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Dabur's Navratan

When Patanjali came into the market, we all thought it had destroyed Dabur. Patanjali Ayurved, starting off as a small pharmacy, is now an FMCG giant. Toothpaste, shampoo, ghee, medicines, it has it all.

But the new generation chairman of Dabur India, Amit Buman plans on bashing back with full force.

“It (Patanjali’s) was a disruptive strategy to kill competition by price as it happens in many industries. But after the disrupting, things settle down and ultimately product quality and depth of distribution are what matters,” he told Economic Times.

Even after a slowing economy, constantly intensifying competition and volatile markets, the Rs 8,500 crore-plus Dabur has identified nine power brands including Vatika shampoo, Red toothpaste, Real juice and Amla hair oil and is investing disproportionately to push them, said Burman.

Burman knows that in the current economic state, it is essential to make people believe in the faith that Dabur held in their mind for decades and get them to buy their loved products over and over again. It is indeed a shrewd move on Dabur’s part, as in uncertain times like these, it is essential that the brand cashes in on the existing products.

The youngest chairman of Dabur and a fifth-generation member of the founder family, Burman said his focus would be to enhance science-based Ayurveda products, premiumisation, rural distribution and e-commerce.

But there is another reason which warrants for this much-needed cash support.

Dabur has launched over 50 new products recently and within weeks of the pandemic outbreak introduced immunity-focused juices, immunity kits, hand sanitizer, antiseptic liquid and germ protection soaps. Dabur knew it had the selling card of natural immunity boosters and saw a chance to win hearts and make some quick money.

Additionally, post his latest Annual General Meeting, Burman also said that the pandemic has led to a shift in shopping behaviour of consumers with the propensity for online shopping increases. “Targeting this trend, we have started launching a series of new products exclusively for online markets such as apple cider vinegar and a baby care range,” he said.

But no expansionist agenda comes without a huge cost. Dabur too had to bear that. And with Covid-19 wiping away the gains made in the first 11 months of the year, Dabur needs a fail-safe.

And in such circumstances what’s better than riding the Cash Cow?

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