The Mysore-based agarbathi to aerospace-diversified conglomerate NR Group, is gearing up to expand its reach globally and explore new geographies with Cycle Pure Agarbathies. The company is already the biggest exporter of agarbathies with sizeable presence in as many as 65 countries.
“We export nearly 12 per cent of our produce and in value terms, it is above Rs 600 crore now. We are now actively looking at new geographies to tap as this (incense sticks) market has evolved in almost 120 countries now. Our main focus is to tap the US and South Asian markets, which are very important and then the North African markets, particularly Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria,” said Arjun Ranga, managing director, Cycle Pure Agarbathies.
According to a recent AC Nelson study, the agarbhathi or incense stick market in India is about Rs 5000 crore and is growing at a CAGR of 10 per cent. The overall incense stick market is evenly (50:50) distributed between organized and unorganized sectors. But the organized sector is moving faster than the unorganized sector. And Cycle Pure Agarbathies is a market leader in the organized sector space with 25 per cent market share. The other leading player in the space is ITC.
Cycle Pure Agarbathies, which has multiple brands under its fold including Cycle, Heritage, Woods, Vasu, Lia, Dasara, Woods and Flute and region-centric brands like Rhythm for Eastern zone, is also focusing on the domestic market to strengthen its position further through various promotional and campaign initiatives.
“We have different campaigns through which we market our products. Engaging influencers and bloggers in our campaigns have given us good response in marketing our products. We also have TVCs for our brands that have ensured our presence in every nook and corner of the country. We have also done retail to retail marketing with our Cycle vans. We also have a popular campaign ‘Pray For India’, which we had initiated during the cricket tournaments. We also associate with cricket tournament in form of 3rd Umpire board and field branding, said Ranga.
He added, “We have now roped in Sourav Ganguly as our brand ambassador for Eastern region. But he has also appeared in our multiple TVCs for brand Rhythm. He has recently launched two variants of Rhythm-Beat and Melody in Kolkata. He was also part of our national campaign, ‘Prathna Ki Shudhta’. We will be doing many more campaigns with Ganguly in near future.”
Former Indian skipper on his parts, said, “My journey with Cycle has been incredible. Their growth in the region reflects their customer centric outlook. The efforts taken by the group to preserve culture and heritage are commendable. I take pride in being associated with the brand. The new Rhythm Beats and Rhythm Melody have a perfect fragrance that will please every Bengali.”
Cycle Pure offers different fragrances like Vanilla, Lavender, Rose, Sandal, Jasmine, Lotus, etc. It is also introducing new fragrances soon in the market. Apart from agarbathies it also has “Specialty Products”, which includes sambrani, dhoop, exclusive pooja kits etc.
Ranga does not think that the business of incense sticks was getting affected by the increasing use of room fresheners and so on, around the year (particularly when there is no religious ceremony).
“Lighting agarbathi is a way of life and hence there's no adverse impact of room fresheners. In fact, we also have a vertical under the brand name of IRIS Aroma Fragrances, that deals with different fragrance delivery systems life diffuser, aromatic candles, room fresheners etc,” said Ranga.