Indian gateway: Blackmores outlines offline retail, local team expansion plans after e-commerce entry
The ASX-listed company announced its launch into India on the last day of September, with Amazon India as its first online entry point and Primarc Pecan as its local e-commerce distribution partner.
Four product SKUs are currently offered to the Indian market, surrounding needs across bone, joint, heart health, immunity, and eye health.
“Blackmores has been engaging Amazon India for the last couple of years. While Amazon is our first online entry point, we are expanding to more platforms and currently selling on three more marketplaces, including Flipkart, PayTm, and Healthkart.” Yaser Siddiqui, Blackmores Business Manager, India, said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the popularity of e-pharmacies and Blackmores is also taking the chance to sell its products via 1 MG, Net Meds, and PharmEasy.
The company said that its entry into India was not just about product launches, with the firm setting up its local subsidiary Blackmores India and exploring offline retail. In India, general trade channels, especially the mum-and-pop stores, contribute 95 per cent of all dietary supplement sales across the country.
“We have partnered with a leading Indian distributor for online distribution while exploring strategic tie-ups with key Indian retailers, as well as a route-to-market for the independent pharmacies across India,” Siddiqui said.
In fact, the company is considering India as a “talent pool for global expansion”, as it sees much capability in India that could be used to support entry into neighbouring markets.
Blackmores also operates in 12 other markets across Asia-Pacific. Other markets on its expansion radar include Philippines and Vietnam, which will build on growth led by Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia in the Southeast Asia region.
Exploring local ingredients
There are plans to launch products using Indian native ingredients and products tailored to the Indian market, Siddiqui revealed.
At the moment, the four products sold in India are Shine Power D3 for supporting healthy immune system, Blue Light Defence for promoting eye macula and retina health, Glucosogreen 1500 for joint health, and CoQ10 150mg for supporting the cardiovascular system.
“Sixty per cent of India’s population is under 35 and they are increasingly moving towards a healthier lifestyle not just for themselves but also for their family.
“They are becoming more proactive, researching ingredients and not to forget, are digital natives…The Indian consumer is looking for a product with high-quality ingredients, is efficacious, and safe.
“Our products such as Shine Power D3 or Blue Light Defence are already well-received by the Indian consumers,” he said.
Fellow Australia heritage brand Swisse has also entered into India via e-commerce last March.