Ashish Kapoor Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle

A PLAYBOOK TO THRIVE

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Ashish Kapoor is the Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) Bangladesh. He is a business leader and has spent his entire career at PVM and continues to guide the business to ever-greater growth and profitability with his eyes set on long-term vision. Over the course of his 22 years career at Perfetti Van Melle, Ashish Kapoor started as a Management Trainee and worked in different functions of the organisation like marketing, operations and sales, and has climbed the ladder to the top through perseverance and hard work. In our conversation with Ashish Kapoor, he talks about the journey so far, the confectionery market in Bangladesh, and the future vision of PVM.


 

You have been with Perfetti Van Melle for more than 22 years. Could you please share the story of your illustrious career path?

I started as a Management Trainee in the sales vertical with Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) India and then performed various stints across geographies in sales. I then performed a stint on the consumer side in marketing and then took a leap on the operations side of the business where I worked closely with projects and technical teams on setting up a new manufacturing unit in India. I then moved back to sales and post a couple of regional roles, took charge of the overall PVM India sales vertical, and during this stint, led the team to a transformation on the route to market and ways of working to be a future ready sales organisation. We were able to increase our direct reach by 50%, expanding both in urban & rural markets and implementing sales force automation to bring in efficiencies and controls in the sales force productivity and work hygiene. In early 2021, I took up the assignment with Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh as the Managing Director.

It has been a journey full of learnings, challenges and important value addition to business, people and to self. Throughout my career, I have believed that people are the most important factor of success in an organisation, and hence, equally important is the aspect of transparency with your teams and being direct in communication both in good and tough times. I have always focused on developing an engaged, energetic team within the organisation to create a culture of competency, and development of internal resources to take over future senior roles.

Ashish Kapoor, Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) Bangladesh standing in front of a Centerfruit poster
Ashish Kapoor
Managing Director
Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) Bangladesh

 

In April 2021, you became the Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd. What is your observation on the overall confectionery market scenario in Bangladesh?

We, as PVM BD, are the market leaders in the confectionery segment of Bangladesh and have been holding on to this position for over a decade now. Our endeavour has been to bring high-quality standards and product experiences to the consumers of Bangladesh. The confectionery market has been growing at 10% post the peak pandemic times and we have been keeping pace with this growth rate maintaining our value shares at above 49%. In line with our business strategy, we are bringing in new products, introducing different variants of existing brands, and ensuring the highest distribution reach to our consumers.

With the current inflation trends, Bangladesh is witnessing price hikes across the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segments, and confectionery is bound to follow that path. It is very important to maintain quality standards and also innovate to introduce new product formats for experiences to the consumer. To balance the need for price upgrades at the consumer level, as well as the ease of transactions at the retail level, we have just implemented our new price strategy of ‘2 for BDT 5’ for our mono products. Also, to be true to our efforts in providing new product experiences, we have introduced ‘Alpenliebe Eclairs’ as our entry into the eclairs segment.

 


Perfetti Van Melle is a global leader and our teams are specialised in the process of manufacturing and commercialising sugar confectionery brands to cater to local consumer needs. We strive to pleasantly surprise our consumers with new products that will help them enjoy ‘moments of indulgence’ in their lives.


 

As the MD of PVM Bangladesh, how are you ensuring that the company is able to adapt to the rapidly changing market? Could you elaborate on the process involved and the challenges faced during this transformation?

The changing times have taught all of us new ways of working on both the professional and personal front. During the last 2 years, consumer consumption occasions, purchase behaviour and several other such aspects have seen a transition. But I am glad to say that we have been successful in establishing a strong position in the confectionery market and it was important to rethink our strategy for the next leap. We, as a team got together, did a thorough SWOT analysis for us as an organisation, and identified the development areas. It was across the work domains – sustainability elements, operations, brand strategy, go-to-market strategy, people engagement & development.

