ACG Creates a Single New Identity
Indian integrated pharma manufacturing group ACG consolidates businesses and brands into a single new identity
Founded as Associated Capsules Group in 1964 by brothers Ajit and Jasjit Singh, Mumbai, India-based ACG today delivers end-to-end manufacturing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry across continents. In five decades the company has expanded its global footprint to over 100 countries. Its scope has grown from empty hard capsule manufacturing to include equipment production, packaging, inspection, testing, research and development. In mid-October 2018, the integrated pharma manufacturing group announced the consolidation of its multiple businesses and regional brands into a single new ACG identity and its portfolio into four businesses: Capsules, Films & Foils, Engineering, and Inspection. CHEManager discussed this strategic move with the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Neve, who has been leading the brand identity overhaul project.
CHEManager: Mr. Neve, what initiated the ACG brand identity overhaul project, why did you think a new identity was needed?
Peter Neve: ACG had a large number of individual businesses, each with their own identity. We felt the time had come to create a new identity, which would consolidate and reflect the group’s unified purpose throughout its diverse operations and entities. In doing this, we are also making it easier for the industry to understand the full range of products and services we provide.
Which considerations and requirements led to ACG’s new structure? Was it a company-driven – inside-out – or a market-driven – outside-in – approach?
P. Neve: The new structure came out of a marketing exercise to simplify how we talk about our product range - based on both internal and customer inputs. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers, as well as potential customers, to understand our full product range. This is how we ended up segmenting into Capsules, Films & Foils, Engineering and Inspection divisions. Once we had done this, it didn’t take long for the whole organization to align itself to this segmentation. We ran a number of internal marketing and communication campaigns and believe the rebrand has been well received.
ACG claims to be the only supplier in the world offering integrated manufacturing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. How do you explain and justify this claim?
P. Neve: The majority of suppliers only supply into one or - at most - two of the four main segments which we operate in, so we are confident in making such a claim. We offer many integrated solutions: consumables and equipment for the entire capsules manufacturing value chain and the same for tablets. We can offer special incentives to customers buying a combination of products from us. We have so many ways to help our customers get the most out of working with ACG. The huge range of skills and technologies already encompassed by the team offers endless opportunities for our business.
Could you briefly summarize the core competencies in terms of skills and technologies of the four businesses?
P. Neve: In our Capsules division we supply everything needed to fulfill a diverse range of capsule requirements. In Films & Foils we are covering all requirements for reliable pharma packaging solutions. The Engineering division provides everything needed to achieve superior manufacturing performance. And in the Inspection division ACG is covering all global pharma serialization and inspection demands.
“We are dedicated to creating an organization to exploit synergies wherever possible, to the benefit of our customers.”
Do you also see opportunities to leverage synergies arising from your newly consolidated structure?
P. Neve: We have massive synergies in ACG overall – we are dedicated to creating an organization to exploit these synergies wherever possible, to the benefit of our customers. Having one supplier across the board creates a win-win solution for us and our customers. For the customers, they benefit from integrated support and service teams, which helps them to maximize manufacturing performance and efficiency. On our side, at ACG, we sell a wider range of products to each customer and can use our experience and technologies to help customers bring better products to the market, faster.
Along with the consolidation into four key businesses ACG has introduced a new strapline: Absolutely Committed. What is ACG absolutely committed to?
P. Neve: That is simple; we are absolutely committed to our customers. The strapline reinforces the feedback we get from our customers that we provide excellent, worldwide support services. We are proud of our agile and responsive approach - ensuring that their every need is met.
We also use the strapline as an important part of our internal communication. Today, it is the main focus of our internal processes, development and growth programs.
ACG has a global footprint with locations in over 100 countries. How satisfied are you with your presence in the different geographical pharma markets from a brand awareness or name recognition point of view?
P. Neve: We are working hard to increase the awareness of ACG in both the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, especially in our key growth markets. We are doing this through a combination of targeted marketing and PR campaigns for ACG overall, and for each of our business segments.
As an example, we recently created a very short corporate video to explain our four main business segments and the scale of ACG in each of these. This has already had over one million views, which we are extremely proud of - and an indication of a hugely successful B2B marketing campaign.
Following the change of the company structure, what will be the next strategic moves to expand ACG’s market presence, technology expertise and manufacturing and supply capabilities? Any investments in human, technology or distribution resources planned?
P. Neve: Over the next five years, ACG has plans for much of its talent to be based outside of India. In line with this plan, we are continuing to increase our global footprint for both our manufacturing facilities and local sales and support teams. This allows us to provide improved services and responsiveness to our customers on a global basis. You will be seeing many more announcements about this over the next year or so. It is an exciting time at ACG, and it is very satisfying to be part of the team that is delivering so much change, both within the organization and to our customers throughout the world.