Incense manufacturer, Cycle Pure Agarbathies has take a bold step to repurpose it’s factory to help manufacturer hand sanitizer during the current crisis. Their main product lines, such as incense sticks and prayer products have been deemed non-essential. Currently only food and groceries are permitted to be sold in India during the lock-down.

“Once supply chain opens, we will retail our hand sanitizers nationally. We will also launch liquid soaps and home care products like cleaners because we have the advantage of being in the fragrance space already,” said Arjun Ranga, managing partner of N. Ranga Rao & Sons that owns Cycle Pure Agarbathies.

The 70 y ear old company has held back on producing innovations, as they supposedly have monetary liquidity concerns. Recently they had explored the puja samagri space, and had also launched a service where you can have personalized incense created for you.

“The strategy for the next 4-6 months is to achieve liquidity. We need to conserve cash to take care of our employees, trade partners and associates. I will not go overboard on launching and investing in new prayer products and promotions for now,” – Ranga added.

Cycle currently has a whopping 15% of the market share, so it is a bit surprising that they are having issues. They produce about 12 billion incense sticks every year, which are sold primarily in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bihar, in addition to being exported globally.

The incense market has been experiencing a downturn lately, for many reasons, such as countries suspending the import/export of specific ingredients, or even incense altogether. There have also been less buyer for these products, as consumers have had less money to spend on non-essential products.