NEW DELHI : Packaged consumer goods maker Dabur India on Thursday said Mohit Malhotra will be its new chief executive from 1 April. Malhotra, currently chief executive officer of the company’s India business, replaces long-time CEO Sunil Duggal.

Duggal, who has held the position since 2002, will continue as non-executive director till 30 July 2020, after stepping down, making him the 133-year-old company’s longest serving CEO yet.

Having worked in companies such as Wimco and PespiCo, Duggal joined the New Delhi-based company back in 1995 as general manager, sales and marketing, for the family products division, overseeing popular brands such as Dabur Amla and Vatika oils.

Made the CEO in 2002, he oversaw Dabur’s diversification from a pure play Ayurveda-based company to a now more diversified FMCG player, with a product portfolio spanning beverages, personal care and home care products.

For now, Duggal is exploring advisory roles, and not planning a full-time position, he told Mint over telephonic.

“There will be no executive responsibility once I step down but guidance and mentoring," said the 62-year-old.

Duggal’s presence at the company “professionalized Dabur, with big innovations, and brought market leadership in most categories," said Abneesh Roy, analyst at brokerage firm Edelweiss Securities. Although these are big shoes to fill, future management has been groomed well, Roy added.

Under Duggal, Dabur has seen consolidated revenue grow over 500% in 2004 from 1,264 crore to 7,721 crore for FY18. Profit jumped from 106 crore in FY04 to 1,354 crore for the year ended March 2018—largely the result of diversification.

During his tenure as chief executive, Duggal oversaw the demerger of the company’s pharma business in 2003.

This helped Dabur focus on becoming a stand-alone fast moving consumer goods maker.

He also set up a separate supply chain to push the company’s then limited presence in overseas markets, starting with Dubai. Today the company sells in over 120 countries and has manufacturing units in eight countries outside India. International business makes up 25-27% of revenue.


Duggal also oversaw the acquisition of the Balsara group of companies back in 2005, helping Dabur add brands such as Babool and Meswak toothpaste, Odonil, Odomos and SaniFresh to its portfolio.

Then, in 2008, it spent 204 crore to buy personal care company Fem Care Pharma Ltd.

In 2010, the company made its first ever international acquisition—of Turkey’s Hobi Group—followed by the takeover of US-based personal care company Namaste Group in 2011.

For Duggal, a few of the changes have shaped the way India’s consumption story has panned out.

“There has been a massive shift in India’s growing rural consumption story driven by the growth in availability of high-quality products at affordable prices," said Duggal.

Dabur draws over 45% of its turnover from the country’s hinterland.

Over the years the “de-commoditization" of FMCG brands has helped grow the market, he added: “The shift from local, inferior goods to now branded and established ones has been an interesting one."

More recently the company has faced challenges such as the emergence of Baba-Ramdev backed Patanjali, that Duggal calls a “true disruptor". It even tied up with Amazon in 2017 to push sales.

“We will have to build a clear architecture for our distribution, now that improvement in roads and logistics is underway in the country," he said.

Management changes at the company came as it announced earnings for the quarter ended 31 December 2019.

For the quarter, consolidated profit after tax was up 10.2% at 367 crore.

Sales increased 11.8% from the year-ago period to touch 2,199 crore. Volume growth in domestic business was up 12.4%.

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