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ITC looks to revolutionise soap biz through Vivel
The Tribune - 09 Sep 2013

Soap business is no mean business. With increasing  competition, it has become an area which not only needs innovation but also  innovation to attract consumers’ attention. At ITC, the endeavour has always  been to accelerate growth by leveraging deep consumer insight and combining  innovative and differentiated offers that deliver superior value to consumers.

Responses  from Sandeep Kaul, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC  Limited,

Q. What was the reason behind  modernisation of the Vivel brand at such a short phase of its launch?
A. At ITC, we believe in remaining contemporary and relevant, hence we are  continuously refreshing our brand proposition in order to stay ahead of the  curve. In the recent past, there has been an evident shift in consumers’  attitudes towards their personal grooming and there is a growing need for  multiple skin benefits from soap. In sync with this attitudinal change, we have  fortified the already well-established brand of Vivel soaps. With the launch of  the new skin nourishing range of soaps, we have evolved from just skin  softening to skin nourishment with vitamin E.

Q. What would the modernisation  envisage for the brand?
A. Vivel with its skin nourishing range modernises the well-established  soap portfolio. Nourishment is the core brand thought. The genesis of this new  platform lends itself to the finding that good skin is a manifestation of deep  nourishment. The new range catapults Vivel’s soap portfolio into a league of  its own.

The assortment of soaps introduces four innovative  mixes of ingredients that have been trusted over the years for their skin care  properties and vitamin E as the core nourishing ingredient for the range. Vivel  with green tea, aloe vera, mixed fruit + cream and refresh + moisturiser with  zesty orange extracts and milk cream is well poised to charm consumers and  deliver consumer delight in every moment of truth. We are confident that the  new portfolio will make brand Vivel even more endearing and will soon etch a  distinct consumer need-oriented growth story in its segment.

Q. How old is Vivel as a brand?  Is it close to break-even as a brand?
A. Vivel launched its portfolio in June 2008. In five years, Vivel has  been ranked 4th in the personal care segment as India’s most exciting brand (a  survey by Brand Equity & AC Nielsen). It is estimated to have attracted an  annualised consumer spend of Rs 500 crore and has strengthened its consumer  franchise with one in every five households to have tried the brand.

With the increasing urbanisation, favourable  demographic trends and a strong proposition of nourishment across its  portfolio, Vivel is poised to grow phenomenally in the coming years.

Q. What is Vivel's current market  share in the top categories?
A. Vivel in its soaps’ portfolio has garnered a strong consumer mindshare.  In some markets, Vivel is well ahead of its well-entrenched competitors. The  skin care portfolio, Cell Renew, was launched in December 2012 and has been  well received. The range comprising body lotions, face moisturiser and hand  crème has garnered positive reviews from consumers.

Q. In what categories does Vivel  operate?
A. Vivel is present in bath care with its range of soaps and body washes,  skin care with Cell Renew, Vivel Active Fair and a range of face washes and lip  balm and in hair care with Vivel ultra pro anti- dandruff shampoo.

Q. What are the categories where  Vivel would be extended?
A. Vivel continues to grow in the intensely competitive personal care  segment in India. It is poised to seize emerging opportunities in any category  that will seamlessly fit into the brand belief of offering differentiated value  propositions and will enhance consumer experience.

Q. At what pace is Vivel growing  its sales for ITC's personal care business? What is the revenue growth rate of  the personal care business?
A. Vivel  has emerged as a vibrant consumer brand and is one of the ITC’s fastest-growing  FMCG brands in India with an estimated annualised consumer spend of Rs 500  crore in just five years.

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