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Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

Dove hair oil: marketing in India


Sanjeev Prashar, Harvinder Singh, Kumar Saurabh, Virinchi Acharlu Madanapalli,
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Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 4 Issue: 3, pp.1-12, https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-06-2013-0104
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Dove hair oil: marketing in India
Sanjeev Prashar, Harvinder Singh, Kumar Saurabh and Virinchi Acharlu Madanapalli

Sanjeev Prashar is a Indias fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market has witnessed tremendous growth
Professor, Harvinder and is expected to reach INR165.62 trillion (US$3.6 trillion) by 2020 (Confederation of
Singh is an Associate Indian Industry, 2012). Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), the largest player in the segment,
Professor, Kumar extended its premium category brand Dove by launching Dove Elixir Hair Oil in November
Saurabh is a Student and
2012. With the price of INR185 (US$3.41) for 90 ml(News and Features, 2013), the
Virinchi Acharlu
company took plunge into the INR66.64 billion (US$1.33 billion) hair oil market (Bajaj Corp
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Madanapalli is a Student
Limited, 2013). The major competitors such as Dabur India Limited and Bajaj Corp Ltd. had
based at Indian Institute
of Management, Raipur, products in this category, but their prices were one-fifth the price of Doves hair oil, and
India. many industry experts speculated as to whether there was a substantial market at the
higher end of the scale for Dove to be able to expect sales at that price.

Hindustan Unilever Limited


After 45 years of operations in India, Lever Brothers India Limited was incorporated as a
company in 1933. Further, with the merger of three companies Lever Brothers, Hindustan
Vanaspati Manufacturing Company and United Traders Limited Hindustan Lever Limited
was constituted in 1956, and the company was renamed in June 2007 as Hindustan
Unilever Limited (HUL) (Chronology of Key Events, 2012). This was a subsidiary of
Anglo-Dutch multinational giant Unilever(Introduction to HUL, 2012) and was listed as
Unilever PLC in London and Unilever N.V. in Rotterdam (Annual Report and Accounts,
2008). Unilever had roughly a 52 per cent shareholding in HUL(Annual Report and
Accounts, 2008) and 400 brands and was the worlds leading FMCG company. It had a
presence in 100 countries and had global annual sales of INR3,302.36 billion (US$64.91
billion) in 2011 (Annual Report and Accounts, 2008).
In India, HUL rolled out 35 brands across 20 diverse product categories, and two out of
three Indians used HUL products, making its brands a part of everyday life (Hindustan
Unilever Limited, 2011/2012a). By 2011-2012, HULs net sales were growing at a
compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 per cent over the previous five years and
had net revenue of INR2,211.6 billion (US$43.47 billion) in 2011-2012 (Somvanshi, 2013).
With domestic consumer business growing at 18 per cent, the company posted profit after
tax of INR259.2 billion (US$5.09 billion) and net profit of INR269.1 billion (US$5.29 billion).
HUL created market leadership position and owned most of Indias top ranking consumer
Disclaimer. This case is written brands (Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012b).
solely for educational
purposes and is not intended
to represent successful or
unsuccessful managerial The product portfolio
decision making. The author/s
may have disguised names; The portfolio of HUL comprised soaps and detergents, personal care, food and
financial and other
recognizable information to
beverage and chemicals and agricultural inputs. Table I reflects various products and
protect confidentiality. brands of HUL.

DOI 10.1108/EEMCS-06-2013-0104 VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014, pp. 1-21, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2045-0621 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES PAGE 1
Table I HUL product portfolio
Category Product Brand

Personal care Soap Dove, Lifebuoy, Pears, Axe, Hamam, Rexona, Lux, Liril 2000, Breeze
Shampoo Dove, Sunsilk, Clinic Plus, Clear, TRESemm, Aviance
Conditioner Dove, Sunsilk, Clinic Plus, TRESemm, Aviance
Shower gel Pears
Face wash Pears, Dove
Body wash Dove, Axe
Cosmetics Lakme, Elle 18, Aviance
Creams Fair & Lovely, Ponds, Vaseline, Aviance
Deodorants Axe, Sure, Dove
Toothpaste CloseUp, Pepsodent
Food and drink Tea Red Label, 3 Roses, Taj Mahal, Taaza, Lipton
Coffee Bru
Ready to cook Knorr
Soup Knorr
Salt Annapurna
Jam Kissan
Squash Kissan
Ketchup Kissan
Bread & cake Modern
Frozen desserts Kwality Walls
Home care Detergent powder Surf, Rin, Wheel, Sunlight
Detergent bar Surf, Rin, Wheel, Sunlight
Dishwash bar & liquid Vim
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Fabric conditioner Comfort


