Parle Products Private Limited: GST and Retaining Competitiveness
In July 2017, the government of India implemented goods and services tax (GST), which brought uniformity in the tax rates on all types of biscuits. Compared to the pre-GST regime, the uniform tax rate resulted in a higher tax rate on mass-market biscuits and a lower tax rate on premium biscuits. Parle-G, the most popular brand of Parle Products Private Limited (Parle), fell into the mass-market biscuit category. The Parle-G brand had 75 to 80 per cent market share in the mass-market biscuit category, and it contributed nearly 33 per cent of Parle's total revenue. The brand was sold at a very low price point and was highly price sensitive. To mitigate the tax rate increase, one option was to raise Parle-G prices; however, any price increase or change in package size for a product in the highly price-sensitive category could reduce company revenue. Therefore, new business strategies were needed under the new tax regime and amid the country's overall changing business and economic scenario so that Parle's margins and leading position were retained. Veena Keshav Pailwar is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur.