Transformation Time
ET Polymers|October - November 2020
The year 2019-2020 has been exciting as it was a transformation year for the company, and it ventured into the journey from just being a single channel to multichannel brand, says Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director, Tupperware India
Niranjan Mudholkar

Would you say the Covid-19 outbreak has been the biggest leadership challenge for you? Why?

Leadership is a huge responsibility, as the organisation and its people entrust their future in your hands and believe in your capability to safeguard their interest. This role evolves and poses new challenge each day.

Covid-19 has changed the way the world works and has made some fundamental and strategic shifts for businesses to survive and thrive in a new normal. Few months of lockdown were full of challenges as for any other corporate player, but at Tupperware, we believe that every challenge comes with a silver lining which opens doors for new opportunities. The evolving consumer demands emanating from this changing scenario are in sync with the ethos and values of our brand as millions of people are still spending ‘More Time at Home’. We redefined our priorities and adopted digital solutions to stay connected with the world as one big family separated by distance but united by our spirit of positivity and hope. From launch of initiatives like social selling, to home delivery services, to extending support to store managers, to extending support to our employees, the brand left no stone unturned in standing tall with all its stakeholders. We also adopted new ways to engage with existing and potential customers and stead strongly in tough times across platforms.

How did it (Covid-19) impact the overall Tupperware India business and operations? What have been the key learnings?

Covid-19 impacted businesses across the world but rising to the occasion with an appropriate response was need of the hour. Amid the Covid-19 crisis, we at Tupperware invested time, effort, and resources in revitalising the business operations to suit the external eco-system in line with government guidelines. We refashioned our work approach for the direct sellers, retailers, and distributor’s network via strategic digital shift; offered related trainings and tech-enabled solutions for them to transition smoothly through this demanding and dynamic phase. Also, as the external ecosystem became conducive post-Covid, Tupperware went all out to reinstate its retail operations. Unlike many businesses which reduced/retracted retail presence, Tupperware launched new exclusive brand stores across 10 cities, with national count of Tupperware outlets reaching a figure of 64. To keep the momentum going, Tupperware plans to add 100 additional new brand outlets within 2020.

In terms of business growth and revenue, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit us all, for the calendar year 2020 we were achieving and average growth rate of around 15 percent in Q1 2020, till March. The months of April 2020 and May 2020 were definitely the most challenging months as the external environment was extremely unsettling and unpredictable, but with the improving situation, we are expecting a 10 percent growth for the year 2020. Direct Selling continues to be the major contributor and the core channel for the company with 80 percent revenues coming from it. E-tail and retail contributes to about 12 percent and 8 percent respectively. To accelerate business, a multi-channel marketing festival, TupperFest was strategically launched in August as the demand for dry storage and preparation range went up by 30 percent. Brand is confident of a continuous uptick in the consumption pattern since the newly debuted audience will shop more to experiment, and upscale their newfound cooking talents in future as well.

To manage the surge in orders and timely delivery of products, Tupperware recently partnered with Swiggy Genie and Dunzo to home deliver products to the consumers from stores across 32 markets. As the modern Indian consumer is looking for connected solutions and instant gratification, Tupperware’s presence across retail, e-tail and direct selling further strengthens a consumer’s loyalty towards the brand.

What is your overall manufacturing capacity in India and how much of it are you utilizing at present?

This year, Tupperware India is looking to sell over four million units across 400 SKUs in categories like dry storage, bottles and lunch/tiffin boxes. The company exports to around 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. Backed by a workforce of around 600 people, the company has a 10-million unit per annum (installed capacity) modern manufacturing facility at Dehradun, Uttarakhand, which is also one of the global manufacturing hubs for the group.

How was the previous fiscal (2019-2020) for Tupperware? What kind of numbers are you expecting for the ongoing financial year?

The year 2019-2020 was exciting for all of us at Tupperware India as it was a transformation year for the company, and we ventured into our journey from just being a single channel to multi-channel brand. The impact of hard work is visible now and we are positive to see the real benefits of it in coming years. This year we were looking at growing 20 percent; but owing to Covid-19, we revisited our targets and are expecting 10 percent growth for the year 2020.

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