Sanitary products Domex, Cif
Water purifier Home appliance Pureit
Source: Compiled by authors from www.flipkart.com/beauty-and-personal-care/bath-and-spa/dovebrand/pr?sidt06%2Cxrp (accessed
29 March 2013)

Soaps. With reckoned brands such as Lifebouy and Lux, HUL dominated India that had
an INR1,000 billion (US$17.92 billion) soap market (Pinto, 2012). Breeze, Dove,
Hamam, Lifebuoy, Liril, Lux, Pears and Ponds together garnered 45 per cent of the
Indian soap market. Godrej Soaps, Reckitt Benckiser, Wipro Consumer Care and ITC
were its major competitors (Malviya and Jacob, 2011).
Detergents. The detergent market in India was of INR1,400 billion (US$25.79 billion)
(Bhupta, 2012), of which HUL brands, including Surf, Rin and Wheel, had 36 per cent
of the market share and Wheel and Rin had 16.9 and 6 per cent market shares,
respectively (Malviya, 2012). Prominent competing brands were Ariel and Tide (from
Proctor & Gamble), Nirma and Ghadi.
Personal products. The personal care segment included personal wash products, hair
care products, oral care products, deodorants and colour cosmetics. Major players in
this segment were HUL, Colgate Palmolive, Gillette India, Godrej, Dabur and CavinKare
(Arora, 2012). In skin care, the company had a market share of 49 per cent with strong
brands such as Fair & Lovely, Ponds and Vaseline market share growing at a
double-digit rate (Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012c). In the body lotions
segment, HUL had 55 per cent share and had even a much higher share in petroleum
jelly category (Balakrishnan and Banerje, 2010). Similarly, in the shampoo segment,
with major brands including Clinic Plus, Sunsilk and Dove, HUL had 45 per cent of the
market share, and Clinic Plus continued to be the biggest selling shampoo in the
category (NSE India, 2010). The toothpaste category had strong brands including
Pepsodent and CloseUp which dominated with 23 per cent of market share of the
INR320 billion (US$7.28 billion) Indian toothpaste market (The Hindu Business Line,
2011).
Home care products. HULs home care products strongly contributed to the overall
growth of the company by recording double-digit volume growth during 2011-2012.

PAGE 2 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014


Excellent quality and strong advertising led Vim to the leadership position with 48 per
cent of the market share (Euromonitor, 2013). Similarly, Vim Liquid also flourished, as
the liquid segment of dishwash grew at 40 per cent per annum (Bhushan and Malviya,
2013). The companys disinfectant, Domex, continued its growth providing germ-free
toilets to Indian households and posed tough competition to its rivals, Lizol and Harpic
(Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012).
In all, INR2,000 billion (US$39.13 billion) home and personal care industry in India is
expected to grow 15 per cent year-on-year during 2011-2016 (Jha, 2011).
Packaged foods. The packaged food industry in India is expected to grow INR1,908.69
billion (US$38.54 billion) by 2016 (Market Research on Food and Beverages, 2012).
This includes the dairy, bakery and oils and fats segments. HUL, Gujarat Co-operative
Milk Marketing Federation, Nestl India Limited, Frito-Lay India, GlaxoSmithKline
Consumer Healthcare Ltd., Britannia Industries Limited, MTR Foods and Karnataka
Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Ltd. are the major competitors in the market
(Market Research on Food and Beverages, 2012). For HUL, beverages, foods and ice
cream businesses contributed 18 per cent of the total revenues of the
company(Vijayraghavan, 2010) and had a 14 per cent share of the Indian INR12 billion
(US$250.45 million) ice cream market, and is the second largest player after Amul
(Agarwal, 2009). In the INR10 billion (US$180.62 million) ketchup category, HULs
Kissan, with 41 per cent of the market share, was in second place behind Nestles
Maggi (Pani, 2012). HUL also had a strong position in the coffee segment, with BRU
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having 42 per cent of the market share (Pani, 2012).


