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HEM spread its incense across the world during lockdown: A digital makeover story

What is Hem Incense about?

HEM, as a brand, is world-renowned for producing and exporting perfumed incense. An award‑winning incense producer, it has over 400 fragrance varieties available in 70 or more countries worldwide. Apart from incense, it has a rich catalog of products: air fresheners, candles, cones, essential and aroma oils, among others.

On its glorious path to be a global leader among incense producers, HEM bagged accolades and awards aplenty. From 2008 to 2011, the company bagged the ‘Top Export Award for Agarbatties as Handicrafts,’ awarded by the ‘Export Promotion Council for Handicraft’ (EPCH). The Federation of Indian Export Organizations awarded HEM with the “Niryat Shree” (Export) Silver Trophy in the Handicraft category (FIEO). It also received the ‘Certificate of Merit for largest Exports from Western Region among all Handicraft categories’ several times.

How did GroCurv add value to their journey?

As a B2B/B2C company, it was business as usual for HEM till Covid-19 struck. Courtesy of the lockdown, HEM was unable to operate in its usual fashion, all across its global markets. Its flexible and quick-witted management decided to adapt to the changing environment instead of waiting for the prevailing circumstances to revert to normal.

The HEM management chose to reach out to consumers directly and thus repositioned the company as a D2C business. In a lockdown global climate, the best way to reach out to consumers was digitalization. In their search for facilitators, they stumbled upon GroCurv. As GroCurv connected them with apt partner agencies, the company soon started to notice some positive changes.

With GroCurv acting as a scope to work platform, HEM found partners that were in sync with its objectives. HEM went on to hire agencies for social media activation, website development, Amazon performance marketing and content creation.

Social Media Impact

Along with its partner agencies, HEM came up with unique concepts to engage with consumers. They bring onboard influencers to conduct events that relate to the target audience. For example, they conducted a “Make Your Ganesha” event with Deepika Gupta, the founder of Clay Events. Similarly, they also ran a cool contest on the occasion of Father’s Day and Yoga Day. These are great tactics for consumer engagement and as a result, there is a noticeable improvement in brand awareness. As a hint of all good things that can be expected, the company has started receiving queries via social media from both US and Indian consumers. No wonder, the management is bullish on the perusal of social media in its marketing campaigns.

Impact of Going Digital

Digitalization has helped the company to edge out competitors due to them being more active digitally. They have met prospects and clients via online meetings, which have been possible only with the digitalization efforts. The company is also directing resources to develop an in-house team that can digitalize and strengthen the existing supply chain.

HEM would continue with the ongoing digital support from their vendor partners. Besides, they are developing an in-house team to execute their digital activities (supply chain) smoothly. Though it took six to eight months for the brand’s aromatic fumes to waft through the online audience, the efforts have begun to pay off. Orders have started to trickle in, with about 100+ orders per day from the online Indian retail store. “The digital presence is also positively affecting the offline business. We hope that the increase in brand awareness will impact sales in the coming year”, shares Rahul Shah, Business Development Manager, Hem Incense, candidly. Thus, slowly but surely, digitalization has paved the path for a smooth transition of HEM Incense from solely operating as a B2B/B2C business to a consumer friendly D2C player.

Co-Founder, GroCurv.com A marketplace for Professional Services. Making procurement Quick, Transparent, Reliable.