How has been the Group’s performance in the recently concluded 2017-18 fiscal year?
We finished the year at Rs 266 billion of revenue while the gross profit was just under Rs 20 billion as compared to the gross profit of Rs 14 billion in the previous year. Almost everything went well for the Group and all the companies
have moved up on the efficiency index.
What’s going to be your growth strategy for the group in this fiscal year?
In power, we will be looking at four more distribution circles and franchises as they come up while in FMCG, we will get into more categories and launch more products in the Guiltfree segment. For Phillips Carbon, the contribution of speciality blacks to the overall volume is poised to increase from the previous 10 per cent to 15 per cent, which will mean more profits for the firm.
In next three months, some big changes may happen in Firstsource although we are still at ideation stage. The aim here is how to get to Rs 10 billion net profit. For Spencer’s Retail, there is going to be the greater focus on higher margin products while for Saregama India, there are going to be extensions for the Carvaan radio.
So what are the Group’s targets this fiscal year?
We expect profit growth of at least 25-30 per cent and the top line should be between Rs 260-270 billion.
What has been the consumer’s response to Carvaan?
Six-seven months ago we started off with 500 pieces of sales a month, now it is 50,000 a month and it can get up to a lakh units in the next three months. We will soon be launching new regional variants of Carvaan.
Besides, in Saregama India, eight more films are under production now — 102 Not Out with Amitabh Bachchan, then Mercury with Prabhudeva, then Ila with Kajol and others.
What’s new with Too Yumm? What are your plans to build the brand further?
The next range of products will be quinoa puffs, which will be launched in the next 15 days. We are now present across 150,000 distribution outlets and it will keep on increasing as the products are being received well. For the foxnuts range, we have 26 flavours ready out of 200 odd flavours we had shortlisted but we have found that consumers get confused if one has too many variants. It’s easier if hashave 3-4 variants and the flavours keep changing.
By when do you think the restructuring of the group can be completed and the entities listed on the Stock Exchange?
We have already received approval from NCLT and another approval is pending. After we get it, we will apply to SEBI and thereafter it will happen. The process could happen in next 2-3 months.
You have decided to shift the corporate office of CESC from Victoria House. Why is it so?
The office of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group will shift there to house all our group companies. The new office symbolises a shift in culture, attitude and the new calibre of people who are actually taking over the organisation. If you get better people, you get better results.