Innovations and coming up with new product ideas is the way to drive growth: Sachin Dingankar, Zydus Wellness Group

Sachin Dingankar, Head of Marketing, Zydus Wellness Group tells us why their products are market leaders in their respective categories

e4m by Samarpita Banerjee
Updated: Aug 3, 2017 8:34 AM

With products like Sugar Free, Everyuth and Nutralite in its portfolio, Zydus Wellness has seen double-digit growth. Sachin Dingankar, Head of Marketing, Zydus Wellness Group tells us why their products are market leaders in their respective categories and what they do to ensure that they remain at the forefront…


Nutralite, which has been pegged as a healthier alternative to butter, recently launched its two new variants, Garlic & Oregano and Pudina & Coriander. Has India opened up to the idea of replacing butter with Nutralite? 


The market has been growing steadily. Staying healthy and fit is a fairly big trend in India. Consumers are always looking out for healthier options. Culturally, butter has been used in every Indian household but after a certain age, consumers feel the need to look at alternatives which is where Nutralite comes in. We have seen the trend grow steadily which is why we are expanding our portfolio to give consumers a wider choice.


How are you further extending Nutralite’s ‘Khaane Mein Twist’ campaign featuring chef Sanjeev Kapoor?


The acceptability or the usage of products can only improve once people realise that each of our products can be used in making different food items. That was the objective of the campaign where Sanjeev Kapoor went live on Facebook and spoke about innovative ways of using our products in different food. Sanjeev Kapoor has been associated with us for both Sugarfree and Nutralite. He is also one of the most credible faces in the Indian food industry today. Our campaign had two legs - Television and Digital, and we believe that Digital will play an even bigger role in engaging with consumers and build the entire franchise. The thought behind the initiative was using Nutralite products to give a twist to your food. 


What was the kind of engagement that the campaign saw?


Within a few days of posting about the campaign on Facebook and other platforms, we had more than a million views. During the actual live session, we had more than two lakh people viewing it. While TV still remains the best medium to build awareness, Digital helps in offering a platform to go one-on-one with consumers and this helps build closeness to the brand.


While Everyuth is the market leader in the scrub segment however, you have lost market share in the face wash segment. What are your plans to regain share?  


We are the market leaders in both the scrub and peel-off segment. Overall, Everyuth is seen as one of the leading brands in the facial cleansing category. One of the categories in facial cleansing is face wash where till about 2006-07, we used to have a significant market share. Over the last few years, we haven’t done well in the face wash segment. We launched Tulsi Turmeric around three years back and it showed traction. When we started looking at how to get back into the face wash segment more strongly, we looked at our portfolio and found that Tulsi Turmeric was attracting a lot of new users. Its popularity was because consumers find the combination of Tulsi and Turmeric interesting and it was seen as a credible anti-acne solution. At the same time, we also realized that the product needed a revamp as it wasn’t really delivering up to our expectation. We spent the last 10 months in re-building our product, ensuring that it has adequate amount of active ingredients to really deliver on its claim. We have re-worked the product as well as its packaging. It’s available in both tube and bottle format and has seen a positive response.


Q) Over the years, there has been a growth in the demand of products using natural and organic ingredients. While Zydus already has products that use natural products, are there plans of further expanding the portfolio?


In India, if there are two brands in the facial cleansing or face care category that really stand out for their use of natural products, its Everyuth and Himalaya. Our natural products positioning offers us a lot of opportunities to leverage the potential of the brand. Everyuth, with products like the Walnut Scrub and the Orange Peel-Off, has built equity of being a natural brand. We already have Tulsi-Turmeric in our portfolio and have also launched a Neem scrub which consists of neem and papaya. Our endeavour is to further leverage the natural equity that Everyuth already has.


 Sugar Free has again been a market leader and you have recently launched a variant, Sugar Free Green. How has the reception been so far?


Stevia, known as ‘mithi tulsi’ in Hindi, is the base ingredient for Sugar Free Green. We have witnessed a growing trend of adding a natural sweet substitute and a lot of consumers were looking out for natural alternatives for sugar. Stevia is an ingredient that a lot of nutritionists and doctors recommend. Being the leaders in the sugar substitute category, we wanted to provide the right portfolio to consumers looking for natural solutions in the sugar substitute category. One challenge here is that the stevia leaf extract is bitter. However, we were able to do some value addition because the final product has very little bitterness.


How is Parineeti Chopra a good fit for the product?


Parineeti Chopra has been with us since 2016. Sugar Free has had an association with celebrities for some time now. We have partnered with Raveena Tandon and Bipasha Basu in the past. When we started looking out for someone to represent our brand, we chose Parineeti as last year she went on a fitness drive and transformed into a fitter person as her approach towards fitness changed.  


Are people without diabetes also choosing to go for Sugar Free?


The belief that only diabetics use Sugar Free is a kind of a misnomer. Our researches clearly show that the usage is 50-50 between diabetics and non-diabetics. However, the perception that only diabetics use Sugar Free remains.  


The price of Sugar Free Green is much higher than the normal Sugar Free. How has the reception to the product been so far?


The price of Sugar Free Green is about 70% higher than the other variants of Sugar Free. For example, 100 pellets of Sugar Free Natura or Gold are priced at Rs 60-65 as compared to Green priced at Rs 99. There were two reasons for keeping this price-point. Firstly, we wanted to provide a superior product. And as I mentioned, bitterness was an issue, so we have had to look at the right kind of stevia-based ingredient which had an impact on the overall cost. At the same time, we wanted to keep the price competitive. We launched the test product three years ago and had priced it at Rs 135 for 100 pellets and then brought it down to Rs 99. The response has been quite overwhelming and much better than what we had expected.


How are you marketing this product?


Television remains our primary medium. We also did a bit of Print because we felt that some important markets like Delhi and Mumbai have a significant Print readership. Additionally, Digital will also play an important role. We are also looking at tying up with nutritionist and dieticians to further educate consumers and build awareness around the product.


Zydus Wellness as a group has been seen double digit growth this year. What is your strategy to further propel the growth?


Innovations and coming up with new product ideas that are relevant for consumers is the way to drive growth. Secondly, for products like Nutralite and Sugar Free, you need to educate consumers and build awareness on how to use the products. For Everyuth, it’s a slightly different ballgame. Since the audience for the product is a much younger, we focus a lot on Social Media and are always looking out for better ways of connecting with the audience. 


What are the biggest challenges that the personal care segment is facing in India?


Today, there is hyper competition with everyone coming out with multiple variants, and product ideas. This makes it quite confusing for a consumer to figure out what is good, what is okay and what is not up to the mark.


Which are the strongest markets for your product in India?


While all three products have a pan-India presence, for Sugar Free, our biggest markets are Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Nutralite is more popular in the West and North, where butter consumption is much higher. Everyuth is more widely distributed, so East, North and West contribute significant amounts.


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