Do you bear in mind your favourite place in class? I bear in mind mine clearly.
It was a small stationery store close to the playground. I paid for it each day to see coloured pencils, erasers, diaries and colours, lots of which had been imported.
As we speak, the Indian market is spoiled for alternative with regards to shopping for stationery merchandise with the entry of worldwide manufacturers and the presence of home gamers. Visiting a stationery store is like getting into a sweet store, this part stays extremely disorganized.
Few previous nation stationery manufacturers have managed to keep up their glory standing. That is largely because of their lack of ability to maintain tempo with the instances, each when it comes to design, product vary and innovation, which places them in the established order of backbenchers.
One outstation model that has managed to carry its personal on this extremely fragmented market, giving sleepless nights to extra outstanding stationery gamers within the nation, is DOMS. In simply over a decade, the Umburgo-based model has unfold its wings throughout the nation, rising at a CAGR of over 20 per cent since 2013.
With the pandemic growing the demand for reminiscence and faculty stationery, the corporate is assured of reaching a income of Rs 1,000 crore in FY2023, a progress of 60 per cent over the pre-Covid ranges of FY20. That is vital when one considers that Camlin Kokuyu, Hindustan Pencils and Domes’ greatest home competitor, earns near Rs 500 in income, in accordance with Toffler.
Whereas Hindustan Pencil gross sales figures couldn’t be estimated because of paucity of information, Camlin’s product sales figures for FY22 stood at Rs 548 crore, in accordance with Ace Fairness. As compared, the product sales of DOMS stood at round Rs 700 crore for a similar interval.
DOMS began its journey in 1975 as RR Industries in Gujarat. Its founders, the late Rasikbhai Ravesia and the late Mansukhlal Rajni, established it as a small pencil manufacturing firm in Gujarat, which served as the unique gear for the massive residence stationery manufacturers of the time. The present avatar of the model was launched by Rasikbhai’s son Santosh in 2008.
“My father believed that for the following era to remain invested within the enterprise, we should always begin one thing of our personal – our personal model. He even began engaged on it in 2001 however died in a street accident in 2002. I used to be simply 24 at the moment and it took me a while to know the ropes of the enterprise,” remembers Santosh Ravesia, managing director, DOMS.
Santosh launched DOMS with simply three product lines- Pencil, Eraser and Sharpener. To check the waters, the corporate first launched its merchandise in Karnataka, which in accordance with his father was probably the most difficult market to crack because of the prevailing model loyalty and consciousness.
“He at all times mentioned that one ought to begin with the hardest market as a result of if one succeeds there, success is assured elsewhere,” reminds Santosh. Senior Ravesia’s prediction got here true.
After gaining acceptance within the South, DOMS in the present day expanded its presence to its largest markets, North and West India. Whereas 35 per cent of its gross sales come from the north, 25 per cent comes from the west, whereas the south and east contribute 20 per cent. As we speak, with over 4,500 channel companions and over 10,000 retail factors, the model has firmly established itself within the Indian stationery market.
Nonetheless this journey was not straightforward.
“I’m working DOMS like a start-up – apart from the negatives usually related to them. Our focus has been on the product and its pricing – nothing will be accomplished if the product fails (if the product fails, nothing will be accomplished). On account of restricted funds, we by no means spent some huge cash on advertising or promoting. We simply needed to create a product that at all times has one thing totally different from our friends,” says Santosh.
The corporate primarily centered on gross sales, R&D and folks administration. It employed a robust salesperson who constructed its pan-India gross sales technique and later constructed its personal staff. “The gross sales community we established on the time was unconventional and forward of its time, however apparently, it’s one thing that multinationals do in the present day.”
R&D continues to be an essential a part of the corporate and that is the place the majority of the funding goes. As well as, to regulate world developments, DOMS fashioned a partnership in 2012 with FILA, an Italian large manufacturing writing devices and advantageous arts enterprise. “It actually helped develop DOMS into the evolutionary model it’s in the present day,” he says.
Nonetheless, the most important problem for DOMS was constructing buyer loyalty in a market dominated by long-standing manufacturers. “Even a penny to spend on advertising in the identical enterprise with them was the most important problem for us,” claims Santosh.
One of many issues that labored for the corporate was being totally built-in backward. For instance, within the case of the pencil, it inherits every little thing from wooden to result in paint internally. Most merchandise are constructed from scratch, making the corporate cost-efficient and self-sustaining.
“For instance, the nibs of felt pens are made in-house, as are the ink and covers—every little thing is made in-house. We needed to be economical with out compromising on high quality. Plus, we needed to make income, some huge The veterans don’t suppose a lot,” says Santosh.
One other problem was the shortage of transparency in commerce because of extreme wholesale commerce and product infiltration. In these days, corporations weren’t very cautious about how their distribution networks labored.
DOMS needed to alter this and be sure that its complete distribution base maintained full transparency with one another. “All our channel members are related as members of the family. It ensures that no product intrusion takes place from one state to a different or from one area to a different. That is essential for any model that’s getting established,” says Santosh.
However can anybody make sure? “It’s like nurturing your youngsters. It doesn’t occur in a day and there are exceptions, but when even 70 per cent to 80 per cent comply with them, our job is completed,” says Santosh.
DOMS can be getting into the – section by introducing new product verticals and diversifying the prevailing ones. Nonetheless, in a value-conscious financial system like India, the place folks usually select a model in accordance with their picture—low-cost or costly—isn’t the presence of each segments hindering model loyalty?
“Till we give worth for cash to customers, nothing else issues. It’s not likely a couple of product within the financial system or – section; It’s about whether or not the buyer is getting worth for the cash he’s spending. In truth, all our merchandise within the – section are doing very properly, and the first motive is that these days mother and father wish to give the very best to their youngsters.”
Additionally, Santosh is conscious of the ever-changing shopper habits and agrees that the scenario that DOMS has created might be tough to maintain. “Through the years, we’ve got invested closely in product growth and R&D. in the present day additionally; We don’t market ourselves quite a bit and spend quite a bit on advertising. We’re additionally bringing our new set of staff according to this precept. That is the one manner we will keep related sooner or later as a result of we all know will probably be very tough because the market continues to develop. However we’re already ready to face any powerful problem.”
Subsequent yr is DOMS interest and advantageous artwork merchandise, writing devices and subsequent yr there’s an Experimental Cafe in Mumbai. From a model that places its product earlier than the rest, the longer term definitely seems to be shiny.