Rakesh Tahiliani

Last 6 six years at Dabur, he worked extensively on hair oils category, against the arch rivals Marico & Bajaj. The journey was full of amazing experiences, learning, wins and yes some losses too. Marico being a king of Oils, Dabur a distant second had to choose its battles very carefully, but aggressively. Game started in 2015-16, Marico was continuously gaining aggressively on its already huge base. For Dabur it was do or die as it was losing share. A strategy was designed on Dabur Oils, that laid out 4 priorities:

  1. Renovation (of existing brands) Renovation of Dabur’s King Dabur Amla to gain back its lost glory to Marico’s pawn Nihar Shanti Amla which had taken the ranks of a Knight in a very short time.
  2. Innovation, Robust NPD funnel to address new consumer needs & to fill gaps to attack Marico’s Rooks & Bishops.
  3. Drive Penetration, by identifying key Brands to drive conversion from unbranded oils.
  4. Gain Market share in existing sub segments.

The strategy was executed with extensive consumer & product researches on Dabur Amla, which led to new insightful campaigns, where on one side the brand communicated product supremacy over other oils (2X stronger hair-key expectation from hair oils) and on the other hand built an emotional bond through various campaigns. The brand started gaining Volume Market Share in 18-20, after a gap of more than 5 years.

From the other side, our pawn, now a Knight ‘Dabur Anmol’ took country’s largest brand head on, and the world noticed. The campaign got picked up by ET & multiple business publications. More over competition took notice and mentioned about our moves in their financial reports. In last 2 years, the brand grew in healthy double digits & gained healthy shares, even during the pandemic when the category collapsed.

During last 4 years, he successfully launched 6 new hair oils Dabur Anmol Jasmine, Vatika Jasmine, Brahmi Amla, Badaam Amla, Dabur Amla Kids & Dabur Amla Aloe Vera. These launches strategically covered all key needgaps of consumer, be it better sensorial but hardworking oils (need identified among youth), light on pocket (requirement of value conscious consumers) & Specialized oil for Kids (building future consumers).

Key Achievements during last 4 years:

Took first 1 year to set up everything, moved our pawns to make way for our Knights, Rooks & Bishops to show their aggression. Every player (each brand, extension, NPD) was crafted well to full fill new consumer needs & take on competition. From second year (2017), the numbers started showing up.

  1. OUTPACED COMPETITION: Dabur Grew faster than the category for consecutive 11 Qtrs., grew fastest among leading players in 9 Qtrs. Gained Volume MS back to back for 2 Years. The battle (Game of chess) still goes on.
  2. Launched 6 new hair oils, that contributed ~5% topline in exit year. Rakesh has recently started a new & a challenging journey of Brand Transformation as Head of Marketing at Baidyanath.

Written by denesof

Rakesh Sreedharan

Rupa Roy