We put together projects and formed cross-functional teams with clear project owners, and clear landmarks and matrices to evaluate the progress. We also conducted some pilots to test our hypotheses. The key element in all of this was to communicate to our people the need to change and transform, and make them believe in the change and the success it will bring to us as an individual and as an organisation.

In order to ensure operational excellence in the factory, we have taken up different projects focusing on line output enhancement and improving efficiencies on the energy front. Safety is an utmost important part of our operations. We have taken significant measures in the processes and our way of work to ensure the safety of our employees starting from the head office to the shop floors to the field teams. We branded our efforts under the umbrella of ‘Shongjog – Let’s Connect & Change.’ We wanted the team to be part of identifying the need to change, what to change, when to change and how to change. The team decided how the success will look like and measured it against the goals set. We also worked on many automation and Information Technology (IT) interventions across commercial and operational functions. We laid down a road map for our sustainability interventions which is also one of the key pillars of our global blueprint.

 

Ashish Kapoor Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) Bangladesh sitting at his desk in front of confectionery products made by PVM Bangladesh

 

What new products are you planning on launching in the Bangladeshi market?

PVM in Bangladesh is already present across all segments of sugar confectionery. We have pioneered many of the categories and have brought our global innovations to this market, such as liquid-filled gums with Centerfruit and Centerfresh, jelly format with Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly and Chupa Chups, centre-filled candies with Alpenliebe Creamfills and chewy candy formats with Mentos & Softees. Recently, we have introduced a globally popular format, ‘paint your tongue’ under the Chupa Chups brand.  Our latest launch is ‘Alpenliebe Eclairs,’ a rich experience of caramel and chocolate in the toffee and eclairs segment. In terms of packaging format and price points, we have been the trendsetters across multiple categories. We are the first ones to introduce lollipops in visually attractive flow-packs and consumer-friendly rolls for Mentos – with a unique concept of multi-flavour offering in a single pack with our Mentos ‘Rainbow’ roll.

Innovation is the strength of PVM worldwide and we have plans of introducing an array of many more innovative formats in the coming months in the Bangladeshi market.

Could you elaborate on the initiatives taken by PVM to ensure that its operations are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible?

PVM values and passionately cares about its consumers and customers, its people, and the environment. Some of the main areas where we have been working on are reducing carbon dioxide emissions, reducing water consumption, managing solid waste disposal and being socially responsible.

To reduce CO2 emissions, in PVM BD we have invested and commissioned a new gas generator recently. We are also investing in a heat recovery system which should be up and running by the end of the year. There are many other initiatives that we have taken and several new ones are being worked upon towards the goal of CO2 emission reductions.

PVM has also been working toward the key aspects of Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (3R) in terms of water consumption. To reduce water consumption, we have already committed to investments in our effluent treatment plant and our 3R execution roadmap.

To manage solid waste disposal, we have processes in place to be compliant and work only with government-approved co-processing units. Furthermore, as socially responsible corporates, we make significant donations to schools, organize medical camps and provide iftar for underprivileged children during Ramadan in the adjacent area of the factory.

What is your vision regarding PVM Bangladesh’s growth in market share?

Our Vision is to ‘sustainably lead across confectionery in Bangladesh.’ Apart from being the market leader we also believe in driving our agenda on sustainability and people development.

Perfetti Van Melle is a global leader and our teams are specialised in the process of manufacturing and commercialising sugar confectionery brands to cater to local consumer needs. We strive to pleasantly surprise our consumers with new products that will help them enjoy ‘moments of indulgence’ in their lives.

In line with our global tagline, ‘Innovative Treats, Better Future,’ research and development play an important strategic role. Our global and local teams are constantly researching new formulations and technological or qualitative improvements to existing products. We maintain the highest standards of product quality and safety and continue to build a robust pipeline to bring in new product formats or price points to enhance the consumer experience.

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Ashish Kapoor Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle

A PLAYBOOK TO THRIVE

Ashish Kapoor is the Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) Bangladesh. He is a business leader and has spent his entire career at PVM

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