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New Godrej soap eyes share of rural market

14-May-2004
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New Godrej soap eyes share of rural market

Pitting itself against HLL's Lifebuoy, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) has launched a new brand of soap, Nimin, on the germicide platform. Pegged on a par with Lifebuoy's variant in the sub-popular category, Nimin is priced at Rs 8 for 75 gm and Rs 13 for 125 gm.

Mr Adi Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, GCPL, told Business Line, "Nimin has natural germicidal positioning. We believe the product will be well accepted in the market and our market research shows there will be strong consumer preference for the brand." The Nimin brand comprises extracts of neem and tulsi and will be also pitted against a host of herbal brands already existing in the market.

Added Mr Godrej, "We have a strong rural thrust planned for the new brand and it will not be a metro product in a big way." In fact in the past Godrej had been looking at the possibility of acquiring a herbal soap brand and the controversial Chandrika brand was on its list.

Mr Hoshedar K. Press, Executive Director & President, GCPL, said, "There are no brands available but we did look at the Chandrika brand. But considering the complexities and lack of clarity, we decided against buying it."

It has appointed Mudra as its ad agency for the new brand. Mudra also handles the company's leading soap brand Godrej No. 1, which recently introduced a jasmine variant.

Besides, GCPL has also decided to enter the hair oil market with a brand under its company name. The company is already test marketing a thanda tel under the Godrej brand in UP. Added Mr Press, "Thanda tel is a growing sub-category in the hair oil category and there are many players in the market." It will be pegged at Rs 35 for 100ml.

Now, players such as Marico have entered the category with Shanti Thanda Tel.

In the past, Godrej has been marketing hair oil brands such as Anoop, belonging to other companies. "We may look at sub-contracting hair oils," said Mr Press.

The Godrej Thanda Tel account will rest with Orchard Advertising in Mumbai. Orchard already handles Godrej's Cinthol brand of soaps.

With a 6.7 per cent share in the toilet soaps category, the company is looking at getting margins and shares in the business rather than trying to grow the category.

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