Besides FMCG products, HUL also ventured into the home appliance category with Pureit,
a popular drinking water purifier (Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012b).

The companys strategic frame


With the underlying philosophy of not having me-too products in any of its product
categories, the company has retained only those products in its portfolio that qualified its
criterion of being leaders in the market (Edelweiss, 2011). Besides launching new products
from its parent group and getting into new markets, HUL aggressively took to modernising
each of its brands and stock keeping unit. With the ardent philosophy of bigger, better and
faster innovations, the company developed proactive research and development plans and
was identified as the sixth most innovative company in the world (Forbes, 2013). It won six
awards at the famous EMVIES awards and Peoples Choice and Special Targeted
Advertising & Marketing awards for TV innovations (Hindustan Unilever Limited,
2011/2012d).
Under its more stores, better stores programme, the company increased its distribution
outlets, both in direct retail coverage and in indirectly served sale points. The company has
roughly two million outlets serviced by its sales force which has pushed HUL ahead of its
nearest competitors Colgate and Dabur, who each had 1.2 million outlets (Credit Suisse,
2012). HUL has further plans for expanding this category coverage to make their products
available to even the remotest corners of India. It also has enrolled nearly one million outlets
in their perfect stores programme, which focusses on better availability and visibility of
key brands in retail stores (Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012e).
To plan for their expansion into modern trade channels, HUL has formulated joint marketing
plans with some of their established customers such as Walmart, Metro, Hypermart and
Tesco. The company has supported six million indirectly serviced outlets and has also
designed special programmes, including Operation Bharat and Project Shakti, to penetrate
into the many far-flung rural Indian villages with populations 5,000. The company has
focussed on profit through sustainable means by following the asset-light model to
pre-empt competitors. Usage of alternate bio-fuels in production systems and continued
reduction of on-hand inventory were some of the actions taken by HUL to build a low-cost

VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES PAGE 3


business model. The subsequent improved margins were shared either with customers or
traders such as wholesalers and retailers (Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012a).

Dove
First launched in the USA in 1957, Dove has been one of the global leading brands of
Unilever. With products including soap bars, deodorants, lotions, body washes and face
creams, Dove was present in 80 countries worldwide and, once it was globally positioned
as a premium category brand, Dove was brought to India in 1993 (Dove, 2012).
Traditionally, Unilever launched products such as Dove in markets that scored 6 or higher
on an internally developed tracker known as the Living Standard Measure (LSM). This
tracker measured a living standard of the market on which a higher score indicated a
higher living standard. India scored a 3, with 70 per cent of its population falling into that
category. Instead of focussing on the whole of India, HUL selectively targeted major
metropolitan areas and the top 30 cities with a strong 100 million-plus population that
qualified on its LSM scale benchmark. HUL believed this targeted market had more
potential than many of its European markets (Iyer, 2009).
The soap was priced at INR30 (US$.64) a bar, which was twice as expensive as any other
popular toilet soap brand available in India at that time. The bar was promoted as superior
and gentle-on-skin and targeted upper middle-class Indian households
(Sangameshwaran, 2009). Dove immediately captured the niche market that looked for
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global premium brands (Sangameshwaran, 2009). It also fascinated a part of the


price-sensitive market. This sizeable market comprised population who used the bar for
washing only the face, while using a less costly soap for the rest of the body
(Sangameshwaran, 2009). This value-for-money market also comprised consumers who
only used the product for special occasions. To manage consistency for the brand, HUL
did not undertake any re-launches for this brand in India, although it had aggressively
re-launched some of its other popular brands including Lifebuoy, Liril and Lux.
By the end of 2004, HUL had introduced a single variant Dove body wash in metropolitan
areas and a few select cities. Although the body wash category accounted for 1 per cent
of personal wash market, the companys Vice President-Skin Range, Ashok Venkatramani
said:
We launched Dove Body Wash as we believe that Indian consumers have evolved and are
ready to experience superior bathing formats such as liquids (Sangameshwaran, 2009).

