A chat with the divisional chief executive of ITC's personal care vertical about the newly launched Savlon Surface Disinfectant Spray.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people, in general, have become a lot more cautious about hygiene. And, brands have taken a note of it. Consumer goods company Marico launched a ‘Veggie Wash’ made with 100 per cent safe ingredients, and CavinKare launched ‘Bacto-V’ (short form of 'Bacteria to Viruses') gadget disinfectant.
Now, multinational conglomerate ITC has launched Savlon Surface Disinfectant Spray. The Kolkata-headquartered brand claims that the spray kills 99.99 per cent germs, including virus, bacteria, molds and fungi. It also kills commonly contagious viruses like H1N1, Rotavirus and Norovirus.
Priced at Rs 159 (170 gram bottle), the product is being rolled out across retail channels and online platforms.
We spoke with Sameer Satpathy, divisional chief executive, personal care, ITC, on what goes into the launch of such a product in these unprecedented times, and the investments involved in it.
A marketer with over two decades of experience, Satpathy has been with ITC for over four years. Before ITC, he was with Marico for close to 13 years in various marketing positions, and with Berger Paints for over seven years.
On the launch, he says, “It has been intense work under pressure as teams worked in unfamiliar circumstances to put together the launch in under a month. It required a huge effort from our extended supply chain, from design houses to raw material suppliers, and we are very grateful for the contribution made by all teams.”
Talking about the products, he says, “The zero contact Savlon Surface Disinfectant Spray introduces a hassle-free and convenient way to disinfect and deodorise in one easy step. Its unique spray formula can be used on various hard and soft surfaces alike, leaving behind a fresh and pleasant smell, while killing 99.99 per cent germs. The active ingredients in this formulation also kill certain antibiotic resistant germs. Spray once on high contact areas through which germs are transmitted, and allow it to air dry. There is no need to wipe it down (this eliminates contact between the hands and frequently touched surfaces during disinfection).”
Satpathy says that frequently touched surfaces are high contact areas through which germs are transmitted, and this can increase the chances of infection. Tables, door knobs, chairs, sofas, etc., are often touched by several people. Cleaning these surfaces properly is critical to maintain the health and hygiene of those who come in contact with them, and their families.
In a situation like this, what will determine the success of the product launched? “The smile on the consumers face, because they feel that they're able to protect their home and family,” he says.
When we asked him about the investments involved, he says the launch is adequately supported to ensure availability, access and awareness. “We will treat this like any new product launch, and invest in both media and point of purchase.”
He also says that the brand will continue to communicate online and through mass media to enable awareness and education for the category.
ITC aquired 'Savlon' from Johnson & Johnson in 2015. Commonly sold as antiseptic liquid, the brand launched a new format of the product earlier last month (April), given the hike in the demand for hand wash (liquid) and sanitisers - Savlon Hexa Hand Sanitizing Liquid. Savlon Hexa helps protect against many enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, in addition to 99.99 per cent bacteria and fungi.