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ITC targets 18% market share in agarbattis 17 Sep 2014

The Hindu Business Line

With the demand for branded agarbatti (incense sticks) growing at nearly 15 per cent every year, ITC’s agarbatti brand Mangaldeep hopes to garner around 18 per cent share in the next couple of years.

The agarbatti market, which is pegged at Rs.3,500 crore, is highly fragmented with a lot of regional players.

The size of the branded segment would be around Rs.2,500 crore, with 10 brands accounting for 45 per cent of this.

"We command close to 10 per cent share of this market, and have been growing at 30 per cent year-on-year for the past three years," says VM Rajasekharan, CEO (Agarbatti & Matches Business), ITC Ltd.

The Mysore-based Cycle brand, which has been around for over five decades, is clearly the market leader.

However, Rajasekharan says Mangaldeep is the only pan-India player in the industry.

"Thanks to ITC’s marketing muscle, Mangaldeep is available across the length and breadth of the country."

Mangaldeep makes over 600 million sticks a month at over 20 facilities across the country.

Maharashtra is the biggest market for the industry, while for Mangaldeep, Tamil Nadu is the biggest market, followed by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

"We are the market leader in Andhra Pradesh and the National Capital Region," adds VS Thyagarajan, Head of Marketing.

The company has launched a TV commercial, created by RK Swamy BBDO.

"With this, we hope to penetrate the market further in the months to come," he said.

Mangaldeep, in its entire value chain, employs 20,000 people, largely rural women. Besides agarbattis, it also manufactures dhoop sticks, which are popular in the northern markets.

"We are now working on launching a slew of other pooja-room products," said Rajasekharan.

© ITC Limited