Strategic Priorities

Building e-commerce competencies, an in-house content creation studio, and a first foray into direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailing

Capitals Impacted
  • Intellectual

  • Financial

  •  Nimble e-commerce/digital-first brands
  •  Impact of economic environments on consumer behaviour
  •  Strong internal, global, and regional structures to support bold ambitions
  •  Strategic engagement with internationally acclaimed agencies to improve brand awareness
  •  Smaller performance marketing agencies to focus on conversion
  •  Bespoke approach: Country roadmaps to reflect brand and regional stages of development
  •  Agile test-and-learn approach
  •  Future-proofing the business by spending time with tech giants and start-ups
Key Focus Areas
  •  Building dedicated digital and e-commerce teams
  •  Leveraging global partnerships
  •  Selling direct-to-consumer
  •  Ramping up e-commerce
  •  Investing in content and infrastructure
  •  Leveraging consumer-generated content
  •  Doubling down on data

Value Created

We are increasingly integrating digital capabilities with different aspects of our business – how we manufacture, market, and engage with our consumers. Through these efforts, we are building stronger Social and Relationship Capital through partnerships and more meaningful consumer connect.

We are also investing in building internal capabilities and Intellectual Capital through focused talent, trainings, and infrastructure.

  • 77 per cent increase in e-commerce business
  • 81 per cent increase in our team’s digital knowledge
  • Three D2C websites live
  • Data Management Platform live
Building dedicated
e-commerce teams

We have equipped our e-commerce teams to take advantage of the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Our Global E-com Cell brings together e-commerce managers from across geographies to share ideas and learning. We have grown our e-commerce business by 77 per cent year-on-year. In addition, we have also equipped our Digi Cell teams to share digital best practices.

Our commitment to education continues with executive training modules for our senior leaders as well as through our online learning tie up with Circus Street. This has led to an 81 per cent increase in digital knowledge of our marketing teams.

A Circus Street training session for our Jakarta team

global partnerships

Our E-com Cell and Digi Cell team members at an Amazon training conference in London

We are building and leveraging global partnerships (such as Google, Amazon, and Shopalyst) to accelerate learning and experimentation. Our strategic partnership with Google has helped us understand digital best practices, which have been useful for our senior team members.

In October 2019, our E-com Cell and Digi Cell participated in an Amazon training conference in London to understand the nuances and levers of the platform. They also met performance marketing agencies that focus on online consumer conversion marketing. Some of these agencies are now our new partners.

Selling direct-

D2C selling through our own websites is not without its challenges; however, it provides incredibly rich consumer data. In order to capitalise on this, we have forayed into the world of D2C with three of our India brands (Cinthol, BBLUNT and Godrej aer).

The initial traction has been very encouraging, and we are already applying the data (consumer profiling, purchase frequency habits, and consumer search behaviour) that we have collected. We plan to roll out this approach to other brands that might benefit from closer consumer connect.

Our D2C foray with Cinthol

Ramping up

We have set up an independent e-commerce business unit in India with separate P&L accountability and fully functional capabilities across sales, marketing, innovation, supply chain, and finance. This structure will deliver the agility and consumer focus required to win in this fast-evolving space. The team is now fully operational and has witnessed over 75 per cent year-on-year growth. We have tested exclusive e-commerce variants of our current brands (our Hit Anti-Mosquito Racquet has been a notable success) and have developed digital-first brands that are due to be launched. In parallel to the work on innovation, we aim to build our core brands on e-commerce through superior execution coupled with strong, strategic retailer engagement.

We have created a dedicated e-commerce team in the USA that has shown success over a short period of time (over 125 per cent year-on-year). In Indonesia too, we recorded a 78 per cent increase in our e-commerce business. Our teams share learnings as well as agency partners through our E-com Cell.

The Light Box, our photographic, audio and film production studio

The Black Box, our Digital Command Centre in Mumbai, measures real-time performance of brands

Investing in content
and infrastructure

We continue to leverage the Black Box, a physical digital command centre at our headquarters in Mumbai, where we monitor live digital activity across our brands. It helps evaluate brand conversations and we use it to respond to issues and gather consumer insights for campaigns and new product development.

This year we launched The Light Box, an in-house photographic, audio, and film production studio. It allows us to quickly create quick high-quality content for digital use (for e-commerce websites, social media pages, and even print media titles) by partnering with external and internal talents.


We continue to leverage the power of peer-to-peer recommendation through social media. By working with influencers across the world, we ensure that our products are viewed by our target demographic on platforms that they often visit (Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube). The content generated for consumers is authentic and believable, as well as in a tone and language that our consumers connect with. We continue to ramp this up across geographies. A great example is our black hair information and inspiration platform, www.blackhairhub.com. The Black Hair Hub houses African blogger and consumer-generated content on our social media handles and our website. The website had over 1.5 million visits this year, and its social media following is highly engaged. It is the perfect platform to gain consumer insight and promote our products.

The Black Hair Hub, our black hair information and inspiration platform

Doubling down
on data

We must grow our consumer data pool to enable the personalisation of communications at scale. We have launched a data management platform in India to collect first-party consumer data. This data will allow us to deploy marketing campaigns based on detailed consumer preferences, personas, and archetypes.

Since launching our data management platforms, we have managed to collect over 1 million first-party data points, with a good distribution across the country. We will seek to aggressively build on this number so that we can launch meaningful marketing campaigns in fiscal year 2021.

Winning at the Maddies 2019