NEW DELHI: Faber-Castell is a name most children grow up with. As one of the leading manufacturers of wood-cased pencils with a varied range of products for writing, drawing, and creative design, as well as decorative cosmetics, it also found Covid2019 challenges and is now changing its strategy.
Faber-Castell marketing director Sonali Shah says, “When the country was in complete lockdown, schools were shut, stores were shut, we were completely shut. But we saw a lot of latent demand coming from e-commerce. And when stores started opening, we saw that a lot of people started putting their attention towards DIY (do it yourself) products and art which helped us gain demand for our products.”
Self isolation, work from home and study from home options led to a growth in demand for art and other stationery supplies. Faber-Castell tied up with Swiggy Genie to make stationery available at the doorstep for its consumers.
“Demand for products including highlighters, text liners, which are generally used for office purposes, now because of digitisation, people actually want to do hands-on things. Our art business has grown by 300 per cent over last year and we have recently launched our liquid paint. Art is divided into dry medium and liquid medium. Dry medium products include crayons and coloured pencils and liquid medium is acrylic paints, fabric paints, poster colours and watercolour. Our liquid paint business has grown by 84 per cent,” she shares.
Faber-Castell had restrained from any overt advertising during the pandemic. “I thought it's quite insensitive for us to do it. But what we continue doing is putting up tutorials on different techniques that people can use to do art and crafts and DIY techniques and how they can spend their time at home. So, that was something that we had done during the lockdown. Now that things are opening up, we will probably look at launching eco-friendly products, make in India products because that’s the need of the hour. So, we are launching our paper pencil and eco pencil. For now, we have taken a conscious call to not do any overt advertising as such, but we will try and put as much content out there to help people get through this tough time,” she shares.
With the thrust being given to Make in India products and eco-friendly items, Faber-Castell will refocus its attention and fast-track its product developments to meet the demand.