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Savlon to be Rs 500 crore brand in 2-3 years
Mint - 12 Oct 2018

Savlon competes with Hindustan Unilever Ltd's Lifebuoy which  is a Rs 2,000 crore brand and Reckitt Benckiser India's Dettol.

ITC Ltd, the diversified cigarettes-to-shampoo company,  pushed the envelope on inclusivity with the launch of Braille packaging for its  health and hygiene brand Savlon on the second Thursday of October, which is  observed annually as the World Sight Day.

"When you think about it, it's a simple idea," said Sameer Sathpathy,  chief executive officer, personal care, ITC. "It also fits well with the  antiseptic brand's preposition that it's caring and thinking about the  consumer," he added.

Yet, there are not even a handful of products in India that offer Braille  packaged products. "May be we will now see other companies follow suit with  similar initiative," said Piyush Pandey, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India,  the advertising agency for Savlon. A case in point is Savlon's earlier launch  of Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks which infused chalks with soap granules making  hand wash fun for children. "The product is now in great demand in other  international markets," said Pandey.

One of the reasons for the low adoption of Braille in packaging could be  the added cost. "Braille packaging adds to costs," a 2013 article in The  Pharmaceutical Journal by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a professional  membership body for pharmacists and pharmacy in Great Britain, said while  reviewing Braille packaging in UK since its implementation following an EU  directive in 2004 which mandated pharmaceutical companies to have Braille on  their packaging.

All the same, Savlon's pricing has not changed with the new packaging,  said Sathpathy who is hopeful of the brand becoming a Rs500 crore brand in the  next 2-3 years.

Savlon is present in the antiseptic liquid market which is pegged to be Rs  650 crore; hand wash - Rs. 600 crore and has also entered in the sanitizer  category, which is pegged at Rs 70-80 crore, according to data from market research  firm Nielsen.

The brand competes with Hindustan Unilever Ltd's Lifebuoy which is a Rs  2,000 crore brand and Reckitt Benckiser India's Dettol.

Also for the visually impaired the change is helpful. "It helps us to save  time when looking into our cabinets for an antiseptic as we are more prone to  small injuries than the average person," said Suhas Karnik, general secretary,  National Association for the Blind (NAB) who is hopeful that this launch will  help create awareness and attention to the issues of the visually impaired.

According to the 2011 census data, 10 million people are visually impaired  or have some eye ailments and disorders. However, this number is  under-reported, claimed Karnik estimating it to be at 20-30 million people at  least. However, there are no studies that tell us how many people can read  Braille in India, said Karnik.

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