Nirma makes tentative efforts to enter premium end market

Mumbai: Nirma, famous for its Nirma washing powder, a brand with a robust value for money image, seems to be trying to don a more upmarket garb. The Rs 2,500-crore Ahmedabad-based soaps and detergents major is making tentative efforts to enter the premium end of the market.

Recently Nirma signed a licensing agreement with the multinational firm Procter and Gamble Home Products to manufacture, market and distribute the soap brand Camay in India (See: 'Nirma will now manufacture and market Camay for India').

Nirma will use the trademark of Camay for a rolling period of five years and will give royalty payments to P&G. The licence agreement was made through Nirma's subsidiary, Nirma Consumer Care.

Says Nirma Consumer Care chairman and managing director Hiren K Patel: “This agreement marks the advent of Nirma into the premium segment of the soap industry. Nirma is looking to broaden its products portfolio with a view to lowering dependence on the increasingly competitive and stagnating washing soaps and detergents market.“

In keeping with its premium image, Camay will be priced at Rs 13 for a 100gm pack. Though this is lower than the price of competing soaps such as International Lux (at Rs 15 per 75 grams), Dove (Rs 35 for 100 grams) and Pears (Rs 19.50 for 75 grams), it must be remembered that it is an introductory price.

Also the company aims to position Camay as a skincare product which Patel says gives it a broader perspective than limiting it to the bath soap segment and will also open another product category for the company viz personal care.