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K. Ramakrishnan: "India's brands landscape is changing"



In this new edition of Perspectives, we introduce our General Manager in India: K. Ramakrishnan. In this interview, Ramki talks about how FMCG has been influenced by the latest regulation changes in India and what are the prospects for this market in the Asian country. Ramki highlights how the brand’s landscape is turning into a regional battle field and provides marketeers with some interesting tips to deliver growth in India.

2017 was a recovery year for the Indian economy, which went through two important changes: demonetization and the introduction of the GST bill. These changes, which resulted in quite a bit of uncertainty among marketeers, organizations and consumers, had also an effect on FMCG.

"Consumers increased the number of trips to shops and bought lesser per trip".

However, this effect only lasted for some months, and the market recovered quickly after demonetization. Overall, Ramki says, FMCG closed the year with a healthy 7% growth and, next year, elections are expected to bring some more changes in the way people consume.

"The whole brand landscape is changing due to regional brands".

In India, global brands are sharing workspace with both national and regional ones. Ramki explains that, in the last years, a lot of players who were restricted to one state or region are gaining importance and giving fight to larger brands. This trend, which is expected to develop in the future, goes together with the rise of start-ups all over the country, making the brand landscape of India an interesting story to keep an eye on.

"Global brands will be competing with national and regional ones, as well as with start-ups".

During our conversation, Ramki gives brands some tips to grow in India. The most important of them all is building agility. Things such as the way people consume, where they do it or the media they watch are changing, and brands ought to be aware of that not to lose track of the market’s reality.

"It is no longer possible to wait for trends to set themselves before taking actions".

Trends in FMCG, Ramki notes, are shaping up in a matter of a quarter or even months. Consumers’ attention to media and their ability to look at multiple screens are growing substantially. If marketeers are more agile watching out for trends and picking up early signals, they have a lot to gain from innovation. Luckily, brands are not alone in the growth battle in India. Ramki explains what Kantar Worldpanel is doing to help brands grow faster there:

"We are introducing two new panels: the baby panel and the male grooming panel".

The baby panel is meant to track purchases of households with babies aged 0-6 months, 6 months to one year and all the way up to three years old. The second panel covers a field that is gaining importance all around the world: male grooming. Both these panels will be beneficial for a number of companies which are now launching products oriented to these targets.

Watch the full interview clicking the video on top of the page and listen to Ramki to learn everything about the FMCG landscape in India.

May you want to receive more information about the new panels in that country, contact us through the link on the right.

Get in touch

K. Ramakrishnan
General Manager India

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