Eveready hopes to reinvent itself with new-age products

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 19:53 hrs

Eveready Industries India is in the process of reinventing its business with a range of new-age products like portable chargers for mobile devices. “For the past eight-nine years, Eveready’s identity in the market has been that of a trusted and old brand. We want to change the old’ bit,” Amritanshu Khaitan, Vice-Chairman Deepak Khaitan’s son explained.

The new products comprise two high capacity quick chargers for smart phones and tablets apart from one charger for the feature phones and a universal USB charger.

The products are to be test marketed till April and are particularly targeted at the youth. “The new range of products will be distributed through mobile phone, apparel outlets, upmarket retail stores and e-commerce sites,” Khaitan said.

Khaitan, who represents the third generation of the Brij Mohan Khaitan family, joined Eveready in August 2011, as executive director, soon after graduating from the London Business School.

“I realised every product need not be innovative. For emerging markets, we can just see what’s around us, and launch it in India,” he said.

Branded Eveready Ultima Mobile Power’, the portable chargers are outsourced from China.

Eveready’s investment is in creating a completely different distribution network, separate from the traditional carbon zinc and alkaline batteries.

Eveready has one of the most extensive distribution networks in India with more than 4,000 distributors reaching out to more than eight lakh retail outlets. Eveready happens to be one of the largest marketers of dry cell batteries selling about 1.2 billion units annually. The brand has a 50 per cent market share in carbon zinc batteries.

Priced between Rs 1,200 and Rs 3,200, the portable chargers are expected to give Eveready the sales growth that it is looking for. “One charger is equivalent to selling 100 batteries,” Khaitan worked out the numbers.

Stagnating sales in the traditional business was taking a toll on Eveready’s performance. Moreover, input cost induced price hike had hit volumes. In 2011-12, Eveready posted a net loss of Rs 79.85 crore on revenues of Rs 980.30 crore.

For the year-end, Khaitan is eyeing a modest growth of about six per cent. “But next year could be a double-digit growth,” he said.

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