Oct 2, 2016

Dabur to take on Patanjali with youthful makeover

October 2, 2016
Yuthika Bhargava
The Hindu

The company has identified 100 rare, critical medicinal herbs for cultivation to feed its product line

At a time when Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has been advancing rapidly in the FMCG market, Dabur India claims it is seeing customers returning to its fold after “flirting” with lower priced products from rivals.

“Honey was the only category that was impacted by Patanjali. There too, we are now seeing consumers, who had flirted with cheaper honey, return to Dabur. The sudden shift that we saw a few quarters back is reversing,” Krishan Chutani, Executive Director (Consumer Care Business) at Dabur told The Hindu.

The Aryuveda industry had reached a tipping point, Mr. Chutani said, and argued that while Baba Ramdev had given Ayurveda “salience”, Patanjali Ayurved was not a competitor as far as ‘pure play Ayurveda’ was concerned.

“When frenzy starts, a lot of people will come with lots of offerings, but eventually customers will accept a brand rooted in rationality and science. Therefore, we are well poised to claim the benefits of this new wave. We have been an Ayurveda firm for 130 years,” he said.

Mr. Chutani pointed out that launch of products by other players, including Patanjali, had helped “share of voice” for Ayurveda rise and Dabur would reap the benefits.

Makeover in works
Dabur is working on a makeover of its products to appeal more to youth and also to increase sourcing of medicinal herbs.

“Dabur had 2,100 acres of rare herbs under cultivation at the end of fiscal 2015-16. This would be increased to 3,800 acres by the end of 2016-17 fiscal. We have already, till the end of the first quarter of 2016-17, increased the coverage to 2,700 acres,” Mr. Chutani said.

The company had identified around 100 rare and critical medicinal herbs. “We are today cultivating 23 of these herbs and have drawn up a roadmap to initiate cultivation of another 27,” he said.

On the ongoing makeover, Mr. Chutani said, “Appealing to young India is what we are focussing on now. A lot of old products are undergoing a shift. Some 70 per cent of India is young. If you don’t appeal to them, it is not good for business.”

Ayurveda products currently contribute about 60 per cent to the NSE-listed firm’s domestic revenue


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