Priced at (INR120/US$2.71 for 250 ml), this imported premium brand extension was
positioned as ultra-moisturising body wash. Other brands available were Lux at INR70
(US$1.58) and Palmolive at INR90 (US$2.03) (Rai et al., 2006).
Once established as a well-known brand, the company pursued further brand extension
and ventured into the hair care range in 2007 by launching Dove shampoo and developed
numerous variants including Daily Shine, Dryness Care, Dandruff Care, Hair Fall Reserve,
Intense Repair Therapy, Nourishing Oil Care and Colour Reserve (Dove, 2012). Doves
shampoos Dandruff Care and Intense Repair were priced in the range of INR130-140/
US$2.39-2.58 for 180 ml, targeting urban upper middle class. Other brands available in the
market were Clinic Plus (INR97/US$1.78 for 180 ml), Dabur Vatika (INR99/US$1.82 for 200
ml), Garnier (INR120/US$2.2 for 180 ml), Head and Shoulders (INR135/US$2.48 for 170
ml), Loreal Paris Smooth (INR135/US$2.48 for 180 ml), Pantene Anti-Dandruff (INR120/
US$2.21 for 180 ml), Sunsilk (INR110/US$2.02 for 180 ml) and Sunsilk Advanced (INR200/
US$3.68 for 200 ml) (Collected by authors from www.flipkart.com/beauty-and-personal-
care/hair-care/shampoos/pr?p[]facets.brand%255B%255D%3DDabur&sidt06%2Cb7e
%2Cmz1&layoutgrid).
Dove Go-Fresh deodorant was launched in 2010(Hindustan Unilever Limited, 2011/2012f)
in three different fragrances with a price tag of INR160/US$2.94 for 169 ml). The deodorant

PAGE 4 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014


market in India was estimated at INR9 billion (US$203 million) in 2011 and was expected
to grow by 25 per cent annually (Business Standard, 2011). About 90 per cent of the market
was concentrated in the mass segment (with deodorants priced between INR125/US$2.27
and INR150/US$2.72 for 150 ml). In the male fragrance deodorant market, the company
had Axe, which was the largest deodorant brand in India. Under the brand Denim, HUL had
a range of body sprays. Table II presents the price of different Dove products.
Acting on the growing market for hair oil, HUL entered the market with Dove Elixir in 2012.
Positioning it as super-premium brand, Dove Elixir was priced at INR185 (US$3.36) for 90
ml with three variants, Hairfall Rescue, Nourished Shine and Dryness Care. They were
costlier than successful rival brands such as Maricos Parachute Scalp Therapy and Bajaj
Almond Drops. This entry into hair oil came six years after the sale of the companys oil
brand Nihar to its rival Marico Ltd. Maricos brand Clinic Plus already had a full portfolio of
hair care products and its Clinic Plus hair oil was priced at INR39 (US$.71) for 100 ml. It had
competition from mass market brands already established by Marico, namely, Dabur and
Bajaj Corp (Dove, 2013) and Daily Care, a nourishing hair oil under the brand Clinic Plus
(Clinic Plus, 2013). Prices of different hair oil brands are available in Table III.
In line with its global norm, HUL used ordinary women who used the product to promote
Dove and a testimonial of their experience with the product was a common theme of all
advertisements. The company used TV, print and online media to promote Dove as the
real beauty brand for common people (Clinic Plus, 2013). Realising that the internet savvy
young population was its core market, the company intensively used social media, such as
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Table II Price of different products from Dove (as on 9 March 2013)


Package Price Price
Dove product size (in ml) (INR) (US$)

