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Himalaya Drug plans mega ad campaign

05-April-2004
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Himalaya Drug plans mega ad campaign

Starting May, Himalaya Drug Company says it will roll out one of its biggest global advertising blitzes across new as well as existing markets.

The campaign spanning print, electronic and outdoor media will precede the company's plans to consolidate its presence within the country and West Asia and also enter new markets of Australia, Europe and Eastern Asia.

That would make it the third major campaign in five years for the company, currently rated as the sixth fastest growing pharmaceutical company in the country. The budget, agency or the other details are not going to be shared yet. Mr Ravi Prasad, President & CEO of the Rs 300-crore-plus herbal healthcare major, said, "All I can tell you is this: if the Ayurvedic Concepts advertising was our biggest so far, the one we are about to launch will be a very dramatic campaign that will give our brands a high recall."

Mr Ravi Prasad told Business Line that it would be one global campaign for the entire range and individual categories (including 100-odd products). June would see some international launches. "The message will be to drive home Himalaya as one single wellness brand for the entire family, be it in the pharma range, the personal care or vet (or pet) care. The plans are in the storyboard level and we are discussing the finer details with our media and marketing planners."

The new market foray is also backed by a Rs 165-crore manufacturing and research and development centre that HDC is setting up on 200 acres at Bidadi, 30 km away. "The way we are growing, we need a new R&D centre that will be export-oriented and make customised drugs (for different geographies)," said Mr S.K. Mitra, Executive Director - R&D. The modern facility will take up new and all the existing products of the company and be compliant with the regulations for Australia, Europe, the UK and the US. "We want it to be ready by when the export orders start coming in." Dr Mitra said the work on it would begin in June and be completed towards the end of 2005.

According to Mr Ravi Prasad, the company has recorded 18 per cent sales growth over 2002-03 and the new promotion of its scientifically validated contemporary ayurveda products in important markets comes on the heels of the brand consolidation of 2002. "We are trying to establish Himalaya not as just a therapeutics, FMCG or pet care company but as all of it, for the entire family. This integrated formula was also behind our success in Dubai and the Gulf markets." AC Nielsen recently ranked Himalaya the third in skin and hair care for the Gulf region.

The company's 1999 campaign was the biggest so far when it tested the personal care segment with Ayurvedic Concepts; this range was brought under the umbrella label Himalaya Herbals five months ago. Again in December 2001, the company unleashed another big campaign to regroup its entire portfolio under the common `Himalaya' brand. The acceptance of the new, green-top international packaging of its personal care range, Mr Ravi Prasad said, has been phenomenal.

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