FMCG major Hindustan Lever (HLL) launched its new ayurvedic brand Ayush in Chennai yesterday signalling its intent to grab a share of the Rs 2,000-crore herbal healthcare market. With this move, HLL has effectively stymied the aggressive moves of a slew of fighter brands in this category - from the stables of CavinKare, Himalaya, Cholayil Pharmaceuticals et al.
With the launch of Ayush, HLL has also gone one step further. It plans to set up a chain of Lever Ayush Therapy Centres, the first of which is being set up in Chennai. A range of healthcare support services will be provided at these centres under the guidance of experts from the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP), Coimbatore. In fact, the entire range of Ayush products has been developed with the help of AVP.
The Ayush range of health- and beautycare products launched yesterday include Cough Nashak Syrup that 'starts showing effect in 30 minutes', Headache Nashak Roll On that 'provides relief in 15 minutes', Hair Poshak Oil that 'reduces hair loss within three weeks', Dandruff Nashak Shampoo that is 'proven to be 100 per cent effective in two washes' and Body Rakshak Soap that 'kills 99.9 per cent of all the seven types of skin and scalp germs and is India's first ayurvedic antisceptic soap'. Dalip Sehgal, executive director, new ventures & marketing services, HLL, underscored the company's claims by stating, "All these products have undergone rigorous clinical trials and tests with consumers and hospitals to check their efficacy."
In an exclusive conversation with agencyfaqs!, company officials indicated that the company would be working with medical practitioners to urge them to recommend these products. The company also said it hired the services of Bates and chlorophyll early last year when it conceived of the Ayush range under its Project Millennium (which aimed at identifying emerging consumer goods categories). While company officials refused to comment on the roles that the two agencies are likely to play, it seems Bates would be in charge of its mass media advertising and chlorophyll will take on the mantle of a consumer research partner.
While company officials refused to comment on the planned spends on Ayush, informal conversations we had with HLL officials present at the launch function indicated the company was planning to spend around Rs 10 crore in the first three months of the launch. The company is also looking at new ways to push the brand. It is planning to tie up with FoodWorld and Subhiksha in Chennai. Subhiksha, as we had reported earlier, is a Chennai-based discount store with 104 outlets in Tamil Nadu.
After Chennai, the company plans to take the brand in other key markets in the south in the next three months. The national rollout will be complete by the year end. © 2002 agencyfaqs!