CavinKare - The Small 'Big' Company

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTA017
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1988-2004
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : CavinKare
Industry : Cosmetics
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"The fact that we've managed to find and plug gaps in the existing market, the fact that as a company we were able to identify categories much before the established players and launch innovative products has given us our place under the sun."

- C. K. Ranganathan, Managing Director, CavinKare.1


In November 2003, C. K. Ranganathan, Managing director, CavinKare Private Ltd. (CavinKare), was declared the Marketing Professional of the Year in the India Brand Summit-20032. The awards were given for Leadership Excellence to industry captains and organizations for impressive marketing and branding efforts. Pioneers of sachet packing and mass marketing in rural areas, CavinKare, had grown from a Rs.15,000 venture in the 1980s to a Rs.264 crore business in 2003. Could CavinKare become a Nirma and successfully take on a well-entrenched multi-national company like Hindustan Lever? That was the question which analysts pondered over as 2004 drew to a close.

Background Note

C. K. Ranganathan's (Ranganathan) father, Chinni Krishnan had an entrepreneurial streak in him. He had started a small-scale pharmaceutical packaging unit and gone on to manufacture pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.

When his father passed away, Ranganathan was quick to enter the family business. His brother C. K. Rajkumar had been the brain behind Velvette International and the successful launch of Velvette shampoo sachets in the early eighties. However, Ranganathan found the family business environment stifling.

He started Chik India as a small partnership firm. With an investment of Rs. 15,000, Chik India started off by offering a single product, Chik shampoo. Ranganathan took the then shampoo-market by storm, selling his Chik brand of shampoo in 50 paise sachets at a time when other shampoo sachets were selling at Rs. 2. He targeted rural and small town customers who used soaps to wash their hair.

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1] In his interview with Shamni Pande,, 4th February 2002.
2] The Summit was organized in Mumbai by the Business Standard Group of publications in collaboration with the Indira Group of Institutes, Pune.


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