Dabur, one of India’s top FMCG companies, has announced a media review worth close to Rs. 500 to 600 crore ($50-60 million). Sources close to the matter says the pitch is expected to conclude soon. Dabur’s current agency is Publicis Groupe’s Starcom India.
Dabur had assigned media duties to Starcom in 2015. The latter was the first agency in the company’s history to be appointed exclusively to look after media planning and buying although Dabur has traditionally divided media planning and buying among a clutch of agencies.
Earlier in December 2019, it was reported that the FMCG major, closely held by the Burman family, was willing to invest part of its about $500 million cash reserve to buy companies and stimulate sales, given that the company had grown at the slowest pace in two years.
Dabur was looking at options in foods, healthcare, and personal care, Chief Executive Officer Mohit Malhotra had said in an interview. Dabur had already identified targets and was considering companies in the 1 billion-to-10-billion rupee price range.
“We have a ready war chest to acquire companies,” Malhotra had said, adding that the company had reserves of up to 35 billion rupees ($490 million). “With slowdown, some targets will become affordable which were earlier very expensive.”
The slowdown was fairly ubiquitous and hit companies, including Dabur, Maruti Suzuki Ltd., India’s largest carmaker, and biscuit maker Britannia Industries Ltd. as consumers in the world’s second-most populous country tightened their purse strings owing to a variety of reasons.
Dabur has increasingly spreading its operations to remote parts of the country and has expanded its rural network to cover close to 55,000 villages by March 2020 and 60,000 by March 2021 from 44,000 in April 2019, Malhotra had said.
Meanwhile, to hold back customers from opting for cheaper brands amidst widespread cash crunch, Dabur last year launched smaller packets of hair oils, toothpaste, and fruit drinks.
The introduction of the 10-rupee Hajmola digestive candy packet has helped boost sales in villages. In fact, Dabur’s rural business outpaced urban sales as opposed to major rivals Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and Marico Ltd.
With revenues of over Rs. 8,500 crore and a market capitalisation of over Rs. 72,500 crore, Dabur’s product range covers hair care, oral care, health care, skin care, home care, and foods.