Dove soap set of 3 3 100 gm 138 2.54


Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo 80 64 1.18
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo 675 349 6.42
Dove Intense Repair Shampoo 360 220 4.05
Dove Intense Repair Shampoo 180 128 2.36
Dove Hair Fall Rescue Shampoo 360 220 4.05
Dove Damage Therapy Intense Repair Shampoo 200 123 2.26
Dove Dandruff Care Shampoo 180 139 2.56
Dove Dryness Care Shampoo 360 220 4.05
Dove Damage Therapy Daily Shine Shampoo 340 220 4.05
Dove Dandruff Care Conditioner 180 139 2.56
Dove Dryness Care Conditioner 180 128 2.36
Dove Intense Repair Shampoo with Conditioner 340 220 4.05
Dove Daily Shine Conditioner 90 64 1.18
Dove Daily Shine Conditioner 180 128 2.36
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Daily Treatment
Conditioner 180 160 2.94
Dove Intense Repair Conditioner 180 128 2.36
Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion 400 240 4.42
Dove Go Fresh Nourishment Body Lotion 400 240 4.42
Dove Indulgent Nourishment Body Lotion 250 200 3.68
Dove Clear Touch Deo-Spray 169 160 2.94
Dove GO Fresh Deo-Spray 169 160 2.94
Dove Go Fresh Face Wash 100 125 2.30
Dove Beauty Moisture Face Wash 100 125 2.30
Dove Deep Pure Face Wash 100 125 2.30
Dove Body Wash Fresh Moisture 200 125 2.30
Dove Body Wash Gentle 200 125 2.30
Dove Beauty Moisture Body Wash 200 125 2.30
Dove Hair Fall Rescue Treatment Mask 200 215 3.96
Dove Oil Care Repair Mask 200 300 5.52
Dove Hair Therapy Damage Solution 180 128 2.36
Source: Compiled by authors from www.flipkart.com/beauty-and-personal-care/bath-and-spa/
dovebrand/pr?sidt06%2Cxrp (accessed 29 March 2013)

VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES PAGE 5


Table III Price of different hair oil brands (as on 9 March 2013)
Company Brand Package size (ml) Price (INR) Price (US$)

Dabur Dabur Anmol Coconut Hair Oil 500 114 2.10


Dabur Amla Hair Oil 300 110 2.02
Dabur Vatika Hair Oil 300 120 2.21
Dabur Amla Light Hair Oil 100 44 0.81
Dabur Almond Hair Oil 50 25 0.46
Dabur Vatika Enriched Almond Hair Oil 200 85 1.56
Emami Limited Himani Navaratna Hair Oil 100 55 1.01
Marico Hair and Care Hair Oil 300 110 2.02
Nihar Naturals Jasmine Hair Oil 100 28 0.52
Nihar Shanti Badam Amla Kesh Tel 90 20 0.37
Parachute Advanced Scalp Therapie 100 112 2.06
Parachute Coconut Hair Oil 1000 225 4.14
Parachute Advanced Coconut Hair Oil 80 32 0.59
Parachute Advanced Ayurvedic Deep Conditioning
Hot Hair Oil 190 78 1.44
Parachute Advanced Cooling Hair Oil 190 90 1.66
Parachute Advanced Jasmine Hair Oil 300 99 1.82
Parachute Advanced Jasmine Perfumed Non-Sticky
Coconut Hair Oil 40 12 0.22
Parachute Advanced Aftershower Anti-Dandruff Hair
Oil 200 64 1.18
Parachute Advanced Ayurvedic Hair Oil 190 75 1.38
Baja Corp Bajaj Brahmi Amla 300 110 2.02
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Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil 300 125 2.30


Bajaj Kailash Parbat Cooling Oil 100 48 0.88
Bajaj Jasmine 100 25 0.46
Bajaj Amla Shikakai 100 19 0.35
HUL Clinic Plus Hair Oil 200 72 1.32
Source: Compiled by authors from www.flipkart.com/beauty-and-personal-care/hair-care/hair-oils/pr?sidt06%2Cb7e%2Ck78 (accessed
March 29 2013)

Facebook, and collaborated with Yahoo! organising online forums where users could
discuss their hair problems. Various blogging contests, such as the Real Beauty
campaign, were organised, and sampling counters were used, allowing users to
experience the products (Balaganesh, 2011). The photographs of such sessions were
showcased in the Dove gallery, and every promotional effort made by Dove endeavoured
to keep the company ahead of its competitors in all categories.
By 2012, Dove had emerged as a solid brand within the HUL portfolio and a strong player
in each of product categories. It posted sales of INR4 billion (US$85.83 million), with soap
alone accounting for 50 per cent of total revenue (Balaganesh, 2011). Dove hair conditioner
had total sales of around INR400 million (US$8.583 million) and 19 per cent of the market
share in 2012 (Balaganesh, 2011).

