This week’s public listing of Cello World, a Mumbai maker of a range of kitchenware items, from snack boxes and water bottles to storage containers and plastic furniture, has minted the country’s newest entrant to the billionaires’ ranks. Pradeep Rathod, 59, the company’s chairman and managing director, enters the three-comma club based on his 44% stake in Cello World, which is now worth $1 billion.
Shares of Cello World—which sells kitchenware under the Cello brand—listed at a 28% premium to their IPO price of 648 rupees and the issue was oversubscribed 39 times. Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at Mumbai-based HDFC Securities, attributes this listing success to “ improved sentiments in the market towards midcap stocks and great timing.” Indians are prepping to celebrate the Diwali festival and “ sales of consumer houseware peaks in this period,” says Jasani in an emailed response.
Cello World, which makes a range of plastic, glass and porcelain products, saw its revenue surge 70% in the past two years to touch 17.97 billion rupees ($219 million) in the fiscal year ended March 2023. Net profit rose 58% in the same period to hit 2.8 billion rupees ($35 million). Jasani adds that though the IPO was not priced cheap, the company’s vast product range appealed to investors.
Thanks to India’s rising middle class, the consumerware market grew at an annual compounded rate of 6.9% from 2020 to 348 billion rupees ($4.2 billion) by fiscal 2022. It’s expected to grow even faster at a 10.2% annual compounded rate to reach 565 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) by fiscal 2027 as Indians upgrade their kitchens and fill them with sleek products. This is a crowded market where Cello World competes with other well-known brands such as Borosil, TTK, Milton and La Opala.
In addition to kitchenware, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of total revenue, Cello World also sells pens, stationery items and molded furniture, with the latter now contributing 18% to revenue. The company is hoping to piggyback on growing domestic demand for plastic furniture, with the size of that market expected to expand to 270 billion rupees ($3.3 billion) by fiscal 2027 from 122 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) in fiscal 2022.
Cello World traces its roots to 1962 when Pradeep’s late father Ghisulal Rathod became a partner in a small producer of plastic items. Pradeep and his younger brother Pankaj, 56, the company’s joint managing director, built on that legacy and expanded into new product lines. The next generation is already involved in the business with Pradeep’s U.K.-educated son Gaurav helping to run the company as joint managing director.