Marico recognises the youth as an important influencer in coming years. The company has been re-positioning its brands and launching new products in this direction, according to Marico CFO Milind Sarwate.
Marico head-marketing Sugata Gupta said the company was looking at prototyping a couple of initiatives over the next 6-9 months. He added that the current prototypes under progress include Maha Thanda cooling oil and Hair & Care (new formulation).
Analysts believe that cooling hair oil is the fastest growing segment among hair oils. Himani Navratna hair oil is said to be the leader in this segment. Marico has a brand called Shanti Thanda in this category, while Hindustan Lever (HLL) does not have any brand here.
Mr Gupta added that the value-added Sampoorna brand of Parachute coconut oil has been succesfully prototyped in upcountry Maharashtra. He expects it to become a significant player in hair oils over the next two years.
HLL is also keen on value addition according to its spokesperson. HLL, currently has brands like Nihar coconut oil, Nihar perfumed coconut oil, Clinic Plus hair oil and Clinic All Clear anti-dandruff hair oil.
According to Mr Gupta, another brand launched in the past three months is Silk n Shine. However, he denied any plans to enter the hair colour category within the near horizon.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) is the only player having presence in all three categories of hair colour; powder, liquid/creams and oil-based. GCPL executive director & president, HK Press, said that they have been in the market for over 25 years and have a value market share of 45 per cent. He feels that GCPL’s superior technology and value pricing will help it gain more share as against local players present in the powder and oil-based segments. GCPL has strong presence in Nepal and Sri Lanka (60 per cent market share) and is keen to globalize hair care business.
Dabur is the leader in hair oils with a 33.7 per cent market share, while Marico is second with a share of 16.4 per cent. Mr Gupta said that Marico has seen a 21 per cent volume growth in FY04, driven by 33 per cent growth in Parachute Jasmine. The company plans a national scale-up of Hair & Care prototype. It has a positive outlook for the next two years in terms of volumes and market share gain.
HLL has a share of about 8.5 per cent in the Rs 930 crore hair oil market. Nihar coconut oil has a share of about 16 per cent in the Rs 630 crore coconut oil market. Dabur has a share of about three per cent, while Marico has about 42 per cent.