One of India’s oldest consumer goods manufacturers, Dabur India, is doubling down on the ayurvedic segment to drive growth. The last few weeks have seen top executives, including chairman Amit Burman and CEO Mohit Malhotra, reiterating the importance the segment holds for the company and how it plans to leverage the increasing demand for nature-derived products.
This will mark a return to Dabur’s traditional roots after over a decade of strategic focus on “non-core” segments, according to analysts. CLSA, for instance, says that all strategies are directed towards mainstreaming Ayurveda and that “it will touch all products and service as the backbone for new launches”.
Just a week earlier, Dabur’s newly appointed chairman told shareholders that the company “has embarked on a journey to make Ayurveda contemporary”. “There are two big trends in the consumption space today. First: young India is increasingly influencing household purchases. Second, Ayurveda and nature continue to occupy prime space in consumers’ minds,” he observed.
The company’s recent launches only underscore this strategic emphasis, with the most recent — Babool Ayurvedic — being launched at what analysts say are “very competitive” price points.
While the Babool toothpaste brand has been a mainstay for the company for several years, it is now set to emphasise the Ayurvedic benefits through aggressive marketing. Speaking to analysts at a post-earnings conference call, Malhotra had noted that while the babool plant (gum tree) is very “very active ingredient in Ayurveda”, the company had not “advertised or spoken about this much”.
“But, this is what we will do now… embarking on advertising. The price points are also pretty aggressive,” he said. The company had launched a `10 pack too, along with other higher price points.
Dabur is now driving a campaign to associate the Babool brand more strongly with its Ayurvedic roots. Malhotra had noted in the same conference call that Babool, which had been positioned and milked as an economy segment fighter, had lost its price positioning over that last few years once several competitors came down to a `10 price point.“So therefore, we had to rebrand, repackage and reposition this entire brand and nothing better than Ayurvedic positioning,” Malhotra said.
Herbal segment in oral care grows 18 per cent
According to market analysts, the herbal and natural segment in oral care is growing at nearly 18 per cent. In comparison, the growth in the non-natural space has been pegged at 6 per cent, analysts said.