The Beginning….The Beginning….In 1969 Gujarati entrepreneur, Dr. Karsanbhai
Patel, set up his first detergent-making unit in the backyard of his home in Ahmedabad measuring all of 100 square feet.
With bare hands and a bucket, he would prepare the dry mix detergent powder that he had invented, pack them in polythene bags and then set off on his bicycle to sell the packets door to door.
Every packet of Nirma that Karsanbhai Patel sold to his consumers came with a money back guarantee.
The cost-conscious approach of the initial years was to evolve into a strategic perspective.
Some Facts…Some Facts…Nirma is named after Nirupama
daughter of Dr. Karansanbhai Patel“Dudh si safedi Nirma se aye,
rangeen kapda bhi khil khil jaye”Jingle used since last 35years
Same radio spot has been used consistently since last 28years
Nirma is one of the largest selling single detergent brands in the world
A different pathA different path
Identified new markets.
Expanded markets where others failed
Achieved penetration where others felt consumers mind set could not be changed
Success PathSuccess Path
Value for money conceptsRural focusFlat, efficient, robust distribution network
Multi dimensional aggressive marketing and manufacturing strategy
Aggressive media strategy
ResultsResultsValue for money conceptWashing habits changedWidespread conversion from oil soap and soda ash to detergent powder
Size of detergent market in no time multiplied manifold
Single product brand
Present Scenario Present Scenario
8 manufacturing locations.Amongst top 10 Indian Brands.Nation wide Distribution reach.
o400 Distributorso2000000 Retailerso40 Depots
Strong human resource base consisting of 14000 employees and 500 professionals.
RecognitionRecognition This brand had been ranked as the “Most widely
distributed detergent powder brand in India” as per All India Census of Retail Outlets carried out in 435 urban towns by the AIMS (Asian Information Marketing & Social) Research agency [Brand Equity - The Economic Times, March 11, 1997].
As per the ORG-MARG Rural Consumer Panel [December 1998] survey, Nirma brand has been ranked as highest in terms of penetration in washing powder category [BT Rural Market Watch, Business Today, June 22, 1999].
9th among Top FMCG brands of India ( A& M –MODE-2002)
AOS, Sulfuric Acid, Sodium Silicate, Soda Ash, Salt
Fertilizers: Single Super Phosphate
Marketing StrategyMarketing StrategyProduct Positioning: Nirma found its place
between the expensive detergents and inferior washing soap slabs. The Nirma brand was quickly recognized in Gujarat and neighboring parts of Maharashtra and the rest is history.
Pricing: Nirma transformed the face of Indian detergent market by staging the strength of low-cost detergent powder segment. The new yellow powder was priced at Rs. 3 per kg, at a time when HLL's Surf was priced at Rs 13.
Distribution: Nirma targeted non-users of Surf thus avoided the attention of HLL and later grew rapidly and was unstoppable once it was in the right mode.
Promotion Promotion Nirma believes in advertising only after they
have launched a product in place.
Nirma's advertising has always focused on the value-for-money angle.
In 1982 we witnessed the birth of the first film for the brand, with the effervescent jingle. Its simple and catchy –
“Dudh si safedi Nirma se aye, rangeen kapda bhi khil khil
Nirma spent only 1.25 - 2 % of its turnover on advertising as of 6 – 10 % likewise other FMCG companies.
BrandingBrandingNirma followed its original marketing and pricing
strategies in both economy and premium segment.Launched product categories like premium
detergent and premium toilet soaps in mid nineties and in 2000 entered hair market like nirma shikakai, nirma beauty shampoo.
Challenged the biggest competitor, HLL by launching nirma bath against lifebouy, nirma rose against breeze and nirma lime against lime.
Manufactured soaps with right scents keeping prices low.
Geographical diversity – Pink soaps in north, Green and sandal soaps in south.
In 1989 the second commercial featured the superstar of those days, Sangeeta Bijlani, along with models such as Shikha Swaroop and Anuradha Patel. Used starlets like, Sonali Bendre and Riya Sen for their beauty soaps
In 2005 a little change from its predecessors – this was the food throwing ad (Hema, Rekha, Jaya, Sushma). It lent names and profiles – to Nirma housewives
The jingle being a part of Nirma’s communication, was rarely tweaked with the swirl of Nirma girl in a frock on the pack shot.
Other constants in a Nirma film included twirl of saris by models in outdoor locations.
In 2009 Nirma wakes up and decides to undergo a personality transplant. A whopping Rs1.5 crore is spent on that thought.
The result a 'underwater' commercial, which showed dancers moving with flowing fabric - a metaphor for clothes being washed in a bucket.
It did not use the iconic Nirma jingle.
Now, Nirma is back to talking about the dirt tackling properties of the detergent, as well as use the legendary 'Washing powder Nirma' jingle.
Better quality productsCheaper in priceEasy availabilityValue for money Need fulfilled for lower and middle lower class
Losing BusinessLosing Business…..…..
Nirma suffers from the inability to innovate in the product categories
With rising incomes, consumers are now shifting from economy brands to aspirational purchases.
The rivals have products across all price points to mitigate the inputs cost effects while nirma is available in only one plank-Value for money.
Introduction of family packIntroduction of liquid detergentAttractive packaging Incentives to distributors