The earliest detergent substance was undoubtedly water; after that, oils, abrasives such as wet sand, and wet clay. The oldest known detergent for wool-washing is stale (putrescent) urine. For the history of soap, see the entry thereon. Other detergent surfactants came from saponinsand ox bile. The detergent effects of certain synthetic surfactants were noted in 1913 by A. Reychler, a Belgian chemist.
The first commercially available detergent taking advantage of those observations was Nekal, sold in Germany in 1917, to alleviate World War I soap shortages. Detergents were mainly used in industry until World War II. By then new developments and the later conversion of USA aviation fuel plants to producetetrapropylene, used in household detergents, caused a fast growth of household use, in the late 1940s. In the late 1960s biological detergents, containing enzymes, better suited to dissolve protein stains, such as egg stains, were introduced in the USA by Procter & Gamble.
RURAL INDIA THERE’S an interesting way of putting rural India into perspective. If India’s population, as per the 1998 estimates of the United Nations Population Division, is 982,223,000, then rural India, taken as 73. 3% of India, is 719,969,459. Divide that by the estimated total world population of 5. 9 billion, and rural India becomes 12. 2% of world population. Forget all of us sitting in the cities (4. 4% more) — 12. 2% of the world lives in rural India. Which, given our effective lack of knowledge makes it a bit like one of the world’s last great undiscovered countries.
Rural inhabitants aren’t a different species, but consumers as quirky and demanding of marketers as any of their urban cousins. And just as eager to consume — maybe even more so, given their access to messages of consumption via TV, but lacking the easy access that makes urban consumer’s blase. For marketers the potential is huge — a country waiting eagerly for their products, providing they can make the effort to export inwards, and learn to play the games by rural rules. And if they don’t, the chances are that they will be left behind.
Even with the minimal effort put in by companies so far, rural India now accounts for majority, or near majority, consumption in many categories. — Rural India is clearly not such an area of darkness anymore, and as a further incentive to keep the lights on, remember that farmers get electricity free! One of the most popular and widely accepted Marketing Myth is that the rural consumers will only buy really cheap mass market brands. But the stark reality is that though brands like Nirma lead, but penetration of premium products has also been observed even to the lowest SEC.
The percentages may be very small, but given the large universe, the actual figures may be significant Thus when we are aware of the fact that brands like Nirma rule the rural market, it would be interesting to study and analyse their basic marketing inputs —–the 4P”s About the Company Nirma is the Rs. 17 billion Detergents, Soaps and Personal Care Products Brand, a market leader in the Indian detergent market and second largest in bathing soaps… the brand NIRMA being one of the world’s biggest in it’s segment… result of it’s mission to provide ‘Better Products, Better Value, Better Living’. The man who altered the clothes-washing habits of the Karsanbhai Patel the chairman of the Ahmedabad-based Nirma Ltd. This chemist who manufactured detergents at home in Ahmedabad in 1969 has certainly come a long way. He worked from his backyard which developed into a soap factory, cycled to retail outlets and hawked his brand at one-fourth of the price of similar products then available. At Rs 6, Nirma, named after his daughter, was the cheapest detergent vying for attention on shop shelves.
By the late 1980s, Nirma had become one of the world’s largest-selling detergent powders. That he rewrote history and gave Hindustan Lever, the Indian subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch foods and toiletries conglomerate Unilever, a huge headache is well-chronicled. Today he is proud owner of an Rs 2,500-crore Ahmedabad-based soaps and detergents major It has been Patel’s dream to make Nirma a synonym for quality. “Nirma is not merely a brand or a product, it is a dynamic phenomenon, a revolution, a philosophy,” he once said.
Nirma sells over 800,000 tones of detergent products every year and commands a 35% share of the Indian detergent market, making it one of the world’s biggest detergent brands. Towards this end, he tried his hand at many brand extensions. From toothpaste to salt and matchsticks, they all nestled under the Nirma umbrella. Incorporated as a private limited company, Nirma was converted into a deemed public company and then to a public limited one in Nov. ’93. Nirma is an over Rs. 17 billion brand with a leadership presence in Detergents, Soaps and Personal Care Products, offering employment to over 15,000 people.
