What was the problem you were grappling with?
In 2004-05, we were on the verge of expanding our product portfolio, but [I] was apprehensive because of the high cost of the ingredients in the new categories and stiff competition from MNCs.
Who did you approach for advice and why?
I turned to Kailasan Iyer, my R&D consultant and guru, my go-to person for products, consumer preferences and formulations. The dilemma was whether to compromise on the inputs or hold back from entering the new categories.
What was the advice you received?
He strictly advised me to never compromise on the quality of the product by replacing the best ingredients with moderate alternatives readily available. These compromises might look helpful for the time being, but would be detrimental to establish Joy as a loved and reliable personal care brand.
How effective was it in resolving the problem?
I’ve kept this advice in mind throughout my career. Never ever have I compromised on inputs while developing any product. It might sound a bit clichéd, but I’ve never chased money; my only aim has been to come up with delightful products with a keen eye on quality. The cash registers kept ringing with every successful product. Subsequently, we not only entered the body lotion and face wash categories, but our products helped us compete with the MNCs head-on.
RSH Global is a Kolkata-based FMCG firm
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