Pandemic Prosperity: The Future of F&F in India

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India represents one of the fastest growing markets for the F&F industry, and the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound impact on the industry.

Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has affected every industry, across every touch point in all global markets, the magnitude and legacy of today’s emergency procedures, operations shutdowns and strategy pivots are dependent as much on region as they are on sector. Tech and automation services are keen to proclaim a “new normal” to fuel high demand and innovation spotlight on their products, whilst a radical hands-off digitalization and depersonalization goes against the central supply-and-demand tenets of the hospitality industry for which over-regulation and hyper-sterility would kill off brands and consumer appetite alike.

This interview with Rishabh Kothari, CEO of CKC Fragrances and president of the Fragrances and Flavours Association of India (FAFAI), tackles the future of the industry in the wake of COVID-19, with a special focus on the future marketplace dos and don’ts in India.

Eddie Bulliqi [EB]: Before the virus shutdown, what was the general market health of the F&F industry in India? Which product categories were growing the fastest, and which were receding? 

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Rishabh Kothari [RK]: The F&F industry in India is amongst the fastest growing in the world, moving on the back of growing demand for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products in the country, with the second largest population of the world. With rising standards of living amongst the burgeoning middle class of the country, the per capita consumption of FMCG products is rapidly rising which directly translates into growth of F&F products in the country.

Expanding affluence in India has translated into higher and growing awareness and consumption of personal care and grooming products as well as cleaning and hygiene products. These categories are growing steadily and, given the still low-capita consumption of these products in India compared to the western world, they are likely to continue growing in the foreseeable future. 

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