P&G Has Big Plans for Indian Startups
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India’s startup ecosystem has witnessed disruptive growth in recent times, urging multiple global giants to invest in innovative business ideas with profit potential. The local arm of consumer giant Procter & Gamble has also joined finally joined this race of investment with the launch of its multimillion-dollar ‘Innovation Sourcing Fund.’
Keen on collaborating with Indian startups, small businesses, individuals or large organizations offering innovative industry-leading solutions, P&G has also launched an ingenious program, vGrow, for identifying business ideas across supply chain solutions, raw material innovations, superior brand and marketing solutions for consumers, innovation on packaging, productivity ideas.
“The Indian market that has been at the forefront of innovation in recent years continues to be a priority for the company globally. We are confident that through our initiative ‘vGROW’ and our ‘Innovation Sourcing Fund’, we will be able to identify and implement cutting-edge solutions that are a strategic fit for us on our journey to grow sustainably,” stated Madhusudan Gopalan, MD & CEO, P&G India Sub-Continent.
To push the initiative’s acceptance, P&G hosted a 2-day vGROW External Business Partner Summit in Mumbai to provide suppliers with a platform for pitching their solutions to P&G’s leadership team. Gopalan believes, “Collaboration accelerates Innovation and the biggest wins come when all the stakeholders in the ecosystem work together.”
Operational since 1964, P&G India has never indulged in these kinds of funding activities before. It is the changing market and consumer behaviour that has pushed the giant to consider the idea as they aim to consumers with superior value propositions and continue to positively impact the communities. To further facilitate the birth of innovative solutions via external business partnerships, P&G will soon launch an online platform ‘P&G Hackathon’.
The platform aspires to create a collaborative ecosystem by coming up with innovative solutions via external business partnerships. Startups along with other big and small organizations will be able to pitch their innovative solutions to P&G’s leadership through the medium for securing business opportunities with the company.
P&G in India
India has a plethora of innovative opportunities to offer and P&G seems to have taken the hint. Years after staying restricted to only three entities in the country, the US-based consumer brand is ready to tap the dynamic startup ecosystem. So far, P&G has two listed entities Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Ltd and Gillette India Ltd operating in India along with the privately-owned P&G Home Products Ltd.
The home of popular products like Ariel, Oral-B, Old Spice, Whisper, Pantene and more, P&G enjoys a significant preference in the Indian markets due to its trust-worthy background. The startups associating with the renowned brand can greatly benefit from its expertise and a strong understanding of product development and brand building.
Competitors & More
In recent times, many global giants have ventured into the Indian startup ecosystem by setting up their own venture funds. Consumer product giant Colgate-Palmolive’s Asia Pacific arm picked up a 14% stake in male-grooming start-up Bombay Shaving Company whereas London-based global distiller and brewer, Diageo-owned United Spirits (USL) made its first technology investment in India.
The beverage company invested around $4 million in HipBar, a Bengaluru-based online drinks-ordering and payments platform. British consumer major Unilever made a number of impressive investments in India via its arm Unilever Ventures. It funded Peel-works, a technology startup that provides software solutions to FMCG companies along with water treatment company MORF and dairy firm Hangyo.