Around three years after it acquired the hair care brand Indulekha for around Rs 330 crore, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has turned it into a Rs 2,000 crore brand in terms of valuation, which fetches the company around Rs 400 crore of revenue a year.
At the time of acquisition, this brand under its former owner, Mosons Group, was generating a top line of around Rs 100 crore and an EBITDA of 30 per cent.
Sanjiv Mehta, the company’s chairman and managing director pointed that it has been a successful acquisition for the company and he had himself visited Chennai to talk to consumers before signing the takeover agreement. He was speaking over the need for companies to have a consumer connect approach at an event organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry here.
“I had myself visited Chennai to talk to customers before the acquisition. There were consumers who had left using the brand; I spoke to them and they told me that their need has been taken care of and so they stopped using Indulekha,” Mehta said.
Initially, after the HUL team came up with this acquisition proposal to Mehta, he was hesitant as he did not have a “touch and feel” of this product and wanted to know how consumers perceive this brand. His visit to Chennai and interaction with consumers convinced him about the brand’s potential.
The acquisition HUL opened up the vast South Indian Ayurvedic market to the company.
Indulekha was first launched in 2009 as a premium Ayurvedic hair oil and was subsequently relaunched in 2014 with a unique comb like cap that aids direct application of oil on the scalp - an innovation which it’s consumers preferred.
The brand has a strong presence in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Talking about the emerging and evolving marketing initiatives, Mehta said personalisation and hyper-personalisation on the advertising front is going to become a norm and will see more use of technology.
Other FMCG players like Emami had also opted for the acquisition route to enter the Ayurvedic haircare space with the takeover of Kesh King.