Eveready Industries India plugs in ‘Ultima’ to power up premium play

Busines Standard - Kolkata- September 28, 2023

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Eveready battery manufacturing

Suvamoy Saha, managing director of Eveready, pointed out that in India, device penetration was low and battery usage traditional

With a focus on premiumisation, the country's largest dry cell battery maker, Eveready Industries India, is pushing 'Ultima' as a sub-brand to power the segment.

The three billion batteries market is largely skewed in favour of carbon zinc batteries. But Eveready is anticipating an increase in the penetration of modern devices and focusing on high-performance alkaline batteries.

On Thursday, Eveready launched an improved Ultima alkaline battery range with a 400 per cent longer-lasting claim and the Ultima Pro having an 800 per cent longer-lasting claim. The target is high-drain applications such as toys, video games, smart remotes, wireless keyboards, trimmers, and medical equipment that need more power.

Suvamoy Saha, managing director of Eveready, pointed out that in India, device penetration was low and battery usage traditional.

Most households would have just a flashlight, wall clock, and remote control. Alkaline hence was an emerging segment, at about 6 per cent of the market in volume.

Alkaline accounted for about 4-5 per cent of Eveready's battery volume. But it was a fast-growing segment due to its small base and was expected to increase to 10 per cent of the company's battery volume in 3-4 years.

On the improved Ultima alkaline battery range, Anirban Banerjee, senior vice president & SBU head - batteries & flashlights at Eveready, said that it was a pre-emptive step to set premiumisation in motion.

Device penetration, he believed, would increase over the decade. So, the idea was to take a position. And Ultima would be developed as the premium range for batteries.

"The master brand (Eveready) needs to have sub-brand straddles. And one of the meaningful sub-brand straddles is for powerful enhanced technologies to come under Ultima, which is our best foot forward," Banerjee said.

Sukesh Nayak, chief creative officer at Ogilvy India, explained that it would be a journey where Eveready Ultima was the start. "Ultima from the house of Eveready will be the end result of it. That's the journey we have to take."

Eveready also released a television commercial campaign highlighting how children learn important life lessons through non-stop play with battery-powered toys. The campaign has been conceptualised by Ogilvy.

Batteries account for about 62 per cent of Eveready's turnover at present. Saha said, in three years, batteries would come down to 50 per cent because it was a mature market. The growth areas would be lighting and flashlights.

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