According to a report in PTI: “With Reynolds, we had certain territorial restrictions and we were allowed to operate only in India and other SAARC countries. We thought it was high time that we become a global player than a regional or country-based player,” Joint Managing Director, GM Pens International, Indrakumar Mahendran said .
“All our Indian competitors are global players. We being in the leadership position felt it was the right time to do it and the only way to do it was with our own brand,” he added.
The Chennai-based company, which has been associated with Reynolds for over two decades, said it has stopped manufacturing Reynolds pens since January this year.
“Reynolds gave us the option that we do both the brands — Reynolds and Rorito, but we thought we will grow Rorito in a strong way. Reynolds is still talking to us to do one or two stock keeping units (SKU) to keep the brand alive but we haven’t taken a decision yet,” he said.
GM Pens International has 130 SKUs under the Rorito brand has launched 90 per cent of the products so far, with the initial launch in January this year and plans to roll out the other products by end of this month.
The company sells around 27 lakh pens per day, with the range starting from Rs 5- Rs 400 and close to 80 per cent of the volumes are from the Rs 5-10 categories.
“The main objective when we launched Rorito was to match Reynolds volume which we have done and we have exceeded our expectations. The volumes are more than last year, if we compare year on year,” Mahendran said.
GM Pens International plans to scale up its manufacturing capacity to 38 lakh units per day in the next 18 months from the current level of 30 lakh units per day.
It is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore from the domestic market for this year and expects to break even by end of the year. Of the Rs 3,000-3400 crore writing instruments market that is growing at 7-9 per cent, GM pens enjoys a market share of 17.5-18 per cent.
The company will be exporting its Rorito pens to Middle East and Africa initially. It has invested Rs 35-40 crore in brand building exercise and Mahendran said cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar who used to endorse Reynolds will be endorsing Rorito.
The company is also looking to be a stationery of products and might look at having basic calculators and biometric machines. It is also re-branding its 35 retail outlets as Writesite Rorito from Writesite. Two of the stores are franchise owned while the rest is owned by the company.
“In Writesite also we had restrictions in having only Reynolds branded pens but hereafter, it will have premium pens as well like Waterman, Sheaffer,” he said.
The company is also planning to enter the premium pen segment and will be launching a brand soon which will priced from Rs 2,000 – Rs 5,000, Mahendran said without divulging other details.