Creating the Buzz In e-commerce: Amudha Ranganathan, director e-comm and special projects, CavinKare India The company, while expanding into personal care, also diversified into food, beverages, dairy, and snacks categories, both in domestic and international markets
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Hailing from a small coastal town of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, CK Ranganathan laid the foundation for CavinKare, with just INR 15,000. After a challenging start, he finally set up Chik India in 1983, the company was rechristened as CavinKare Pvt Ltd in 1998. Inspired by the labor of love, CK Ranganathan's daughter Amudha, from an early age comprehended the nuances of business. Euphoria enveloped when Amudha saw her father receive a prestigious award along with industry veterans such as Azim Premji, Kiran Mazumdar Shah, Priyanka Chopra, among others. "I was fortunate enough to see how my father grew the business. This journey took nearly 15 to 18 years, during which we were able to witness the business's growth step by step," said Amudha Ranganathan, director Ecomm and Special projects CavinKare India.
The company, while expanding into personal care, also diversified into food, beverages, dairy, and snacks categories, both in domestic and international markets. Being at the helm of a legacy business comes with its set of challenges. Amudha and her siblings had to prove their merit and earn their way up to the top positions. "We were told very clearly in the early years that you have to establish yourself, and everything is not going to be easy. I started my journey in Cavinkare as a management trainee. Initially I was put into the sales department, and then I worked in the retail and restaurant space. Soon after, I was willing to do something on my own."
In 2014, Amudha decided to start a play school, "Once I caught on to that, I understood that this is my calling. Then came the opportunity of leading CavinKare educational institutions, after that, there was no looking back. However, for my bread and butter, this wasn't enough and that's how I ventured into e-commerce." She was tasked with leading the e-commerce division for professional care brand Raaga, "Although I had knowledge of marketing and conceptualization, delving into the operational nuances of e-commerce was something I was keen on." Under her leadership, the team was able to grow the business from INR 15 lakh per month to INR 50 lakh in six months. "The growth was huge. Following this, I was responsible for leading the e-commerce vertical of entire Cavinkare."
So is it difficult to introduce changes in the family business? "There are two things my dad always emphasized: family business and business family. In the family business, you prioritize the family ahead of the business. In the business family, it's the other way around – the business takes the front seat. All of us are aligned to this value that we are a business family, wherein we put the organization's interest first- its goals, and its values."
Playing the game right, Amudha is consciously focused on building the traditional brands that are in the e-commerce space. We currently have our team to oversee brands - Buds and Berries, Petterati, and Salon in a Box. In the next three to four years, e-commerce should contribute to 25 per cent of CavinKare's revenue."
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