labels: industry - general, godrej sara lee
The new mosquito shieldsnews
Venkatachari Jagannathan
24 August 2004

The competition in the mosquito repellent industry just got tougher with the launch of newer forms of repellents like personal sprays and gels

Chennai: The night-long noisy drone of mosquitoes that disturbs our sleep is music to the ears of the Rs1,100-crore mosquito repellent industry. Consequently, the industry is introducing newer forms of repellents like personal sprays and gels.

Market leader Godrej Sara Lee Ltd recently extended its product range with the launch of a spray, gel and a lotion under the Good Knight brand.

The Rs193 crore Camlin Limited — known for its ubiquitous school geometry sets, pens, pencils and erasers — entering the mosquito repellent segment with its Repelmos spray.

Says executive director, Ashish Dandekar, "Our pharma and fine chemicals divisions earn around Rs62 crore. We are the country''s largest manufacturer of food-grade antioxidants."

The two new categories make their entry, though belatedly, in a market dominated by coils, vapourisers and creams.

"While the coil, vapouriser, cream markets have matured and are logging minimal growth, the personal mosquito repellent segment is in its infancy. But it is growing fast," says Godrej Sara Lee''s vice president, marketing, Vikas Hajela.

The company commands nearly 40 per cent market share in the mosquito repellent industry with brands like Hit, Jet, Banish apart from Good Knight. According to him the mosquito repellent industry has 54 manufacturers with 72 brands.

Till date, the only major personal mosquito repellent brand has been Odomos cream from Balsara Home Products Limited. However, the cream suffered the disadvantage of being greasy. In order to rectify this, Balsara launched the Odomos gel. The other personal repellent is Autan lotion owned by Lever Johnson Pvt Ltd, part of the US-based SC Johnson group.

Meanwhile, Godrej Sara Lee and Camlin hope to take advantage of the problems associated with the older products like the smoke and fumes from coils, mats, and vapourisers becoming ineffective during power cuts and creams being greasy. Except for the cream, all other repellents are effective only in the area they are used in.

Given the fact that the Rs450-crore turnover company, Godrej Sara Lee, being present in the entire product segments will they cannibalise other brands?

"May be a bit," agrees Hajela but continues, "But it will not be big as the target segment for the new products are different," expecting the growth to come from the upwardly mobile consumers and the change in lifestyles that has spawned a new product category.

"The new range will actually be a supplement and not a substitute to other forms of mosquito repellents. The spray and gel will increase the number of occasions to use the insect repellents. We also plan to bring out the lotion in sachets," he adds.

The category-wise market shares. Coils command nearly 50 per cent of the market share, vapouriser refills at 20 per cent, with mats at 10 per cent followed by aerosols at 9 per cent and the rest shared by creams, heating devices and other products.

The active ingredient in Camlin''s Repelmos and Godrej Sara Lee''s Good Knight spray and gel is diethyl toluamide, popularly known as DEET, the world''s most extensively used protection against mosquito and other insect bites.

According to Dr Sharmila Ranade, medical advisor, Camlin, the mosquitoes are attracted by the lactic acid smell in our skin. DEET masks that smell.

Once sprayed or applied on the skin, the DEET-based gel or lotion forms a unique water-resistant film that is rub- and sweat-proof provides anywhere, anytime personal protection. The companies claim the products provide protection for more than 10 hours.

"Hence, the spray makes a person invisible," adds Hajela. As a matter of fact, Good Knight''s punch line is, "Activ Shield Good Knight will make you invisible to mosquitoes."

Compared to Camlin''s Repelmos spray priced at Rs59 (100 ml) Godrej Sara Lee''s Good Knight is slightly cheaper at Rs54 (100 ml). Interestingly Camlin has slashed the price from Rs99.95 after it found there were no takers for the product at that price.

Meanwhile, in the mosquito coil market, Jyothy Laboratories'' Maxo is rapidly increasing its share. The market leader is Mortein from Reckitt Benckiser India Ltd while Tortoise marketed by Bayer India Ltd is going down. After the entry of red coils, the green coils are slowly losing customer patronage. The red coils seem to burn longer than the green ones.

In the refill, vapouriser market Karamchand Appliances Pvt Ltd with its All Out brand leads the market followed by Godrej Sara Lee''s Good Knight and Jet. Interestingly SC Johnson has acquired 50 per cent stake in Karamchand Appliances, in addition to owning the Baygon and Autan brands.

In the mats and aerosol categories Godrej Sara Lee leads the market with its brands Good Knight and Hit.

Concludes Hajela, "Refills, vapourisers and aerosols offer more profitability and growth opportunities for the industry."

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