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How this Indore brand follows the scent of success

By Mohit Manghani | September 16, 2019

Anshul Agrawal, Director, Zed Black - MDPH, shares with Retail4Growth, how the Indore based company has grown over the years, driven by strong retail visibility, packaging and understanding of the local market.

Anshul Agrawal, Director, Zed Black - MDPHMysore Deep Perfumery House (MDPH) was started in 1992 as a household agarbatti packaging unit in Indore. Today some of the company’s brands, like the agarbathi brand Zed Black, has become a well-known name in the FMCG segment of the country.

MDPH has a wide range of quality products in the agarbatti, dhoopbatti, edible oils, packaged tea, mosquito coils, natural hair colour, soya chunks and other categories. The company’s flagship brand, Zed Black Agarbathi, is amongst the top 3 brands in its category in India. Anshul Agrawal, Director, Zed Black - MDPH, shares with Retail4Growth, how the Indore based company has grown over the years, driven by strong retail visibility, packaging and understanding of the local market.  Zed Black - MDPHPresented below are excerpts from the conversation.

Can you take us through your company’s journey over the years, how you established yourself and expanded?

My father Prakash Agrawal, along with his brothers, started MDPH in 1992 in the garage of our house with the family’s female members looking after the production and labour. The company rolled out its first brand ‘PurabPaschim Uttar Daskshin’ to cater to local taste and preference.

In the year 2000 we launched the product ‘Zed Black Premium Incense Sticks’. Riding on premium quality and innovation in packaging, design and perfume, Zed Black became an instant hit and created demand from across India. Slowly the logo of ‘Zed Black’ became a trademark for the company and hence its identity. MDPH established its first depot in Kanpur in 2002. By 2009 the company diversified into other ‘Pooja’ related products such as ‘dhoopbatti’, ‘sambrani’ and ‘hawan samagri’, etc.

The company started its 2nd plant in Indore in 2010. Zed Black made its first export to Mauritius in 2012. In 2014 the company launched the Zed Black 3 in1 agarbatti pack and enrolled Bollywood actress Bhagyashree as its brand Ambassador.

Riding high on the success of the 3-in-1 pack, Zed Black became one of the top 3 agarbatti brands in India by 2015. In 2017, the company appointed M.S Dhoni as the brand ambassador for Zed Black. Also MDPH started its first international office in Kathmandu in 2017 and the second in New York in 2018.

Also, in the past few years, MDPH has emerged as a FMCG group and established its own brands in other categories. These include names like ‘Bronut’ in edible oils, ‘Sigma’ (mosquito coils), ‘Kangana’ in (Henna/mehandi cones), ‘Neer’ CTC tea, ‘Coach’ soya chunks and ‘Din Din’ candies.

Today MDPH has 4 manufacturing units with a cumulative area of more than 6.5 lakh sq ft. MDPH makes 1200+ products that are now exported to 29 countries. MDPH has a network of 36 company owned depots, 3200+ distributors in India and provides direct employment to over 2,000 people. More than 75% of MDPH’s workforce includes unskilled female workers. MDPH sells more than 15 lakh retail packs daily in India.

Can you tell us about your presence in Indore? How many business units you have outside Indore?

MDPH’s head office and 4 manufacturing units with a cumulative area of more than 60,400 sq m (6,50,000 sq ft) are located at Indore. At the national level, MDPH has 36 depots with 3,200 distributors and over 7,50,000 retail outlets.

You operate in a category where national brands have presence. Given this, what is your brand's USP to break the competitive clutter?

Like I said, we manufacture and export a wide range of products. The USP of all the products of MDPH group is the quality. We never compromise on the ingredients. Our other strengths are the strong network and the wide range of innovative perfumes.

Read the full interview in Point-of-Purchase September 2019 Edition.

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