Domestic sales from e-commerce in Q1 of this fiscal has seen a YoY growth of 153 pc

On the verge of ‘Tata Tea Premium’ is Launching their new campaign ‘Desh Ka Kulhad’, President of Tata Consumer Products Limited’s Packaged Beverages for India and South Asia, Puneet Das had an exclusive interaction.

Here are the excerpts:

Q: What intrigues Tata Tea Premium to initiate the ‘Desh Ka Kulhad’ campaign?
A: ‘Tata Tea Premium – Desh Ki Chai’ is focused on evoking regional pride through its state customized packaging that captures symbols of pride of each state and communication rooted in regional insights. As an earnest gesture to lend support to the Indian Artisan community, Tata Tea Premium celebrates this Independence Day by bringing out a unique #DeshKaKulhad collection in partnership with Rare Planet – a startup that promotes the work of local Indian artisans. The proceeds of the sale of these exquisite hand-painted Kulhads will help to lend support to the artisan community that has been severely impacted by the current times.

These exclusive hand-painted Kulhads (earthen cups) with regional art forms depict various arts, themes and monuments that are the pride of a particular region in India. Each Kulhad serves as a beautiful canvas to showcase India’s diverse culture and heritage using particular style’s of art from each region, like Kalamkari, Gond, Madhubani, Tanjore Painting etc., displaying state’s landmarks, history, festivals, and culture. The proceeds of the sale will help in generating livelihood for the Indian craftsmen who are severely impacted during the pandemic.

Q: Do you think the campaign will take the brand’s social commitment endeavours forward?
A: Yes, the campaign takes forward the brand social commitment forward by helping in demand generation for the artisan community. Tata Tea Premium efforts are towards state-specific packs and distinct blends catering to different regions. This initiative allows us to proudly showcase and celebrate India’s Rich diversity and pay homage to elements of pride of some regions viz the diverse art forms.

Q: Why have you preferred Independence Day to roll out this campaign? Will you go for another campaign during the Durga Puja?
A: As ‘Desh Ki Chai’ we wanted to launch the #DeshKaKulhad initiative on Independence Day to show our support for Indian artisans and also evoke national pride towards diverse regional art forms.

Q: You earlier have customised your festival tea packs with Jamini Roy illustrations. What kind of responses you had to that?
A: The packaging change for Jamini Roy illustrations was for our other national brand Tata Tea Gold which is one of the most loved Tea brands in West Bengal. Tata Tea Gold is the leading tea brand in West Bengal, and the brand will be celebrating Puja with something interesting closer to the festivities.

Q: Pandemic has affected physical connectivity to the extreme. Had you ever felt that connecting virtually is somehow impacting B2C connectivity to a huge extent?
A: While pandemic had initially impacted physical connectivity due to lockdown across markets, we have managed to ensure supply to markets and have ramped up our sales and distribution network reaching many more pockets of the country.

Q: E-commerce platforms are evolving daily due to pandemics. How is TCPL’s Beverage division coping up with the shifting scenario?
A: Digital adoption has accelerated during the pandemic and e-commerce has seen significant growth due to this. We have strengthened our e-commerce capability and our Ecommerce contribution to sales has also seen significant growth for us in the last year. We are also exploring the Direct2Consumer (D2C) channel, and have recently launched a few of our premium brands through this model like Sonnets by Tata Coffee and 1868 by Tata Tea and Eight O Clock Coffee. Our strategy will be to continue investing in our brands, strengthen the portfolio with variants and expand distribution footprint. We will continue to closely observe consumer sentiments and strategize keeping in mind the trends playing out in the market.

Q: How much growth you had experienced in your online sales? Will you please share the online and offline sales ratio during these tough times?
A: To capitalise on the increased adoption of digital by consumers, we strengthened our e-commerce capabilities. For the Company overall, contribution to domestic sales from e-commerce in Q1 FY 21-‘22 was 7.5 per cent. This is an increase of 153 per cent YoY.

Q: Has pandemic affected your turnover? How much revenue are you anticipating with your new campaign?
A: Though there was disruption due to COVID, as our products fall under the essentials category, we continued to see steady demand. In Q1 FY 2021-22, the India Beverages business recorded revenue growth of 24 per cent with 3 per cent volume growth. The pandemic has also led to an acceleration of certain trends, like an increasing consumer focus on health and wellness and since our product portfolio has always had a focus on this aspect, we were well-positioned to meet these needs. In Tea, we launched Tata Tea Tulsi, Tetley Immune and Tata Tea Gold Care in line with a heightened consumer focus on wellness. Tulsi Tea, Tata Tea Veda particularly saw a good pick up in recent times.

Q: What are the next expansion frontiers for Tata Tea Premium? Do you have any other special promotional strategies for Bengal in near future?
A: Tata Tea Premium Hyperlocal campaign has been launched in Maharashtra and Mumbai, where we have just released our new films. We continue to support our core markets with our state-specific insight-based campaigns and our ideas around celebrating regional pride. For Tata Tea Premium in West Bengal now, we will continue to celebrate the beautiful cultural heritage that the state exemplifies like in this campaign we have created a special Kulhad dedicated to West Bengal’s Patua art depicting colourful traditional figures and giving people a chance to own a piece of something truly Indian and support the local artisans and celebrate their work.

-By Atanu Roy