The hair oil market


In 2011, the INR128.15 billion (US$2.6 billion) hair care market made up 8 per cent of the
total INR1,670.64 billion (US$33.4 billion) Indian FMCG market (Balaganesh, 2011). Owing
to a fast-changing lifestyle, this market was growing at 14 per cent (Balaganesh, 2011), and
shampoo, hair oil, hair conditioners and colours were key categories in demand. With
aggregate sales of INR66.64 billion (US$1.33 billion) for 2011, hair oil alone contributed to
52 per cent of the total hair care market. India recorded sales of INR34.6 billion (US$692
million) for perfumed oil category and INR32.04 billion (US$640 million) for coconut oil, thus
contributing 27 and 25 per cent, respectively, to the overall hair care industry (Balaganesh,
2011). Table IV presents share of various hair care categories (by value).
This hair oil category was segmented into coconut-based oil, light hair oil, heavy amla hair
oil (amla is a popular Indian name for the Indian gooseberry), cooling oils and other various
small variants. The coconut-based oil led the hair oil category with 48 per cent of the total

PAGE 6 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014


Table IV Share of hair care categories by value (March 2012)
Category Share (%)

Shampoo 31
Perfumed oil 27
Coconut oil 25
Hair conditioners 2
Hair dyes 15
Source: Compiled by Authors: Bajaj Corp Limited (2012), Investor Presentation, www.bseindia.
com/xml-data/corpfiling/AttachHis/Bajaj_Corp_Ltd_251012.pdf (accessed 29 March 2013)

market, followed by heavy amla, light hair and cooling oils (Balaganesh, 2011). The
coconut oil segment was growing, as all major players had thrust on converting non-users
into users. Maricos Parachute had been market leader in the coconut oil category with 80
per cent market share (Balaganesh, 2011). Share of different hair oil categories is available
in Table V.
Recording annual sales of INR10.56 billion (US$191.1 million) in 2011-2012, the light hair
oil category was growing at CAGR of 25.8 per cent by volume, while the urban market
constituted 66 per cent of the total segment. North India alone accounted for 49 per cent
of the light hair oil sales volume, but Western India was the fastest growing region with 23
per cent of the sales volume. Given the dominance of urban markets, larger units
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accounted for the bulk of sales, with 100 ml constituting 35.2 per cent and 200 ml
constituting 22 per cent of total sales. Bajaj Almond Drops was the leader and had
captured 54 per cent of the light hair oil market (Balaganesh, 2011).
Heavy amla and cooling oil categories recorded annual sales of INR8.36 billion (US$1.644
million) and INR7.66 billion (US$139 million), respectively, in 2011-2012. Growth was more
or less flat in the heavy amla oil category, and Dabur Amla was a clear leader with roughly
70 per cent market share. Other players included Maricos Shanti Amla Badam, Dabur
Sarson Amla and Bajaj Brahmi Amla (Balaganesh, 2011). Cooling Hair Oil was growing at
CAGR of 16.5 and 14.5 per cent in terms of value and volume, respectively (Balaganesh,
2011).
Sachets also emerged in the market and captured 2 per cent of the volume (Bajaj, 2010).
Traditionally, Indian companies such as Dabur, Emami, Bajaj Corp and Marico had been
pillars in the market. With HUL acquiring Cococare and Marico acquiring Oil of Malabar,
(Gurtoo, 2012) the competition was growing fierce. All the major players were aggressively
launching a gamut of new products and variants.

Key players in India


Marico
Established in 1971, FMCG major had popular oil brands like Parachute, Nihar, Hair &
Care, Shanti, Oil of Malabar, and products in other categories including Revive (instant

Table V Share of hair oil categories by value (March 2012)


Oil Share (%)

Coconut based 48
Heavy amla 15
Light hair oils 15
Cooling oils 12
Others 10
Source: Compiled by authors: Bajaj Corp Limited (2012), Investor Presentation, www.bseindia.
com/xml-data/corpfiling/AttachHis/Bajaj_Corp_Ltd_251012.pdf (accessed 29 March 2013)

VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES PAGE 7


starch powder), Mediker (anti-lice shampoo), Manjal (herbal soap) and Saffola (refined
edible oil) (Marico Homepage, 2013a;Marico Limited, 2011/2012a). The company had an
extensive distribution network for Parachute, its flagship brand (Marico Limited,
2011/2012b). Parachute had 80 per cent of the market share in the branded coconut oil
market (Marico Limited, 2011/2012c). Maricos hair oils, led by Parachute and Nihar, had
24.1 per cent of the market share by volume in the total hair oil market. Parachute had
continued its market expansion strategy to convert loose oil users into packed branded
coconut oil users (Marico Limited, 2011/2012d).
Nihar Shanti Amla Oil had a volume market share of 18.6 per cent in 2012 in the amla hair
oil category. This made it the second largest player in the segment (Marico Limited,
2011/2012d). The company had 14 per cent of the market share in the light hair oil segment
with its Parachute Beliphool and Parachute Advanced Cooling Oil (Marico Limited,
2011/2012b).
The company was also aggressively working to get into related categories such as hair
dyes and skin-care products (Mahalingam, 2012). Parachute Advanced Body Lotion had
achieved a market share of 7 per cent within one year of its launch, thus becoming the third
largest player in all Indian urban markets (Marico Limited, 2011/2012e). One out of every
three Indians used Marico products (Marico Homepage, 2013b).

Dabur India Limited


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With a consumer base of 35 million users, Dabur Amla Hair oil had been the flagship hair
oil for Dabur. It was the market leader in amla hair oil category with 69.5 per cent volume
share in 2010 (Chatterjee, 2010) and was further growing into the double digits (Dabur
Limited, 2011/2012a).
In the light hair oil category, Dabur Almond Hair Oil had been an established player (Dabur
Limited, 2011/2012b). Its premium personal care brand Dabur Vatika was the leader in the
category (Dabur Limited, 2011/2012c). The company also had a premium coconut hair oil,
Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil, that had been recognised at public forums also
(Dabur India Limited, 2013). Hair care contributed 30 per cent to consumer care sales for
Dabur. Dabur was ranked second in hair oil and fourth in the shampoo market in India
(Dabur India Limited, 2013a).
This INR50 billion (US$1 billion) company had a wide distribution network in both urban and
rural markets, covering 5.8 million retail outlets (Dabur India Limited, 2013b). Having
been voted Indian Power Brand 2011-2012, Dabur aggressively pursued the strategy of
expansion through innovation and acquisition (Dabur Limited, 2011/2012c).

Bajaj Corp Limited


The third largest player in the hair oil market Bajaj Corp Limited was renowned for its
products such as Bajaj Almond, Brahmi Amla, Brahmi Amla Shikakai, Bajaj Jasmine and
Bajaj Kailash Parbat Cooling Oil (Bajaj Corporation Ltd, 2013). Positioned as the premium
brand, Bajaj Almond Hair Oil had 54 per cent market share in the light hair oil category
and grew at 21.3 per cent by volume and 29.5 per cent by value (Bajaj Corporation Ltd,
2011/2012). Bajaj Brahmi Amla Hair oil had been one of the top three brands in the amla
hair oil market (Bajaj Corporation Ltd, 2013).
The only company selling oil in a glass bottle, Bajaj Corp Limited had 8 per cent of its sales
realisation from sachets. Eighty per cent of the companys sales were from mom and pop
stores, and North India attributed 50 per cent of the companys total sales. However, its
presence in the coconut oil-consuming south India was negligible (Bajaj Corporation Ltd,
2013).

PAGE 8 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES VOL. 4 NO. 3 2014


Emami Limited
An established player in personal and healthcare industry in India, Emami had prominent
brands such as Fair & Handsome (mens fairness cream), Boroplus Antiseptic Cream,
Zandu Balm and Himani Navratna Oil. These four brands accounted for 60 per cent of the
companys revenues in 2011-2012 (Emami Limited, 2011/2012). In the cooling oil category,
Navratna Oil had 54 per cent of the market share (Emami Limited, 2011/2012b) and had
been ranked number three in the hair oil category(Emami Limited, 2011/2012c) of Brand
Equity Most Trusted Brand 2011. Navratna Oil was one of the most advertised brands in
the segment. The company had a direct reach across 500,000 retailers (Emami Limited,
2011/2012d).

Keywords: Conclusion
Brand extension, For nearly five decades, HUL was a household name in the FMCG category, with two out
Dove, of three Indians using its products, and most of its brands recognised names in their
Dove elixir, respective product categories. With a history of successful product launches, HUL had
HUL, taken a bold step of launching high-priced Dove Elixir in a market traditionally ruled by
Premium hair oil mass market offers. The industry experts were divided on chances of its success.

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Corresponding author
Sanjeev Prashar can be contacted at: dr.sanjeev.prashar@gmail.com
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