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After inorganic chemicals and textiles, GHCL now eyes consumer products

Company to tap modern trade with products like spices, honey and salt for diabetics

GHCL Ltd office

GHCL Ltd office

Vimukt Dave Ahmedabad
Inorganic chemicals and home textiles player GHCL, one of the major suppliers of caustic soda and soda ash, wants to now be known as a consumer products company too.

The company, which had launched its retail edible salt brand 'IFLO' on a low-key basis, is chalking out plans to grow in the retail market, by adding more products like spices, honey and value-added products like salt for diabetics.

"We are already tapping southern markets for our consumer products, followed by Goa and Maharashtra. Gradually we plan to hit pan-India. Our plan is to have a basket of the products which should be made available pan India present in next three to four years," said R S Jalan, managing director of GHCL.

Currently, GHCL has three products including honey, spices and salt under its consumer product portfolio and will gradually increase the same in next three to five years along with the expansion of network.

Jalan said: "Gradually we are looking to add more products in our portfolio and for that, we are evaluating it and keep on adding it so that we have varieties of products in our basket. The company currently outsources raw materials and keeps quality control and packaging with it."

The company is looking to expand its distribution channel and market its products through the modern trade even as it plans marketing and branding campaign, both digital as well as television and print, for which it plans to spend around Rs 5-7 crore this year. It expects to generate a revenue of Rs 100 crore in next 3-4 years from consumer products.

"Currently we are doing branding and marketing of IFLO on social media platform, TV and print commercial. We are planning to spend about Rs 5-7 crore a year on it. We are expecting Rs 100 crore revenue from consumer products in next three years," said Jalan.

Besides consumer products, the company is also in the process of expanding the capacity of its chemicals and home textile products. At an investment of Rs 600 crore, the company's soda ash production capacity is expected to increase to over 1 million tonne by March 2017, sodium bicarbonate capacity to be doubled to 50,000 tonne, and edible salt to 100,000 tonne per annum, by end of March 2018. The company is also going to expand its home textile capacity to 4.8 million meters from 3.6 million meters.

"We are going to spend Rs 400 crore in a current financial year and Rs 200 crore in 2017-18 for capacity expansion. As our cash profit is healthy, we won't have to leverage and will be using existing resources for funding which will keep our debt at the current level," said Jalan.

The company posted a turnover of Rs 2,563 crore for the financial year 2015-16, of which its inorganic chemicals business formed 58%, while the rest came from its home textiles business segment.

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First Published: Dec 03 2016 | 1:00 PM IST

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