FMCG 2025, was hosted by a global supply chain decision-making platform, Locus late last week in Mumbai. The event saw participation from supply chain bigwigs of leading FMCG players like Unilever, Dabur, Tata Starquik, Godrej Consumer Products, PepsiCo India, Nestle, Mondelez, VLCC Personal Care and eminent professors. The event was an opportunity for industry stalwarts to discuss strategies, innovation, and revolutionary technologies in the FMCG supply chain with an industry outlook for 2025.

Mr. Nishith Aggarwal, Director of Customer Development, Route to Market South Asia, Unilever, said, “Omnichannel has promising opportunities in E-commerce given the seemingly viable economics of the model. From the FMCG distribution perspective, while the efficiency of operations has always been intrinsic to model, the key differentiator among players is how effective you are. On being asked about rising competition, Nishith opined, “Competition has always been there in the industry and is good for innovation. The key point is to remain focussed on consumer needs and trends and not get carried away by only competitive response.” Mr. Aggarwal comes with 17 years of experience in Supply Chain and Sales Operations in distributive trade context in leading organizations.

K. Radhakrishna, Co-Founder at Tata Starquik, added, “FMCG companies have innovated in distribution channels that has worked fairly well. What e-commerce has done is empowered the customer, an unparalleled feat."

Krishna Khandelwal, Chief Business Officer, Locus, said, “E-commerce has instilled a sense of fear of missing out in the FMCG fraternity, and all the increased action is helping the ecosystem grow."

Key topics covered were ‘How E-commerce is Disrupting the Consumer Market Space’ focusing on the rise of e-commerce, which has raised questions on the existing operating model of FMCG companies. E-commerce companies have radically shortened the delivery cycle, and even though they are currently about 10% of the market, the growth rate of 24.8% signifies the disruption created in the industry.

Another trend discussed was ‘Rural India - The Future of the FMCG Industry in India’ with the metro markets saturating giving rise to opportunities to tap into high potential and fast-growing semi-urban and rural segments. This panel discussion was addressed by Shivinder Singh, Head, Trade Marketing for Home & Personal Care, and Sales IT at Dabur India and Dr. Harvinder Singh, Chairperson – Marketing Area, IMT Ghaziabad followed by a Q&A session.

Dr. Harvinder Singh said, “Accessibility, awareness, and affordability are the significant elements required to address a rural market, be it for a startup or conglomerate."

Shivinder Singh said, “Kirana stores in rural India will place orders on the app to replenish their inventory; however, this will take at least a decade to function smoothly. Impact of technology to show benefits will require the consumer to move using the app from an awareness generation tool to an order placing mechanism.”

The event saw an amalgamation of business insights led by Krishna Khandelwal, CBO, Locus and a dash of humor added by the special host Shashwat Maheshwari. Locus is all set to organize similar round table conferences for different industry segments.

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