labels: tobacco, godfrey phillips, marketing - general
Godfrey Phillips India and Villiger tie up for distributing cigars news
01 September 2007

Hyderabad: Godfrey Phillips India has tied up with Swiss cigar maker Villiger for distributing the latter''s cigars in India.

The 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.

Godfrey 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.

Over 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.

Villiger 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.

Godfrey 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.

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Godfrey Phillips India and Villiger tie up for distributing cigars