Edited excerpts from an interview with Anand Kripalu, managing director, Cadbury India Ltd.
How have you led the charge in recent years?
The last two years for me has been to raise the bar of ambition in the company. When I joined the company, the Cadbury brand was so much bigger in the mind than it was through the profit-and-loss statement. Historically, we have grown at about 10%. The ambition was to say if we are not growing at 20%-plus then we are not growing to potential.
Expanding reach: Kripalu says the firm aims at reaching more shops with the new Perk. Sharp Image
Was involving the sales team in product development a key move?
Yes, even in the Perk mix, there have been wholesale packs, etc., that have been crafted based on retailer insights from the sales teams. Sometimes you create the whole marketing mix based on consumer insights and then the sales guy comes along and says, “Hey, this won’t work.” But that opinion comes in too late because we have to launch. We are trying to make sure that some of these things work if brought in much earlier.
What’s the agenda with the new Perk?
A key effort with the Glucose Perk is to get into shops where the old Perk never existed. In a market like India, you get a competitive advantage from being in traditional trade (grocery stores.)
How has distribution improved and what do you see as a challenge going ahead?
The number of wholesalers we reach has grown seven-eight times in the last three years. Chocolate is largely an urban thing, but we are going further. Each year, you get the lower hanging fruit but then you have to catch the higher hanging fruit to sustain the same level of growth. And that is the challenge.