THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Soaps (an FMCG manufacturing unit of the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises) is all out to make a mark in the market with its new products - washing powders, transparent/liquid soaps and economically affordable soaps (mainly targeting the labour force). Crossing Rs 10 crore net profit and riding on a profit of Rs 1.25 crore in the third year of its revamp, Kerala Soaps has evolved dynamic strategies to scale heights in the soap industry. “With eight brands already in the market, we are planning to introduce washing powders, transparent and liquid soaps in the next financial year. An economic Rs 10 soap, especially targeting labour force, will be introduced in the market from next month onwards,” KSIE Managing Director Febi Varghese said.
Apart from this, he said that Kerala Soaps is planning to bring to the market a new high end brand - Viceroy Soaps - in memory of the establishment of Kerala Soaps and Oils ltd 100 years ago. “This will be a premium product with added perfumes. We are working on it and would be available in the market at the earliest,” he said. With online marketing growing rapidly, the FMCG is launching online marketing from where the customers can buy products less than the MRP. The products will be delivered at the doorsteps. “The modalities are being worked out. The courier services will be used for delivery products once online buying is made,” he said.
Noting that Kerala Soaps has risen like a phoenix, KSIE chairman M C Mayin Haji noted that the company had registered a turnover of Rs 10 crore and the present profit stood at Rs 1.25 crore. In 2011-12, the turnover was Rs 3 crore and in 2012-13, it was Rs 4 crore.
Both Haji and Varghese opined that Kerala Soaps that was started from the ashes has now become a profit making unit and that their efforts were paid off at last. However, Varghese said that they were nowhere near the multinational companies in advertisements. But they said that the USP of Kerala Soaps is its quality. “We ensure the quality of raw material and also use only natural sandal wood oil that has added to the USP,” they noted. The premium soaps like Kerala Sandal, ‘Thrill’ introduced into the market have created a new sensation in the minds of the people. The Kerala sandal soap contains virgin sandal oil and is recommended as beauty soap. VEP Bathing Bar, Kairali Bathing Bar, Kerala Carbolic Soap bar (Coaltar) and “Washwell” detergent cake are leading Kerala Soap products. With regard to targeting regional and international market, Varghese said that they had a good market in the Southern states and also in the Middle East. “We also have presence in Japan. The packaging quality is being improved to meet international standards. We see that the quality is maintained so that our soaps are well received,” he said. He also noted that the retail market in the state was strong with the products available at all the Civil Supplies and major retail chain outlets.
Kerala Soaps was a revamped unit of Kerala Soaps and Oils Ltd, which was shut down after many years of its operations. Established in 1914, the Kerala Soaps and Oils Ltd was taken over by the state government in 1964. But labour unrest and other issues led to a lock-out in 2002. The KSIE, which was well aware of the potential of the relevant market, took steps to review the company in 2010 with a capital of Rs 7.04 crore.
Products at your doorsteps
With online marketing growing rapidly, the FMCG is launching online marketing from where the customers can buy products less than the Maximum Retail Price. The products will be delivered at the doorsteps.