Danone's big India bet: 10 new products lined-up: Rodrigo Lima, MD

The MD of Danone India spoke about the company’s ‘One planet, One Health Mission,’ and their marketing strategy based on India’s dynamic and vibrant marketplace with a diverse mix of consumers

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Sep 11, 2017 8:16 AM


Danone, a French multinational food company, is one of the largest fresh dairy companies in the world. It holds global top positions through four businesses namely, fresh dairy products, early life nutrition, water and nutrition. In India, Danone set up its dairy business in 2010.


In an interview with exchange4media, Rodrigo Lima, Managing Director, Danone India, discussed the idea behind ‘One Planet, One Health mission,’ its best selling products and expansion in India. Excerpts:


How is Danone different from other dairy brands in India? How are you dealing with competition?


Danone is World’s No.1 fresh dairy company that has a presence in more than 130 countries. It is known for its expertise in probiotic ferments and yoghurts. Danone has a wide portfolio of both fresh dairy and UHT products in India. Our Research and innovation teams create products best suited to local sensitivities and preferences. In India too, Danone has developed a vast portfolio suited to Indian tastes and requirements. We call this process ‘Indovation’ and have introduced products like Mishti Doi, Chaas and Lassi, which suit the Indian palette, besides our globally popular range of flavoured yoghurts made from natural ingredients. India is a big market for dairy and there is enough room for all players. Our focus is on value added dairy where we enjoy global leadership.


How big is the Indian market in Danone’s global vision?


India is one of the few world markets which offers a dynamic and vibrant marketplace with a diverse mix of consumers seeking world class products and will continue to be an important part of Danone’s strategy for this region. 


What is the idea behind ‘One Planet, One Health’ mission?


‘One Planet, One Health’ expresses Danone’s ambition to reconnect people with the food they eat. It embodies our ambition and efforts to drive Alimentation Revolution, which is a movement aimed at nurturing the adoption of a healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking habits together with our consumers, customers and a broad set of stakeholders. Our signature ‘One Planet, One Health’ reiterates that promise.


Any new ad or campaign strategies we might see from Danone in the near future?


Protinex as a brand has been coming up with unique and informative campaigns for the last two years. The objective is to bust the myths around protein and educate consumers on the relevance of protein in everyday life. The recent campaign from Protinex was titled ‘Something Missing’ which spoke about the missing protein in the daily diets of Indians. Research shows Indian diets fall short of the daily protein requirement and people need to be educated about this. The 360-degree campaign included TV, Print, Radio, on ground activations and a big digital activation. In fact, this campaign created quite a buzz and we trended in top positions on a few social media platforms.


What are Danone India’s future plans? Any new investments in the pipeline?


We recently upgraded our infant formula manufacturing facility in Punjab to manufacture CODEX compliant infant formulas and we will continue to invest in innovation and quality by bringing new product formats for Indian consumers. We have plans to launch close to 10 new products in India in 2017-18, some of which have already been launched. Some of the recent launches include Protinex Grow, Protinex Tasty chocolate, Greek yoghurt and global brands Aptamil and Neocate.


Which are the best selling products of Danone India?


Danone has a robust nutrition and dairy portfolio in India. Our top brands include Protinex and Dexolac. Protinex is one of the fastest growing brands in the HFD category. It is a high-protein and low fat nutritional supplement with vital nutrients that caters to the protein requirements across age groups. Dexolac is an infant formula brand specially formulated for a baby’s overall growth and development. In dairy, our value added dairy products are fast gaining market share.

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