May 24, 2018

Kuber goes licensing way for diversification

Started off in 1989 with tobacco products, Kuber has carved a unique niche in national and international markets like Middle East, Gulf Countries, while foraying into a couple of FMCG product categories. Growing at 40 per cent y-o-y, and eying at a revenue of 200 crores by end of 2018, the brand is gradually looking to...

By Gargi

Started off in 1989 with tobacco products, Kuber has carved a unique niche in national and international markets like Middle East, Gulf Countries, while foraying into a couple of FMCG product categories. Growing at 40 per cent y-o-y, and eying at a revenue of 200 crores by end of 2018, the brand is gradually looking to tap newer categories through brand licensing, shared Ritesh Jain, Director, Kuber Group.

Talk to us about the journey of Kuber so far.
The brand started off in 1989 under the leadership of Late Mr. Moolchand Malu with Kuber Khaini. Around 2003, we added snacks to our portfolio, and from there begin the product diversification. In 2007, we forayed into incense sticks. The next year say our foray into spices and chips, followed by tea in 2013 and the list goes on.

When we talk about FMCG products, we are present in 16 states with one or two major distributers in each state. In case of tobacco products, we enjoy a pan India presence. In south India, we have comparatively less presence except Andhra Pradesh and Telangana reason being the markets of south India are very different and we want to do our studies before going there full throttle.

What made you adapt brand licensing into your business model?
Exploring newer markets or getting visibility was not the case with us, but it was the vision of late Mr. Malu to have an entire range of products under the brand name. Setting up manufacturing units for each of the categories is practically not possible, hence we thought of brand licensing as the most viable option. This will help us keep a better control on qualities.

What categories are you looking to foray into through licensing?
Talking about categories, we are focusing on adding more FMCG products under the brand name, starting with mineral water. Further we are also exploring options for retail chains, restaurants. We have already open Kuber Guestline Hotel in Rajasthan and within the same premises we have Kuber Palace restaurant. We want to replicate the model across India. We are already in talks to foray into wines and lounge business. However, mineral water is our prime focus as of now.

But how will you address the perception Kuber is generally associated with Tobacco products. 
But from last 10 years we are on a diversification spree so people do associate with other FMCG products as well. If one goes into Malaysian markets, people think of our brand Kuber as an incense sticks brands rather than a tobacco brand.

By 2018, we will be entering into FMCG products in a major way, thus expecting a turnover of Rs. 200 crore plus. Last year, we cloaked a turnover of 180 crores last year.

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