Keya Cosmetics Ltd. is one of the most reputed domestic companies in the cosmetics and toiletries industry in Bangladesh. Since its inception in 1996, the company has been able to gain a strong foothold in the country’s cosmetics market from 2000 to 2009. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, in 2010, Keya had a 13% market share in the sector. However, at present, the multinational giant, Unilever, is dominating the Soap & Toiletries market in Bangladesh with about 50% market share. Over the past decade, the company has lagged behind other consumer goods manufacturers in terms of market share due to lack of timely marketing decisions in the business sector, such as not bringing new products, not changing the packaging of existing products, inactive publicity, and promotional activities. Even though the company is constantly trying to increase its presence in the market. In addition to offering attractive discounted Keya products on eCommerce platforms in the country, changes in distribution channels and the rapid introduction of products such as hand sanitizers in the market during the Corona epidemic in 2020 was a positive move.
History of Keya Cosmetics
The company started production of beauty soaps in 1996, the year after Keya Cosmetics started its journey as a sister concern of Khaleq & Co. The company was listed on the stock exchange in 2001. In the same year, they started spinning business and Keya Cotton Mill in 2004, Keya Knit Composite Ltd. in 2005, and Keya Yarn Mills Ltd. in 2008 was established.
At present, the company is operating in 3 divisions:
- Keya Knit Composite Division
- Keya Spinning Mills Division
- Keya Cotton Mills Division
There are three subsidiaries as well:
- Keya Yarn Mills Ltd.
- Keya Agro process Ltd.
- Poly Advertising Ltd
From 2013 to 2020, Keya’s net turnover has increased at an average rate of 18 percent per year. Although the company’s net turnover declined by about 13.4 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year due to the Corona-virus pandemic,, the company was able to generate a profit of more than 230 million BDT in that year. While the company made a loss of around 13 billion BDT in FY 2018-19, it is quite positive that the company has returned to profitability in FY 2019-20.
According to company sources, the reason behind the company’s loss in FY 2018-19 was the sale of wasted raw materials, unusable chemicals, and old stocks at low prices. The company has also been trying for a long time to recover money from several customers but has not been able to do so. As a result, the Board of Directors declared these unpaid dues as Bad Debt Provision. The company’s senior executives claimed that the loss incurred from wasted raw materials, unusable chemicals, the sale of old stock and the declaration of bad debt provisions are part of Keya’s turnaround.
The Comeback of Keya Cosmetics
Keya Cosmetics Ltd, announced 1% cash dividend for the shareholders in FY 2019-20. Besides, the AGM for the last three years was announced in 2020 as the ban was lifted by the court. Keya Cosmetics shares were later upgraded from ‘Z’ category to ‘B’ category. Such success of the company was made possible mainly through the introduction of the brand into several new product markets. From 2016 to 2020, the company has introduced 10 products including dishwash, toilet cleaner, facial and toilet tissue, detergent, talcum powder, handwash, and hand sanitizer. When there was a hand sanitizer crisis in the market during the epidemic in 2020, the company quickly brought its own hand sanitizer.
The company has also made sweeping changes to their supply chain distribution. In 2017, the company had 250 distributors across the country, but now it has grown to 400 and the supply of Keya cosmetics products in the market has increased through these distributors. The demand for the company’s products among customers, new distributors are constantly being included in the Keya supply chain. Also keeping pace with the era, the company has been associated with super shops and e-commerce platforms like Shwapno, Agora and Lavender On these platforms, the company is offering various Keya products to the customers at attractive prices, which is playing a significant role in increasing the overall sales of Keya.
The company has become more robust in their marketing strategy. The company is offering sales commissions and trade offers to retailers to push their products to the market to attract retailers. The company offers retailers higher profit margins than other companies and also offers attractive gifts to retailers if they can sell a certain amount of products. Retailers are more interested in selling Keya Cosmetics products due to maintaining product quality and attractive trade offers.
Furthermore to marketing and distribution, Keya’s promotional activities have also increased. Due to the predominance of foreign advertising on private television, the company is currently pursuing digital advertising in addition to traditional advertising. In today’s digital age, Keya is ensuring their presence in all online marketplaces and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube. Keya Cosmetics’ product advertisements are also being published in several national dailies including Prothom Alo, Kaler Kantho, Bangladesh Pratidin, Banik Barta, and Jugantar. The company has also been promoting its products through billboards and wall paintings in the divisional cities and district towns.
Keya is creating TV ads along with online video commercials. They are moving in a different direction than the competitors in terms of social media promotion. Gaining massive consumer engagement through regular posts, helpful tips, creative content such as dramas, short films, documentaries, songs and various social media campaigns. There are also hotlines for providing information on products or services. Apart from this, Keya has been conducting various events in the schools & colleges regularly. One of the most popular magazine shows in Bangladesh, “Ittadi” has been airing on BTV and BTV World for many years under the patronage of Keya Cosmetics.
Also, Keya Cosmetics is always looking for different social activities or CSR campaigns. The organization conducts social activities like district-wise tree planting activities, relief distribution activities, and financial assistance to the ones in need every year. In addition, the company currently has more than a thousand physically challenged employees.
The Bottm Line
Keya Cosmetics Ltd. had established a strong position in the industry in a relatively short period of time by selling various cosmetic products including Beauty Soap, Coconut Oil, Lip Gel as well as advertisements incorporating captivating jingles. The company may have lost its former position due to some misguided strategies, lack of diversification in the product portfolio, and irregularities in the supply chain; it is slowly regaining its momentum. Keya has already brought diversification to their product portfolio, strengthened the supply chain and increased social media presence. At the same time, the company is trying to attract customers through the country’s e-commerce platforms. If Keya continues their activities, it is hoped that the company will be able to regain a strong position in the market.