afaqs! news bureau

Hair and how: Dabur promotes hair oil through rural beauty pageant

As opposed to a regular beauty contest with skin show, the company has organised a modest beauty pageant for rural women

Earlier this year, consumer and natural beauty products maker Dabur unveiled its oldest and largest brand, Dabur Amla hair oil, in a contemporary avatar. The new identity was an attempt to modernise the brand and make it more contemporary and relevant, in consonance with today's lifestyle.

A major chunk of the brand's turnover comes from markets in north India, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab. In order to further deepen the brand's penetration in the rural pockets, Dabur also announced the launch of special low-priced packs of Dabur Amla hair oil – a Re 1 sachet and a Rs 10 pack (25ml) – making the brand more affordable.

Ajay Motwani, head, hair oil category, Dabur India, says, "The rural Indian woman is changing, and so are her aspirations and beauty needs. While she lives in small town India, she aspires for beauty and seeks modernity in all the products she uses. In order to meet these evolving needs of today's woman, Dabur Amla hair oil has undergone a face lift that makes the brand more youthful, contemporary and in sync with today's consumer."

Hair and how: Dabur promotes hair oil through rural beauty pageant
Hair and how: Dabur promotes hair oil through rural beauty pageant
In September, the company kicked off its annual consumer initiative – a rural beauty pageant christened Dabur Amla 'Banke Dikhao Rani', which recognises and rewards facets such as sundarta (beauty), susheelta (well mannered) and yogyata (competency) amongst young girls.

The first round of the initiative involves promoters accompanied by a beautician travelling to the targeted villages and announcing the beauty pageant. The beautician gives hair care tips and hand out sachets of Dabur Amla hair oil to the girls, who are asked to prepare themselves for the final round of the pageant. A reminder announcement will be made by promoters three days prior to the pageant.

Organised in village schools, the final leg of the pageant will be devoid of a ramp and women dressed in skimpy clothes. Keeping in mind the modesty of rural India, contestants will be judged by their performance in two rounds. In the first round, a hair expert will examine the quality of hair of each girl and her hair styling. The second round will give an opportunity to each girl to display her talent. The final decision on the winner will be taken unanimously by the hair expert, village elders including the sarpanch, school teachers and Aanganwadi workers (village social workers).

The winner will get an opportunity to become a part of the distribution network of the brand in the village, making her independent.

"Dabur Amla hair oil has always been associated with beauty and has been known as the key behind strong, long and beautiful hair. We are now taking Dabur Amla's association with beauty a step further with this rural beauty pageant that also seeks to empower women in rural India," says Motwani.

The contest, which will run for another week, is being held simultaneously across 52 districts in three states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, covering 2,000 villages.

" With this initiative, we will generate beauty awareness among rural women, educate them about the benefits of Dabur Amla hair oil vis-à-vis loose mustard oil, and offer the rural women a platform to showcase their beauty and talent," adds Motwani.

The annual initiative is running in its second year and the company claims to have recorded a 15 per cent surge in participation.