Brands like CHIK, Meera, and Karthika, ring a sense of ‘desi’-ness and nostalgia to consumers. These products have served a few generations!
SINCE ITS INCEPTION, the FMCG conglomerate, CavinKare(CK) has grown manifold. With its humble beginnings as a shampoo maker, CK has now diversified over most categories in the industry, with its presence in dairy, beverages, food, professional care and salons businesses.
Strategy, structure and people have been the success mantra of CavinKare. The company’s relentless focus on market research, product development, and innovation paved the way for such a flourishing growth. All the products go through several rounds of testing for quality, reliability and usability. CavinKare has established several new-business-creation groups, whose res
ources and management are separated from the core business. It continuously invests a considerable amount in foundational consumer research to discover additional opportunities for innovation.
Ranganathan’s business, birthed in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, with an initial revenue of a measly Rs 15,000, has now morphed into a Rs 1450 crore mammoth. His first entrepreneurial ABC’s were taught by his father, late R Chinni Krishnan, who started a small-scale pharmaceutical packaging unit, before moving on to manufacturing pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.
CHIK shampoo – the flagship brandOne of the hallmarks of Ranganathan’s successful entrepreneurial journey has been his ‘thinking-on-his-feet’ decision-making skills. The brand CHIK got its name from the first letters of his father’s name. CHIK shampoo, with its different variants, continues to be CavinKare’s flagship brand and accounted for sales of a staggering Rs 300 crore nearly a fifth of the company’s current turnover .
The sachet concept
The origin of the concept of sachets was triggered by Ranganathan’s father. He felt that liquid can be packed in sachets as well. When talcum powder was sold only in tin containers, he was the one who sold it in 100 gm, 50 gm, and 20 gm packs. The reason behind the ‘sachet concept’ was simple- to make it affordable to the weakest sections of the society, to teach hygiene and sanitation. He believed that “whatever a rich man can enjoy, a poor man should afford.”
Touted as a small ‘desi’ company, CavinKare has given the multinationals of the FMCG world a run for their money. Its products are now available in several countries including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia and Singapore. The company has two overseas subsidiaries -CavinKare Bangladesh
Private Limited and CavinKare Lanka Private Limited. With around 4000 people under its employ, over 2000 of them are in their salon chains. The company has pioneered the concept of ‘Family Salons’ in India with its brands Limelite and Green Trends. These divisions have a clear-cut focus on providing personal styling and beauty solutions to everyone in the family.
Under the conglomerate…
CavinKare now owns more than 15 brands such as CHIK, Nyle, Meera and Karthika for hair care, Indica for hair colour. They have Spinz and Fairever for skin care. The name Cavin’s is exclusively for the dairy and other derived products which constitute milk, curd, paneer, ghee, milk shakes, lassi and buttermilk. In foods,
CavinKare has the Garden brand which produces a variety of snacks ranging from potato chips, tasty nuts, moong dal, rasagulla, soanpapdi, chiwda and at least 15 more varieties. CavinKare also makes pickles under the brand Ruchi, peanut candy under the brand Chinni, Dosa batter under Hema’s. Maa and Chillout are CavinKare’s fruit drink brands, and CoCoMa is their brand under which tender-coconut water is packed and served.
Ranganathan’s awe-inspiring ‘go-getter’ attitude, coupled with his relentless pursuit of quality and delivery, has made CavinKare a cherished and respected brand today. True to his motto, Ranganathan has proved his mettle to be a ‘job-creator ‘and not a mere ‘job-seeker’.