7000 crore in revenue from FMCG and `25,000 crore from commodity sales by the end of FY23. “Over the next five years, the revenue split between FMCG and commodities will be equal,” he says.

Furthermore, Ruchi Soya plans on consolidating and rationalising the Patanjali food portfolio, while simultaneously revamping some of its existing products. “The aim is to reposition the entire company towards being a food FMCG major,” says Asthana.

Following the acquisition, Ruchi Soya will be renamed Patanjali Foods (after regulatory approvals). Asthana says that brands such as Nutrela, Mahakosh, Ruchi Gold and Sunrich will continue to be marketed under their existing names, while all the businesses that are coming in from Patanjali will use the Patanjali brand in exchange for a brand licensing fee

Devangshu Dutta, chief executive, Third Eyesight, says the company name change may work in its favour, since there is a large audience aligned with the image and values of Patanjali Group and its founder Baba Ramdev.

Casting a wide net

But not all is smooth-sailing. Alagu Balaraman, CEO, Augmented SCM, suggests for the company to scale up, it needs to build a robust traditional distribution network, since a bulk of sales still happens through these channels. “The cost of doing e-commerce delivery is significantly high,” he notes.

Ruchi Soya is working on those lines. Asthana says besides utilising Patanjali’s existing distribution muscle, it is expanding its offline retail footprint by adding 10,500 non-exclusive modern grocery stores and 4,500 exclusive ones every month.

Source: financialexpress