Godfrey Phillips India has tied up with Swiss cigar maker Villiger for distributing
the latter''s cigars in India.
offerings under the tie-up would address the mid-priced segment of the cigar market,
and would help fill the space in Godfrey Phillips cigar portfolio.
Phillips is a Rs1,600-crore company that controls 65 per cent of the cigar market
in India. Prices of the cigars it offers range from Rs5 to Rs1,540. The Villiger
cigars would be priced between Rs10 and Rs120, which puts the target market at
middle class cigar smokers.
the long-term, Godfrey Phillips plans to have a cigar in every pricing segment
in the Indian market. For Villiger, the alliance is its way of entering the Indian
market, as it is already present in other Asian markets such as China and Japan.
Villiger plans to leverage Godfrey Phillips'' strengths in distribution channels
and marketing strategy.
is a strong brand in European Union, with its cigars made of 100 per cent tobacco
and no paper. Under the tie-up, Villiger cigars would be imported from Switzerland.
Phillips introduced the Indian market to cigars in 2003, and has seen a growth
of 44 per cent at five million sticks last year. The company still considers the
niche a nascent market, but is bullish on cigars as smokers popularly view it
as an affordable luxury.