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Faber Castell aims to double India growth

The revenue of AW Faber Castell India went up 6.8% touching Rs 180 crore in year ended March 2018 from Rs 169 crore in the previous year.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 25, 2019, 08.10 AM IST
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The company makes stationery in four categories — learn and play, writing and marking for offices, stationery for artists and fine writing.
Goa: Stationery manufacturer Faber Castell said that India will be among the top five markets for the German firm as it looks to double its base in the country in the next five years.

“If we want to double the growth in five years, we should look at an annual growth of 10-15%,” said global CEO Daniel Rogger. “We want to gain market share, but not every cost,” he said.

The revenue of AW Faber Castell India went up 6.8% touching Rs 180 crore in year ended March 2018 from Rs 169 crore in the previous year, even though its losses widened 134% to touch Rs 3.3 crore from Rs 1.4 crore during the period, according to data sourced from RoC by Tofler.

Faber Castell first entered the Indian market 20 years ago as a joint venture company.

However, two years back the German parent took direct control of the Indian arm after running into a dispute with its India joint venture partner and former managing director, Anup Bhaskaran Rana, for alleged cooking of books, diversion of funds, intellectual property violation and misappropriation. It filed a case against Rana in the Bombay High Court seeking damages.

Talking about the losses, Partha Chakrabarti, managing director, AW Faber Castell India, said that they are a reflection of the first 18 of the 20 years that the company has been present in India. The team has put in a lot of effort in the past two years to reorganise the Indian operations, adding that it has made operating profits.

“Now, we are on a growth track,” Rogger said.

Faber Castell’s Indian plant in Goa caters to the global demand for wet paints and crayons. It also produces oil pastels, modelling dough, text liners, and markers which are sold in the domestic market as well as exported. The company said that they are looking to invest in more modern machinery for the plant, without revealing investment details.

The company makes stationery in four categories — learn and play, writing and marking for offices, stationery for artists and fine writing. It is focusing on school children and stationery for artists in India.

(This correspondent was in Goa at the invitation of Faber Castell)

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