For British multinational GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH), India has now become the largest contributor to its global revenues, leading all emerging markets, including China, Middle East and Africa. After tasting success with its most recent venture into the oral healthcare segment in the country, the company is now pulling out all stops to boost growth by way of increasing reach and launching new products.
"The Indian unit has been growing extremely well... India contributed most to GSKCH's global growth in 2012," said Jayant Singh, executive vice-president-marketing, GSKCH.
While in India the company has largely been synonymous with its umbrella brand Horlicks, the maker of Boost, Iodex and Eno says the phenomenon is now changing. In the oral healthcare category, for instance, the company has already overtaken Colgate in the sensitive toothpaste segment with its brand Sensodyne in less than two years in modern retail outlets and pharmacies.
"Colgate has a head start in groceries. Our aim is to be present in any outlet selling toothpastes. It is just a matter of time now," Singh said. The company is evaluating launch of other products in the category from its global portfolio. With Sensodyne crossing the Rs 100 crore sales mark in India, the brand has now revised its growth target upwards of Rs 50 crore in the next three years.
In a bid to cash in on the under-penetrated sensitive oral healthcare category, the company has launched two products in less than two months in India. According to market estimates, the oral healthcare category is pegged at Rs 8,000 crore with the sensitive toothpaste segment estimated to be worth Rs 500 crore.
"The company has backed its new launches with heavy advertisements, to push its share among urban consumers. Especially in the sensitive toothpaste category, the opportunity is huge as the brand is not playing in the same segment as other companies," said Abneesh Roy, associate director, institutional equities — research, Edelweiss.
While the segment continues to be the fastest growing for GSKCH India, Singh said the company is also open to look at product extensions for brand Horlicks to capitalize on the breakfast segment. "We could expand into the ready-to-drink category for Horlicks or even snacks and muesli...but that is speculative right now. But we are already into the category and now we are only looking at how to expand," he said.
The company, which forayed into the nutritional oats category with its brand Horlicks, currently claims the third position in volume terms in the segment. Its venture into the healthy noodles category with Horlicks Foodles, however, has failed to make a mark.
"Ninety percent of the noodles category is at Rs 10 price point. We do not want to play in that segment," