A household name for paste and tooth powder, Colgate Palmolive (India) was established on 23rd September 1937 as a private limited company in Bombay, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Colgate Palmolive Co. Of USA Initially it started with trading activity and later set up manufacturing operations in 1949 at Sewry (Bombay). The company became a public limited company on 5th October 1978. In 1990-91 the company commissioned facilities for fatty acid and toilet soap at Waluj (Aurangabad). The plants at Sewri and Waluj manufacture oral care products like dental creams, tooth powder tooth brushes and personal care products like toilet soaps, shampoo, which are marketed under various brand names ...view middle of the document...
Colgate Palmolive’s five year plan for 1991 to 1995 emphasized new product launches and entry into new Geographic markets, along with improved efficiencies in manufacturing and distribution and a continuing focus on core consumer products. In 1921 $ 243 million was spend to upgrade 25 of Colgate Palmolive’s 91 manufacturing plants, 275 new products were introduced world-wide; several strategic acquisitions (e.g. of the Mennen men’s toiletries company) were completed and manufacturing began in China and Eastern Europe. Since 1985, gross margins had climbed from 39% to 45% while annual volume growth since 1986 had averaged 5% International sales Colgate Palmolive’s strong unit, accounted for 64% of sales and 6% of profits in 1991.
COMPANY STRATEGY - ORAL CARE AND TOOTHBRUSH INDUSTRY IN PARTICULAR
“Volume is the key” says Richard Usuquen, VP Marketing Colgate Palmolive (India) Ltd. To expand the market in all ranges, CP has an ongoing RURAL VAN PROGRAMME and SCHOOL PROGRAMME covering 14 million villages and 80 million consumers, teaching people brush or even clean their teeth with the fingers. CP’s action centring around finely balancing the urban market - (59.5%) and rural markets (68% share) . So while the company has introduced such premium packaging as stand up toothpaste tubes with flip-up caps in the urban market, it is also selling sachets of Colgate dental cream at low prices.
This focus on volumes is also evident in the toothbrush market, estimated at 400 million units per annum. C-P is the toothbrush leader in India with an approximately 60% market share, but since ‘95 it is facing challenges from HLL which has already garnered 8% market share.
Usuquen says “The penetration of brushes in India is very low, so more than market share, it is important to grow the market”. To that end CP has actively introduced line extensions across all three segments - economy, middle and premium since last year. At the entry level it has adopted the sleeve packaging, with no individual cases. The focus is on driving volumes through the price-sensitive segment. The mid-price market has been the introduction of the HIGH KLEEN range, while the upper end has seen the zig - zag and Double - Action launches.
For the economy segment, a price focus has been adopted. On offer are five toothbrushes each from the CP and Cibacca stables to rural consumers, at prices low enough to generate trial. For the urban market, the focus is on maintaining novelty value by introducing new variants and added features.
“Whatever is new, people buy. So the idea is to accelerate choice through a variety of product features”.
CP’s perception of the Indian market is of one where people welcome change but clamour for high end products at cheaply prices. The answer to this conundrum as per the company’s strategy is to
“..... Optimise cost and formulation and the proceses and come up with efficient manufacturing to answer this “. CP’s strategy is to pour in a lot of ...