The Right RTM strategy helps gain market share - Chai with CPG Leaders: Pune

by Mehak Jaggi

April 09, 2023 | 08 min read


Newer channels, expanding product portfolios, a growing number of consumption occasions and the emergence of distinct consumer sub-segments have significantly increased the complexity for Indian FMCG companies.

Companies need to be aware of the triggers that help decide when to review their Route-to-Market (RTM). Having the right RTM strategy would help FMCG businesses gain market share.

This is the notion that drove the conversation during Bizom’s first Chai with CPG Leaders meet of 2023 at Pune. We saw prominent leaders like- D S Sachdeva- CEO of WeiKFiELD Foods Private Limited, Bimalendu Tarafdar- Head of Marketing at WeiKFiELD Foods Private Limited, Chandan Polekar- CEO of Adinath Agro Processed Foods Private Limited, Abhishek Bhogaonkar- Head of Sales at Adinath Agro Processed Foods Private Limited, Aurko Bhattacharya- Co-Founder at ePayLater, Prashant Kurhade- CIO at Pravin Masalewale, Ganesh Joshi- Associate Vice President | CIO at Nilons Enterprises Private Limited, Sunil Jain- CTO at AgroStar, Manish Gupta- VP Marketing at AgroStar, Alok Jain- APAC Product Lead at Syngenta, Indranil Ain- Leading APAC Digital Product Strategy at Syngenta.

The fourth chapter of  Chai with CPG Leaders Meet which commenced at the “the Queen of Deccan” – Pune, was such an insightful session on the best ways to drive growth and RTM innovations.

The roundtable discussion started at 06:00 PM where everyone shared their views on the topic ‘How to balance growth and RTM innovations to be future-ready.’ 

Post the discussion at 8 pm, leaders joined us for a dinner buffet with cocktails where everyone shared their industry experiences. Some spoke about new age trends in innovating their RTM operations, whereas some talked about challenges faced to cater to customers in the market through automation.

Leaders shared their viewpoints as follows:

Chandan Polekar, CEO of Adinath Agro Processed Foods Pvt. Ltd. said embarking on a digitalization journey can bring about benefits such as discipline and monitoring of operational activities, as well as a decrease in the involvement of wholesalers.

D S SACHDEVA, the CEO of WeiKFiELD Foods Pvt Ltd, predicts that in the future, being prepared for automation will involve a focus on data analysis, including extensive data crunching and delving deeply into analytics.

Ganesh Joshi, CIO of Nilons Enterprises Pvt Ltd, emphasizes that Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC) will be a disruptor in India.
He also suggests addressing the challenges of the multiband FMCG Distributor community. Every manufacturer needs data to add to their own system, which leads to duplication of work, parallel systems and unreliable data source.

Optical Character and Image recognition could resolve such issues to get the unstructured data. Implementation of a unified HSN code for the entire country could aid in overcoming a few challenges to have structured data.

Manish G., from AgroStar, recommends an incentivized system for brands to obtain territory data beyond the limitations of distributors, to effectively address the challenges of automation.

By building a stronger bridge of trust with retailers, this solution can facilitate a confident and mutually beneficial exchange of information between stakeholders, ultimately leading to more effective and efficient operations.

To tackle the challenges of automation, one potential approach according to Indranil Ain from Syngenta involves granting distributors greater autonomy in their service while ensuring adherence to company policies regarding pricing, trade promotions, and other relevant aspects.

Prashant Kurhade believes that the Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC) will disrupt the Retail Trade Management (RTM) landscape in a positive way, providing brands with a smoother and more efficient means of obtaining territory data.

Sunil Jain, the CTO at AgroStar believes that real-time information on trade promotion offers is a significant challenge in the agriculture industry, as it can hinder brands from capitalizing on sales opportunities. An omnichannel approach, he believes, can provide a bird’s eye view and offer solutions to this issue.

In today’s market, it is crucial to reach out directly to end consumers, such as farmers, to place orders and guide them to the nearest retailers, according to Alok Jain from Syngenta. This approach can help brands connect with their consumers, learn more about their buying behaviours, and improve engagement.

Bimalendu Tarafdar, from WeiKFiELD Foods Pvt Ltd believes creating brand love and loyalty by understanding consumer behaviour is crucial in today’s competitive market. Building a niche market and ensuring the timely availability of products is key.

Chandan Polekar, Manish G., Prashant Kurhade and Ganesh Joshi agree that exploring the potential of AI-ML for cost optimization, supply chain management, nudging indent generation, and predictive sales analytics will help stay ahead of the distribution game.

Aurko Bhattacharya, Co-Founder ePayLater believes with the use of deferred payment solutions brands can gain greater visibility of secondary data as well as the ability to directly push schemes to retailers without the need for distributor involvement.

Chai with CPG Leaders at Pune was a massive success. Our goal was to bring together eminent figureheads in retail under one roof to discuss the multi-layered channel structure to effectively reach out to the market.

Bizom is planning for more such Meets with CPG leaders in the coming months. Check Chai with CPG Leaders page for the details of our next Meet. For any queries, write to

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