In fiscal 1997, the Nirma group restructured operations and merged four companies – Nilinta Chemicals, Nirma Detergents, Nirma Soaps and Detergents, and Shiva Soaps and Detergents – with its flagship Nirma Ltd. Products are marketed through a 100-per cent subsidiary, Nirma Consumer Care. Nirma has undertaken backward integration into manufacture of Industrial Products like Soda Ash, Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB), Alfa Olefin Sulphonates (AOS), Fatty Acid, Glycerine and Sulphuric Acid.
Today, Nirma sells over 800000 tones of detergent products annually, giving it a 35% share of the Indian market, which are the world’s second largest fabric wash products markets. This makes Nirma India’s largest detergent marketer and one of the world’s biggest detergent brands. The Company has acquired Kisan Industries Limited situated at Village Moraiya, Dist. Ahmedabad as a going concern, which was engaged in the business of manufacture of detergents, Single Super Phosphate, fertilizer and printing and packaging. The second stream of the 420000 tpa Soda Ash plant at village Kalatalav, Bhavnagar was commissioned in September 2000.
The Company also set up a pure water plant to manufacture 2. 80 lacs TPA Vacuum-salt in October 2000. Debottlenecking process which was made during 2001-02 by the company resulted in expansion of installed capacity of Soda Ash at Village Kalatalav, from 420000 TPA to 650000 TPA. The total cost of the project is approximately Rs. 110 crores. This project is expected to be completed in September, 2002. The company issued Secured NCD aggregating Rs. 360 crores in order to augment its working capital and also to bring-in cost effiency in funding cost In detergents market Nirma and Hindustan Lever are close competitors with 38% market share ach. Nirma leads the popular segment, while HLL leads the premium detergent powder segment. P&G and Henkel Spic are the other key competitors in the detergent market. Vision, Mision & Philosophy Nirma is a customer-focused company committed to consistently offer better quality products and services that maximise value to the customer. This customer-centric philosophy has been well emphasised at Nirma through: * Continuously exploring & developing new products & processes. * Laying emphasis on cost effectiveness. * Maintaining effective Quality Management System. Complying with safety, environment and social obligations. * Imparting training to all involved on a continuous basis. * Teamwork and active participation all around. * Demonstrating belongingness and exemplary behaviour towards organisation, its goals and objectives. Nirma is a phenomenon and synonymous with Value for Money. The brand transcends the specific dynamic of any particular product category, which is best captured in its above mission statement – a statement of sustained innovation, an unceasing effort to deliver better value to consumers, through better product quality. Level of Channel Distribution:
Company manufacturing unit Consolidator Wholesaler Semi-Wholesaler Retailer Consumer Principal Channel [Nirma Products]: * Lowest Cost system in India * Speed in distribution * Flexibility The NIMA range of products is marketed through a parallel marketing network that comprises of more than 2000 distributors. Parallel Channel [Nirma Products]: * Wider Reach * Speedy Market Intelligence * Competitive edge & Better focus * Complementing Principal Channel All NIRMA and NIMA range of products have a retail reach of over two million retail outlets and more than 40 million loyal consumers spread all over the country.
The Company has been successful in establishing an extremely good urban as well as rural presence through the two distribution channels. The distribution channels have played a significant role in making Nirma a household name. The efficient network has made Nirma Washing Powder and Nirma Detergent Cake, the brands with highest penetration in the respective product categories in the market. The network is well equipped to meet the demands of the loyal consumers of the Company across the country.
The robust network ensures the availability of various products at different retail outlets across the nation. The Distribution channel is geared up to enhance trade relations, build up the retailer base by providing various benefits and incentives, organize and implement different activities to generate sales and manage numerous other programmes, schemes and activities concentrated towards business development.