Walk into any hardware store on Mumbai’s crowded Andheri-Kurla Road and you will be greeted by huge cans of Fevicol adhesive, smaller packs of
M-Seal precariously perched on top of each other and rolls of Steelgrip insulated tape usually lying stacked in a corner. Hansraj Gupta’s Satyam Plywood & Veneer is no different, except that he has a larger store than most and an unusually extensive basket of Pidilite products to offer — apart from various size packs of the original synthetic resin adhesive, the white-painted shelves prominently display other products such as Fevicol SpeedX, SR 998, Terminator and Woodgrip.
“We sell close to 1 tonne of Pidilite products every month, which is about a third of our monthly sales. If I had more space, I would stock all of its products,” says Gupta. Stroll a little further down the road and Sankalp Stationers is equally happy with Pidilite products. Store owner Pravin Kumar says customers don’t want other brands even if they are priced lower. “They ask for Fevistick glue and Rangeela paints by name,” he points out.
Since its inception over 50 years ago, Pidilite’s Fevicol has become synonymous with glue: Fevicol for all-purpose adhesive, Fevistick for paper glue and Fevikwik for instant, one-drop adhesive (see: A finger in each pie). So much so, that the brand even made it to the lyrics of a Bollywood ‘item’ song last year. But then, Pidilite has worked hard at becoming ubiquitous. Its brand is available at over 1 million retail outlets across the country, serviced by one of the most extensive distribution networks — 4,000 dealers, 26 depots and 20 manufacturing plants.
A finger in each pie
Pidilite has an offering for every consumer segment — from craft to carpentry
That ubiquity reflects in the numbers as well. In the past decade, Pidilite’s revenue has climbed from ₹765 crore in FY04 to ₹3,615 crore in FY13, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19%. Net profit over the same period has grown at 25%, from ₹61 crore in FY04 to ₹461 crore