Strategy that enables sustainable growth

Marico remains committed towards sustainable value creation through a consumer and community-centric strategy. Being the market leader in ~90% of our business segments, we focus on maintaining our leadership position and driving category growth by bringing value to our consumers in the form of right pricing as well as superior product offerings. Simultaneously, we intend to selectively nurture new growth engines towards achieving balanced growth and a diversified portfolio mix.

Sustainability and community well-being have always been at the heart of Marico’s overall strategy. As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, we at Marico, recognise our extended responsibility towards the community and remain committed towards driving the health, safety, and well-being of our members, extended partners, nation, and the world at large.

In the post COVID-19 world, consumer habits, preferences, and spend patterns are expected to undergo a significant change. We consider this disruption as an opportunity for nimble innovations and business model transformation. Our strategic enablers will help Marico transform and be ready for the emerging new realities and changing consumer needs.

Strategic Pillars

Grow the Core

Marico continues to consolidate its leadership position with market share gains across its core segments: coconut oil, value-added hair oils, and super premium refined edible oils. There continues to be significant headroom for category growth as well as market share gains, the short-term rural demand slowdown notwithstanding.

Marico will continue to drive unbranded to branded conversions and penetration at the bottom of the pyramid, through attractive consumer pricing as well as enhanced distribution reach. At the same time, we continue to pursue opportunities for premiumisation in select pockets through product innovations by delivering enhanced value to the consumer.

For instance, Saffola is on a healthy growth trajectory, thereby further strengthening its market leadership position. Resurgence of in-home cooking will lead to a trend of eating healthy and thus higher consumption of healthy and trusted brands. Saffola is well placed to ride this wave of health awareness and should continue to consolidate its position on the health platform. Our focus will continue to be on driving penetration with the right value offering and distribution reach.

International Markets:

Over the last few years, we have systematically invested in our core international markets and we are confident that the key markets are well-poised to capitalise on the present opportunities.

  • Bangladesh is a strategic priority market and has continued its positive momentum with strong growth in FY20. While we continue to drive penetration in Coconut Oil through brand building and go-to-market transformation, we will also continue to focus on diversification into Value-added Hair Oils, Baby Care and other personal care segments.
  • As a market leader in male grooming, the Vietnam business will continue to invest in the category and uphold excellence in sales and distribution systems. The Foods portfolio is witnessing healthy growth and will continue to be the focus area for diversification.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, we will focus on getting the basics right by judiciously investing behind brands and go-to-market initiatives.
  • In South Africa, while macros remain weak, we expect some revival over the medium term in the business on the back of a pipeline of new products.

New Growth Engines

We continue to focus on portfolio diversification with a healthy mix of core portfolio and future growth engines aligned to the changing consumer trends.

In India, we have witnessed consistently strong traction in the Foods portfolio in FY20. We will continue to focus on driving penetration of savoury oats and further extending the category with new offerings focused on immunity, convenience and nutrition.

Male Grooming and Premium Personal Care have seen muted growth due to slowdown in discretionary spending, which is expected to continue in FY21 owing to the COVID-19 impact. Our aim is to realign the business strategy with relevant product innovations and go-to-market models in line with emerging consumer needs and preferences.

During and post COVID-19, hygiene is expected to be one of the key consumer needs. Marico has introduced Mediker Hand Sanitizer and Veggie Clean in India. We will be looking to broadening our play further and building a sustainable portfolio in this segment, in the near future. A similar initiative in hygiene is also being driven in Bangladesh and other key markets.

Create Shared Value

Marico lives by its purpose of ‘Make a Difference’ and continuously strives to create shared value in collaboration with all stakeholders. ‘Shared Value’ is anchored in the ethos of the way we do business and applied to ensure that all business decisions balance economic, environmental and social considerations. To enable this, we have charted our path on sustainability, with dynamic and challenging objectives as milestones.

Our six long-term sustainability focus areas are: responsible resource consumption, climate change, circular economy, sustainable supply chain, product responsibility, and community development. In this journey, we envisage working with all our stakeholders to attain a more secure, sustainable and inclusive future.

Strategy Enablers

Business and
Go-to-Market Models

We have strived to continuously experiment and adapt our business and go-to-market models in line with the changing market landscape and business realities. Marico has significantly enhanced its presence in modern trade and e-commerce, with the share of these channels increasing from 12% to 22% over the past two years. Given the acceleration in the adoption of online shopping, this will continue to be a strategic priority for us. We continue to work towards creating a win-win proposition for our channel partners and expanding our reach in the rural parts of the country. In addition, we are piloting multiple models and are working with strategic partners towards building direct-to-retail as well as direct-to-consumer capabilities. This will ensure continued product availability for consumers, even if the traditional supply chain is disrupted.

Product Innovations

Consumer-centric innovation is a key growth driver and our effort has been to bring in more agility through structural interventions. We have created roles focusing on driving consumer insights and innovations for our growth engines. There is a well-defined stage-gate structure guiding the product innovations process right from conceptualisation till product launch. Our Innovation Council (led by the MD & CEO) is the central cross-functional forum for stress testing ideas and is focused on bringing in the best of Marico to ideation, design and execution of product innovations.

Technology and Automation

Marico has always focused on technology and automation as a key lever for building a future-ready organisation. With increased restrictions on human movement and social distancing norms, technology will have a huge role to play in defining the art of the possible and future workplace design. We are leveraging technology to redefine our business model for enhanced reach and continued engagement with our partners and consumers, even in the absence of regular channels. We also continue to focus on building cutting-edge analytics and AI capabilities to enable focused action planning, resource allocation and decision support. For example, Marico Miner League is our front-end analytics team working on predictive modelling using digital and e-commerce platforms data, enabling the business with right decisions and spend optimisation. We have also built in social listening capabilities to ensure we stay abreast of changing consumer needs and preferences.

Cost Management

While profitable growth has always been a focus for Marico, cost consciousness is even more important in current scenario to ensure we maintain healthy profitability and are able to fund strategic initiatives for future growth. The Marico Value Enhancement (MarVal) programme continues to drive organisation-wide efficiency initiatives across functions and geographies. We are also using data and analytics for very sharp prioritisation in resource allocation, and will continue to focus on passing on the value to our consumers and shareholders.

Talent and Culture

At Marico, our core value proposition is to provide challenging, enriching and fulfilling opportunities that maximise the potential of our people. We aim to develop members into leaders by leveraging a combination of proven experiential and futuristic approaches and ensuring an active role of Learning & Development through customised functional and leadership training modules. Our sustainable growth story rests on an empowering work culture that encourages taking complete ownership and making a difference to the entire business ecosystem. We believe that our endeavour to deliver on this proposition by providing early responsibility, fast-paced learning and growth, together with an entrepreneurial and flexible work culture, enables us to work towards a shared vision.

Mainstreaming Sustainability

Sustainability is embraced as a part of Marico’s mainstream business approach to create shared value. We have a defined governance mechanism with a Sustainability/Business Responsibility Committee constituted by the Board of Directors and headed by the Chief Operating Officer (COO). The Head of the Committee reviews the sustainability performance of the Company, and assists the MD & CEO in driving the sustainability agenda set for each year. We have formed a core team with responsibilities defined to ensure effective formulation of policies, implementation of projects and establishment of focus areas, targets and performance. Through this mechanism, we interact and engage with all stakeholders, including shareholders, consumers, employees, value-chain partners and the community, among others, in our sustainability journey.