When Ashni Biyani joined her father Kishore Biyani's business in 2007, she was just out of college. Her colleagues wondered if she was serious about the business. She often overheard chatter about whether she would be around after she got married. It impacted her initially but soon she learnt to ignore it. Over a decade later, Biyani is at the helm of the Rs 3,000 crore Future Consumer Products. "Over time, your work talks beyond gender. I am reaching the place where I am more comfortable," she says. "The consumer environment was far more exciting and kept me going," she adds.
The last year has been action-packed for the 34-year-old. The company made a big-bang entry into dairy by entering into a joint venture with Fonterra. "Dairy is close to our heart as our consumers interact with dairy multiple times a day."
When Biyani started off in 2007, the ambition was to build a few strong private in-store brands. Today, Future Consumer is a full-fledged consumer products company which competes with the likes of HUL, Nestle and P&G. The past one year saw it enter detergents where Biyani decided to look beyond whiteness and stains. "We said gone are the days when we treated clothes as kapda. Now, it is about fashion. So, how do you take care of the garments you love?" That's how Voom, a liquid detergent priced at the price of a powder, was born. It is priced lower than the liquid detergents of HUL and others.
Finding the sweet spot has been easy for Biyani and team because of the strong retail presence. "Customer knowledge, understanding the aspirations of the customer and finding that gap through that lens is what differentiates us today."