Thursday, December 9, 2021

Is Covid-19 a boon for Private Labels and White Labels? Pankaj Kapoor, Head – NPD & 3P Operations, Marico shares his views

How has Covid-19 changed overall shopper sentiment towards leading brands in lieu of disrupted supply chain?
Brands are an outcome of a trust equation built over a period of time with the consumer. This in turn has been a direct result of a good consumer experience which includes availability on shelf. In case of unavailability of the preferred brand a secondary option would have been chosen. Else the equation remains strong if availability is ensured even in times when the supply chain has been disrupted due to a Black Swan event like Covid-19. Since the co-efficient against the variable of Health has increased the consumers too have gravitated towards trusted brands in this period.

Has the Private Label or White Label or Local Brands being able to create a dent in market share of category leaders? If Yes was it price or was it availability lead?
Marico has seen an uptick in its market share during this period. I would like to understand from the Private Label panelists on their experience during this period.

Which are the major categories which may see a considerable consumer stickiness in post Covid era?
Essentials, Health & Hygiene along with Convenience are the categories which have got the consumer wallet share. In an increased time period some would become an integral part of the consumer usage and habit.

How serious has the manufacturing got impacted during Covid era & what corrective measures have been taken by manufacturers to minimize the impact of contingency in future? (For manufacturers)
Covid-19 is a live Black Swan event. Planning for a Black Swan event i.e. Business Continuity Planning now needs to be balanced along with efficiencies. This becomes a part of the playbook for the future. Additional Safety precautions,(specifically for Covid-19), led manufacturing decisions, Automation to enable safety measures and efficiencies, Innovative Digital tools to monitor adherence are some of the steps to ensure a sustained delivery ecosystem. “Just in Case” supply chain model is emerging and could co-exist with “Just in Time”. Diversification of supplier base, warehouse network management and automation tools are some of the variables being worked on with Just in Case.

Is contract manufacturing in India matured enough to accept challenges posed by ever changing consumer expectations with respect to world class product innovations?
Contract Manufacturing has been a synergy partner and shall remain so. Quality standards have been constantly on the rise and is a positive sign. Technological investments, R&D capability and Capacity at a higher scale are the 3 variables that I believe would take it to a World Class level. Investment in Innovative Packaging development formats, Product developments would be exciting to see. Scale would offer competitive prices making it lucrative to outsource. The moment seems right.

How & where all do you think can help SME, MSMEs, institutions & retailers in India in current & post Covid Era?
I see WOOB as a platform to represent people and teams doing good work. The Digital interface has the ability to reach out to a larger audience and gain penetration.

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