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Qualities of a True FMCG Business

FMCG is one of the most desirable & strongest business. This is because these are businesses that are driven by brands, they have pricing power, end demand is resilient & sticky and profitability & return ratios are strong.

But we believe that all FMCG businesses are not alike and cannot be painted with the same brush. There are two important qualities that we believe are needed for a business to be truly termed as an FMCG business-

Some of the FMCG categories like pulses, flour, edible oils, milk and most staples for that matter don’t augur well in the above two qualities.

These products are bought as a commodity and sold as a commodity without substantial value addition (except for primary processing) and are bought & sold in same measure of unit.

This reflects in the end profitability & returns that some edible oil and staples companies generate-

And the reasons why the profitability & return ratios are lower is because-

1. If you are selling a commodity derived from a commodity (without much value addition or differentiation), then there is surely going to be a lot of unbranded products in that category, simply because it is easier to produce the product.

2. If the end consumer is buying something in terms of quantities (kgs, liters), they are informed & conscious about the price per kg or liter that they are paying and with easy availability of unbranded products, it becomes very difficult to charge a premium for the product, over & above the underlying cost of commodity itself.

Thus, FMCG companies operating in these categories do not have that strong a business model as they do not have that kind of pricing power that normally one would expect from an FMCG company.

The only good aspect about these categories is that the end market is quite huge as these are daily essentials and there is a lot of room for an organized player to grow due to large share of end market still being driven by unbranded & unorganized players


The above framework was a part of our research report on a recent stock initiation wherein the company is transitioning from this inferior FMCG business to a true FMCG business, resulting in improved growth and profitability.

If you are interested in more such actionable research, do consider Surge’s Membership. We have a lot of interesting ideas that we have recently added, that you can consider for your portfolio.

Also, do sign-up on our website using the Sign-up option at the bottom of this page, we have something exciting coming up only for our registered readers.

Link to our previous blog-


Surge Capital is a trade/brand name used by Ankush Agrawal (Individual SEBI Registered Research Analyst INH000008941) to provide equity research services in the Indian Equity Markets.

“Registration granted by SEBI, and certification from NISM in no way guarantee performance of the Research Analyst or provide any assurance of returns to investors”

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