Eureka Forbes Eyes Single-Digit Growth In FY21, Led By Health, Hygiene Categories
Eureka Forbes, a leading player in the water purifier and vacuum cleaner segment, expects modest single-digit growth this fiscal as sales were hit in the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, a top company official said.
The company expects a better performance from its range of products under the health and hygiene segment under the changed circumstances post-Covid, besides the new products as CoronaGuard to act as a growth driver tapping the emerging opportunities in the market after the pandemic.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group firm has returned near to its pre-Covid sales number, as it reported 85% growth in sales in July compared to the corresponding month last year.
It is witnessing an increase in online sales and its direct selling is almost back at the previous year's level, where now the company is using video call apps to interact with customers in the coronavirus times. "For the year ended March, Eureka Forbes posted a gross group global turnover of Rs 3,110 crore. While we are down in our first quarter, we hope to catch up during the rest of the year.
"With the addition of our newest products 'CoronaGuard' and 'Disinfectant Water', we hope to target a modest single-digit growth rate for the year 2020-21," Eureka Forbes Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Marzin R Shroff told PTI.
According to the company, it is witnessing a renewed focus on health and hygiene categories under the new normal post Covid. After lockdown, the company witnessed a spike in the demand for house cleaning products as people were largely confined to home and domestic help was not available. The company expect this trend to continue.
"We are also seeing a large demand for labour-saving devices. Our Mop'n'Vac Vacuum Cleaner is sold out and out of stock. We are also seeing a pent up demand in our water and air categories," said Shroff.
At present, around 70% revenue of the company comes from the water purifier segment and the rest from other segments such as vacuum cleaner, air purifier and its security solution products.
Eureka Forbes, one of the pioneers in direct sales in India, is now having a multichannel approach, reaching customers as per their convenience across channels.
According to Shroff, the future is the omni-channel approach integrating the online with the offline sales network.
"Eureka Forbes is uniquely positioned as an omni channel, multi-channel organisation. We have the capability of reaching our consumers in the way that they think most convenient whether it is through our direct sales (via video calls, or through e-commerce, or in stores, or even in their offices. We also have possibly the largest service network in the world," he said.
On being asked about the sales, Shroff said its different segments of the business are behaving differently.
"E-commerce is growing, direct sales are back to 100% of the previous year. Our post-sales service is almost back to last year. Other businesses like retail and institutional are yet to come back to fully operative status due to constant unlocks and lockdowns," he said.
Shroff also added its factories and supply-chain have managed to keep the business running even during the unprecedented times like this. Eureka Forbes is also introducing the innovating product to address safety concerns and protection from the virus.
CoronaGuard is based on Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon, a device invented by Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar that attacks and disables the virus causing Covid-19. It has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under Enforcement Policy for Sterilizers, Disinfectant Devices and Air Purifiers during the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency.
This device will be manufactured and marketed in India by Eureka Forbes under the brand name Forbes CoronaGuard.
"We intend on prioritising deployment of the CoronaGuard in all high-risk and essential service environments first. This will help create ''safer zones'' in homes, health care facilities, stores, schools, colleges, restaurants, hotels, places of worship, residential, corporate, industrial and sporting environments among others," he said.
The commercial launch of CoronaGuard is slated later this month.
"We believe it will not only help contain the current situation most of us are in, but it also will be a large business fillip to us," said Shroff.