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BW Businessworld

Growth Amid Crisis

Parachute Advansed Gold rode the festive wave as well with its digital campaign during Onam, honouring the spirit of nurses across the country with the #ThankYouNurses campaign.

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Marico was among the FMCG players in India that did decide to be cautious in its advertising when the pandemic had just struck in the year gone by. However, what stood out about the brand was its methodical approach in its marketing initiatives that were earmarked by both collaborations and product expansion, in the time that followed. W it h i n a mat t er of weeks from the lockdown, Marico had joined hands with Swiggy and Zomato to deliver essential foods. More importantly, it had forayed into new categories such as hand sanitiser and vegetable and fruit hygiene adding more relevant products in the middle of the lockdown.

Promotion of Flagship Brands

While marketing the new products was one part of the strategy, the chief marketing officer of the company, Koshy George, busied the team with parallel play for Marico’s flagship brands. Parachute Advansed, for example, continued to dabble in short video content on digital platforms to grow brand love. Later in the year, Parachute Advansed Gold rode the festive wave as well with its digital campaign during Onam, honouring the spirit of nurses across the country with the #ThankYouNurses campaign.

George also led his team in taking products under brands like Saffola to the e-store, which included the 2020-launched Saffola Honey. In H1 FY21, Marico’s ecommerce sales had in fact grown by nearly 40 per cent as per media reports. This uptick was also reflected in its share of business.

The outcome of this approach and its initial prioritisation was that Marico had upped its advertising spends in Q2 FY21 to pre-Covid levels. Parachute reaffirmed its brand equity and clocked growth ahead of expected deadline. The likes of Saffola edible oils and value-added hair oils also returned to growth trajectories.

Maintaining the Buzz

To not lose on the momentum it had built in a tough year, Marico kept the buzz going not only for its haircare brands but also for its disinfectants range, among others. The company ended the year with a high, launching Saffola Arogyam, riding the growing immunity boosting segment. It also began 2021 with another big-ticket product launch in the instant noodles category. Recalling the year gone, the endeavours of which had resulted in his nomination in the BW Top 50 Marketers 2021, George says, “I am delighted to be nominated in this list by a brand such as BW Businessworld. I must state here that one is as good as their team. I want to thank everyone in the Marico team for the great work they have done in the last year. This is a recognition of all their efforts.”

Vast Experience

Koshy, who comes with more than 17 years of sales and marketing experience across diverse categories such as personal care, home care and foods, started his career with Marico in 2001 as a Management Trainee and was an Area Sales Manager before moving to Hindustan Unilever.

During his tenure at HUL, Koshy has worked across building and transforming various brands and categories. He rejoined Marico in January 2019, leading the core brand marketing initiatives of the company.