Says, Gaurav Aggarwal, Director with Lasons India Pvt Ltd. One Life is a child of Lasons India Pvt Ltd. Lasons India Private Limited traces its roots back to 1979.
Gaurav Aggarwal in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Health technology.in…
Please tell us about One Life. Its concept and uniqueness.
One life India is a nutraceutical company which operates across India. It has market positions in nutrition, wellness & beauty products, sports nutrition, vitamin and mineral premixes with herbal infusions. One life India products are sold or distributed across India.
One life India is being known for innovating and producing fine quality nutritional supplements. Our ongoing mission is to provide consumers with top-quality, innovative, science-based nutritional supplements to support their total health and well-being. We endeavor to create a scenario that is free from suffering caused due to malnutrition and improper food habits in our communities and daily lives. We seek to leverage the gifts of nature and make holistic lifestyle changes to improve our wellbeing and our planet. All products have been thoroughly researched by our R & D department. We have a team of experts dedicated exclusively to research.
Certificates that we have are as mentioned – HALAL, GMP, FSSAI,
Product Information.- To help retailers and consumers understand how dietary supplements work, we provide a team of nutritional experts to answer technical questions by phone (-), mail, and e-mail (-).
Our attention to detail from manufacturing through distribution has enabled us to set, maintain, and continually raise the high standard for quality nutritional supplements, education, and service.
How has the private label biz changed in the last decade? What trends do you see?
There was a time, going back at least 70 years, when all it took to be successful in business was to make a product of good quality. If you offered good coffee, whiskey or beer, people would come to your shop and buy it. And as long as you made sure that your product quality was superior to the competition, you were pretty much set. Well into the 1970s, a savvy consumer could distinguish between high-quality and shabby products quite easily.
And yet, as much as we like to complain about what we buy, it remains a fact that we live in a golden age for quality products. Today, it is much rarer to find cars that consistently break down or kiddie pools that leak. Nevertheless, the companies that were category leader in the early days often still are today. Some represent the “foundational brands,” the companies that in the 1950s and 1960s epitomized the kind of smart marketing that is now ubiquitous. And the reason they have survived the test of time comes down to the discipline of marketing and branding.
The standardization of quality products forced companies to find new ways to distinguish themselves
In the 1950s and 1960s, brands like Tide, Kraft and Lipton excelled in marketing activities, setting the benchmarks for all brands today. This marked the start of almost 50 years of marketing where “winning” was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and getting the total “brand mix” right. The brand mix is more than the logo, or the price of a product. It’s also the packaging, the promotions, and the advertising, all of which is guided by precisely worded positioning statements.
A brand is the contract between a company and consumers. A bundle of contracts, in fact and the consumer is the judge and the jury. If he or she believes a company is in breach of that contract either by underperforming or misbehaving, the consumer will simply choose to enter a contract with another brand.
Just 20 years ago, most retailers did not even have a proper marketing department.
Companies are implementing increasingly sophisticated and aggressive approaches with their private brands to help boost margin and profits, build overall brand equity, defend themselves from competitors and fill gaps that manufacturer brands are not filling. Overall, these new strategies appear to be working, especially in these recessionary times as consumers are becoming more open to retailer brands and less attitudinally loyal to brands that don’t continually meet their needs. In order to understand where private brands can or should go next, it is useful to study the evolution of private brands through a consumer need-state lens.
What hurdles and challenges do private label companies face and how do you think they compare to those of national brands? Are there myths you have to overcome?
As an alternative to playing the discount game and further eroding margins, many retailers have found tremendous success with private label products. By offering innovative goods at a reasonable cost, retailers have successfully distinguished their brands and helped engender consumer loyalty. This is a sound strategy, but it can easily backfire if the supply chain infrastructure is not in place to support it.
For starters, the private label business is more complicated than branded. If you look at just new product introductions (NPI). Each new product has its own set of unique challenges. At the start it requires a lot of effort to ensure existing SKUs run out across all facilities before the new label is positioned. All of this places pressure on our supply chain. As the number of SKUs increases, our supply chain becomes very complex. The bottom line is that efficient and effective supply chain operations are even more important for private label manufacturers–larger product portfolios, exponentially more new product introductions, continuous production changeovers, inventory that is dedicated to a single customer or channel, and less control over promotional schedules. This is no small feat. First is a solid process-oriented team to methodically control the flow of information and ensure we meet our targets. The second is to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Private label manufacturers tend to be quick, nimble, creative, and constantly looking to cost effectively build their customers’ brands. Supply chain’s role is to enable this entrepreneurial spirit, and put efficient and effective processes around it.
With a significantly higher level of SKU proliferation, labels, and NPIs combined with less control, we have to determine each customer’s unique needs and serve them effectively as demand changes in relation to promotional activities. Likewise, volume can dip significantly when a national brand is on promotion which will impact our replenishment orders and the timing of future production.
Is there a role for differentiation or innovation by private label companies?
There is a role for private label companies to differentiate and facilitate innovation. We do it by staying abreast of the most up to date science on ingredients and the availability of those ingredients. Then it is up to us to determine in which products or a combination of products would the consumer be best served by using these ingredients. More and more stores feature their private label as the premier lines in their store. This means that if we introduce an innovative product it will sell well, regardless of what the national brands sell or what is popular in the marketplace.
What value do you find in being part of industry quality standards programs?
Being part of industry quality standards can offer a set of powerful business and marketing tools for organization. You can use them to fine-tune your performance and manage the risks while operating in more efficient and sustainable ways. They’ll allow you to demonstrate the quality of what you do to your customers; and they help you to see how to embed best practice into your organization.It helps keep us abreast of the best science in the industry and helps us network with some of the most conscientious and innovative minds in the industry. It allows us to work with members from all parts of the industry including raw material suppliers, manufacturers, researchers and retailers. Each group brings a different expertise and perspective that we learn a lot from.
How’s the market reaction in India with the manufactured Vitamins.
The popularity and growth of this industry can be attributed to consumers’ increased inclination towards health and nutrition. Over the past decade, there has been a radical change in lifestyles of Indians. Adoption of fast foods and packaged foods and sedentary lifestyle, has led to an increase in the incidences of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. As a result, Indian consumers, predominantly the higher socio-economic and upper middle class, are perceiving nutraceuticals as alternatives to prescription drugs. The usage of dietary supplements is not limited to fulfillment of the daily requirement of particular required nutrients, but consumers are also considering the functional health benefits of these supplements for prevention of diseases. Furthermore, they have been showing a keen interest in products for boosting energy and improving their physical endurance and mental alertness.
How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your core values.
Organization’s core values can be attained through quality control, the policy statements that are designed stating the core values of the organization should be visible and understandable to all staff, suppliers and customers of the organization, also through proper internal controls, where a check is provided to ensure that what is required in the documents is what is actually undertaken