Japan-headquartered Pigeon was started as Pigeon Honyuki Honpo (Nursing Bottle Manufacturing) Corporation in the year 1957 in Chigasaki City and it entered into the Indian market a decade ago. Keiichi Funakoshi, Managing Director, at Pigeon India Pvt. Ltd., sizes up the business history of the Pigeon Group, its manufacturing operations in India and outlines the strengths of the company in an interaction with Mommy & Baby Times.
April 30, 2019
MBT: Take us through the business journey of Pigeon in India, chronicling the major landmarks and milestones for the company.
Keiichi Funakoshi: With the intention to offer a wide range of products and services for mothers and babies, Japanese businessman Yuichi Nakata had started the brand ‘Pigeon’ in 1957 in Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Pigeon India Pvt. Ltd., was established in the year 2009 as a sales subsidiary in India and initially, we used to operate our business as an importer. In the year 2015, we had started our manufacturing operations in India, and we have got Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for good quality products. We established our own manufacturing plant in Greater Noida and have been doing the business ourselves now. In the month of March this year, we have been honoured and felicitated with the title of ‘India’s Best Company Of The Year Awards 2018’ along with 50 other Indian companies at The Leela Hotel, Mumbai.
MBT: Describe the product range of the brand.
KF: There is a wide range of baby care and maternity-related products offered by Pigeon India which are divided into 9 main categories: Breast Feeding, Nursing Bottles & Nipples, Cleansing & Sterilizing, Baby Skin Care, Baby Hygiene, Baby Oral Care, Weaning, Pacifiers & Teethers and Maternity Product. The category of ‘Baby Hygiene’ is one of the most extensive as it includes diapers, wipes, tissues, laundry care and hygiene & health care accessories.
“In 2015, we established our manufacturing plant in the country which spans approximately 12,000 sqm and is located in Greater Noida… This facility serves as a production base not only for India but also for surrounding countries”
MBT: What is the current market presence of Pigeon around the globe and in India?
KF: Headquartered in Japan, the company has extensive market presence across the world as it has subsidiaries in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Korea, China and USA. Singapore is the regional headquarter for the ASEAN nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and it was where the first overseas office was established. We have an extensive online market presence as our products are available on all the leading ecommerce platforms. Pigeon operates more than 40,000 stores in 50 cities of India and we wish to strengthen our market presence in India while building a sturdy distribution system and broadening our sales network.
MBT: Kindly elaborate on the manufacturing capacity of the company in India
KF: The Pigeon Group had entered the Indian market in 2009 with establishing its sales office in Mumbai, i.e. we used to import the products from other manufacturing locations. Six years later, in 2015, we established our manufacturing plant in the country which spans approximately 12,000 sqm and is located in Greater Noida. The key products manufactured at this plant are: silicone nipples and baby bottles which are the best-selling products for the group. This facility serves as a production base not only for India but also for surrounding countries, and our plan is to further our reach in the country as well as around the globe.
“Pigeon operates more than 40,000 stores in 50 cities of India and we wish to strengthen our market presence in India while building a sturdy distribution system and broadening our sales network.”
MBT: How would you define the strengths and assets of the Pigeon Group?
KF: The Pigeon Group has made its name as one of the top-of-the-line baby and maternity brand that has a wide range of products and a longstanding experience in the industry. We began our journey in 1957 as a nursing bottle manufacturer and by 1966 we had started exporting to other countries. We have diversified into different avenues with time and have expanded our scope by entering into different segments such as textiles, wipes and baby food. The strength of our company is our growing understanding of parents and their needs around the world as we commit to have an in-depth research and innovation to bring the best products.
MBT: Share your thoughts and reviews about the forthcoming Mommy & Baby Fair in Delhi.
KF: Mommy & Baby Fair can be a great and significant platform as it is one of a kind exhibition in the Northern part of India for the products and services related to baby, kids and maternity. This is an interesting and relevant concept for a range of businesses in the aforementioned market segment.