Consumer Products & Retail Consulting

With its vast population, India is siginificantly influencing the world's consumption of consumer packaged goods. The middle class is steadily increasing, and this has a huge impact on the consumer market and industries. Consumption has gone up and will continue to do so. It is thus necessary for companies to learn how to segment and keep up with the demands and needs of all brackets of customers.

India, with over a billion people, a rapidly expanding middle class and great, unrealised growth potential, remains an enigmatic albeit complex consumer market. Indian consumers live in different decades concurrently, necessitating careful micro-segmentation, of even adjacent regional markets. Facing a young population that is increasingly technology savvy, consumer product companies need to constantly adapt their products and distribution channels to reach their customers.

India is currently witnessing exceptional growth in the retail segment, which will further gain traction with the relaxation of FDI norms. UC has assisted leading FMCGs, and MNCs across India and the Middle East to explore this retail opportunity.

Leading consumer products companies turn to UC to enhance their strategic and business performance, and increase their shareholder value. We combine deep industry knowledge with rigorous analysis to provide our clients with the insights required to make confident, fact-based decisions amid market uncertainty. Our clients benefit from the depth and breadth of UC's industry expertise across all segments of the marketplace.

UC has serviced a marquee list of clients in the retail sector, offering diverse services like market entry strategies, profitability optimisation, organisation restructuring, M&A advisory etc. Within the retail and consumer goods segment we have worked across sub-segments like apparel, luxury and lifestyle, watches, household products, food and beverages, restaurant chains etc.

Practice Areas

  • In the competitive marketplace, brands turn to Universal Consulting to primarily increase their market share. UC has a good experience in defining and implementing the growth strategy for many international players in India. We define optimal channels and evaluate potential partners to create the market position in India
  • UC defined a growth strategy in India for a US based global leader in non-athletic footwear, helping it capitalise on its existing brands and launch new brands in the Indian market. We conducted in-depth primary research across five locations in India and developed an overall strategy including a business model, brand portfolio, customer segmentation, and a strategic road map for each brand and sales targets for the next 3 years
  • An international sporting goods company was evaluating potential partners to distribute their range of products (sunglasses, prescription eyewear, apparel, watches, footwear and other sports accessories) in India. UC created industry profiles containing market size, growth, trends, duty structures, channel margins, positioning of key players and other information for the clients' product range. As a result of our work, the client was able to chart their entry in India
  • One of the oldest and largest fashion designers in India was looking for further growth by leveraging on the brand equity it had built over the years. UC provided the client with target segments for specific products and customers and identified attractive markets for domestic expansion along with a specific retail format. We also short-listed potential international markets along with the formulation of an entry strategy, target customer segments and a retail format for these markets.

  • UC has provided consulting to food & beverage companies across a variety of categories through the value chain. We play an important role in helping food & beverage manufacturers to improve their operational efficiencies, facilitate storage, design strategic programs, optimise their sales and pioneer new markets and positions
  • One of Indias largest spirits makers wanted improvement in operational efficiencies, thus minimising handling wastages and debottlenecking material movement with benchmarked practices of material storage and retrieval systems. UC defined a material movement path to minimise TAT (turnaround time) and facilitate systematic storage and stacking, created a process flow for directing vehicle traffic through the plant, and developed a financial model to quantify the benefits resulting from savings in manpower and reduction in handling wastage
  • Also, one of the largest producers and distributors of fresh yeast, bakery ingredients, flavors and seasoning was targeting a growth of USD 100 million over the next 5 years in India. UC conducted extensive analysis to provide the client a clear view of the bakery and allied market segments in terms of market size of key segments and growth potential, food consumption trends amongst end-consumers, key success factors and competitive landscape across segments
  • An investor in a premium natural mineral water company wanted the company to improve its sales, market penetration, and build better brand recognition across customer segments. UC created an in-depth implementation plan to market the brand by providing the marketing strategy including the brand image, target segment, pricing and distribution plan, and also provided a better understanding of the international market through exhaustive case studies.

  • The jewellery industry is under severe pressure due to the volatility in gold prices, and more recently, due to the import curbs put in place by the government. In addition to this, the competitive intensity through the industry remains high due to lower priced options at local stores. Weak consumer sentiment, weighed down by slowing economic conditions, has led to a drop in demand for jewellery. UC assists gems & jewellery manufacturers identify growth opportunities and niches to expand into to maintain profitability, create the right product-customer mix and optimise their supply chain operations
  • One of the market leaders in gold and diamond jewellery business in India needed a professionally drafted business plan for its new startup venture in the retail segment and required UC to develop an in-depth market assessment and sizing of the same. We conducted extensive primary and secondary research to identify attractive locations based on consumer behaviour and disposable incomes, identified the target segments and determined the consumer profile, prescribed location evaluation criteria and a rollout plan for the retail stores, and formulated a business model including the breakeven and payback period for the venture
  • One of the oldest and most reputed jewellery houses in Mumbai wanted to launch a luxury silverware brand and turned to UC to conduct a diagnostic study of the current landscape and the future potential of branded silverware in India. We evaluated customer segments based on demographic and psychographic characteristics, built a strategy framework for brand extension, defined the retail format based on existing retail space in India, target segment and economics of each format, and built the overall store layout plan and financials for a 5 year duration with an investor presentation for the client.

  • UC assists retail clients with insights they need to make for more effective decisions. We  design and activate strategic programs based on insights into market trends, consumer behavior, brand positioning, and competitive dynamics
  • UC aligned the organisation of a leading UAE based apparel and lifestyle retailer that has multiple brands in its 110 stores, by creating a short term and long term organisation structure for the company, with job descriptions, people profiles and key performance measures for each position. We created a process-authority matrix and defined career progression levels across functions, providing the client a detailed lay out to align its organisation with its overall strategy
  • UC defined the feasibility plan for a client looking to market its Ready to Wear (RTW) and Ready to Use (RTU) range of products through its current retail network of 170 stores. The client received a diagnostic study of its existing business and the issues with its retail network. It also received the probable options of entry into RTWs.

  • With its vast population, India, is siginificantly influencing the worlds consumption of consumer products. The middle class is steadily increasing, and this has a huge impact on the consumer market and industries. Consumption has gone up and will continue to do so. It is thus necessary for companies to learn how to segment and keep up with the demands and needs of all brackets of customers
  • UC defined a growth strategy in India for a $ 1.2 billion global leader in non-athletic footwear. The company wanted to expand its brands portfolio in India to capitalise on the potential in the Indian market. UC assessed the market potential, identified opportunities in the market, studied the performance of the clients' existing brands in India and developed an overall strategy for the Indian market
  • Identified growth options and defined a growth strategy for an ethnic Indian wear fashion designer in India. UC studied the past performance, understood the industry trends, market size and segments and developed the strategy leveraging the strength and structure of the brand.

Case examples of our work

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