Ambica rues entry of ITC into agarbathies business
P Madhusudhan Reddy Hyderabad: Terming entry of multi-national companies such as ITC in agarbathies...
P Madhusudhan Reddy
Hyderabad: Terming entry of multi-national companies such as ITC in agarbathies business as detrimental to the existence of small players in the segment, Eluru-based Ambica Agarbathies & Aroma Industries is seeking small scale industry status to this segment so that existing small players could survive.
“Aggressive pricing tactics practiced by MNCs such as ITC are pushing several small companies out of business. As they are big conglomerates, they have plenty of funds to spend on capturing market. Small players can’t compete with them”, Ambica Krishna, Chairman and Managing Director, Ambica Agarbathies, told The Hans India. He further said that several representations were submitted to the central government authorities with a request to accord small scale industry status to agarbathies business. “We have submitted these representations on behalf of our industry body. No action has been taken so far,” he said.
Pointing out that ITC has become major competitor in the business now, Ambica Ramachandra Rao, the company’s Executive Director, said competing with such a big company has become major challenge for smaller players. “There is no way we can stop their entry into the unorganized sector like agarbathies. Government should restrict their entry,” he reasoned. According to him, there are over 30 brand companies and numerous smaller players in this segment across the country.
Rao however stated that his company had been registering 15 per cent growth annually despite intense competition in the market. “Our turnover has reached Rs 100 crore last fiscal and we expect to post 15 per cent growth this fiscal too,” he said. Ambica, established in 1946, has over 30 products in its portfolio and is currently market leader in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. “We are the only company in the country, which makes incense sticks using herbals,” he said. On the other challenges faced by the sector, he said labour shortage had become a huge impediment. “At present, over 3,000 people, mostly women, work for us at Eluru in West Godavari district and Rajam in Srikakulam district. We do our work at their homes, but we supply them the required raw materials,” Rao explained.