‘We are seeing early signs of rural revival’

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018


Dabur India’s CFO on how market sentiments are improving

New Delhi, December 29Dabur India Chief Financial Officer Lalit Malik said the industry has started witnessing some early signs of rural revival which will get accelerated in the next few quarters. Excerpts:

Do you think the FMCG industry has now successfully navigated through the challenges that arose out of the implementation of GST? Are there any issues related to GST that still need to be resolved ?

At a broad level, the challenges of GST implementation are behind us. As an organisation, Dabur was completely prepared for the GST roll-out. We had completed the groundwork, including amendments in our IT infrastructure to ensure a seamless transition, ahead of the actual roll-out. We had also conducted extensive training sessions for all our business associates across regions and geographies prior to the roll-out.

That said, a few areas like introduction of E-Way Bill, GST returns, refund of area-based exemptions and credit for transit inventory, will require some more time for stabilisation. Early resolution of these will help businesses function smoothly under the new GST regime. The issue around differential of area-based exemptions is one matter that needs to be addressed quickly.

Rural demand has been one of the key challenges for the past two years for the industry. Do you believe steady rural growth is back?

We are already seeing early signs of rural revival. We do expect this to accelerate over the next four to five quarters. Given the low base last year due to disruptions following fiscal reforms like demonetisation and GST, the growth rate in 2018 will be better, particularly in view of the fiscal stability and improved consumer sentiments now.

At Dabur, we have continuously invested in enhancing our distribution footprint and building our rural infrastructure to reap the benefit of positive rural sentiments.

Have trends like the growth of Ayurveda and herbal products reached an inflection point?

The growing demand for Ayurvedic and herbal products will grow in the year ahead. With more and more consumers embracing the natural way of life, demand for Ayurvedic and herbal products will grow at a strong pace.

Dabur has always believed in the benefit of Ayurveda and has been spreading the goodness among our consumers in India with a range of Ayurvedic products.

Going forward too, we will continue to introduce a range of products based on Ayurveda.

Published on December 29, 2017

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