The growing Indian market has been attracting the global players in the cleaning industry to expand their operations in the country. Over the last few years, more and more international companies have been establishing their offices in India. SCA Group, which has been present in India through suppliers and distributors, has established SCA Hygiene Products India Pvt Ltd to oversee its India operations. Catarina Wickstrom, Vice President of Market & Product Support for SCA-MEIA (Middle East, India and Africa) talks about SCA’s India plans, in a conversation with Managing Editor Mohana M.
There is a need to emphasis the importance of hygiene and provide with a cost effective product, best suited to the customers’ requirement
– Catarina Wickstrom
How has the experience been in setting up operations in India in the last one year?
SCA has maintained its presence in India over the years through its export division operating out of Europe. But this is the first time we have taken the initiative to establish a direct office in India for our AFH business. The Mumbai office will be the centre for expansion in the country.
Diversey has been the sole distributor for Tork in India and we will continue to work with them. We will build up a distribution network and supply both products and services. My role is to support the build up of away-from-home tissues, Tork, and support the local Indian SCA Tork team. We are looking forward to expand Tork in India.
What will be the market strategy?
SCA is a global leader in consumer tissue and Away-From-Home (AFH) tissue. In the AFH product segment, encompassing hospitals, large workplaces, restaurants and hotels, SCA develops and markets complete hygiene solutions comprising dispensers, tissue, soaps and services. Tork is a premium and leading brand and we aim is to promote the brand for its premium quality and innovations.
The distributor model will be effective to efficiently cover the vast Indian market. The operations will be built from Mumbai and the sales team will later expand to other Tier-I cities. The full range of products that include the washroom assortments – paper towels, toilet rolls, facial tissues, soaps, and tissue rolls used for cleaning – will be made available. At the heart of the product range would be the functional, easy to use, Tork dispensers.
In the initial phase we are focussing on the hospitality segment but there are many opportunities in other segments; one of them being the potential of the industrial sanitation requirement which we can meet through the industrial range. To expand into the market, we are looking forward to participating in the Clean India Show with a full range of our products.
We look at ourselves as hygiene providers and aim to teach the Indian market on the core of hand hygiene. It is important to not only wash the hands but also to dry them properly. It is said that wet hands carry more bacteria than dry hands. Proper hand washing and drying is more important in terms of collective health of the family. Improper hand washing may lead to transfer of germs and infections from external factors. Further, these infections can lead to diseases and loss of productive hours, an important issue for companies. There is a need to emphasis the importance of hygiene and provide with a cost effective product, best suited to the customers’ requirement.
Our products are in the top range with respect to quality. The total cost in use is an important parameter and cost of the product comes down significantly with extended use, as good quality products need not be used in the same quantity as the very cheap or poor quality products. It is also to the system as such, which helps to control the consumption. It is all about offering the best products to the customers for a longer use.
How does SCA global look at India?
SCA is the number one in the European market in AFH tissue segment and shares the global number one position. Majority of the operations are concentrated in the US and European markets, which are experiencing lower growth and stagnation. The developing and emerging markets are showing potential. To be a global leader, it is necessary to be a part of this growth. We at SCA see India as a very important market in the AFH segment; hence the very reason to set up operations here.
As the entry to the Indian market is new, it is too soon to determine what kind of product range will be the biggest draw here. Availability of a limited range will allow in gauging the customer requirements. Personally, I feel that the washroom range, with its variants in hand towel system, including dispensers, will be well received. We have a range for industrial workshops as well that will be slowly introduced into the Indian market.
We look forward to learn more and be part of the Indian market.
SCA participation in Clean India Pulire 2013
We are looking forward to the Show, where we will be showcasing the entire range of products. There is also a possibility of a few surprises.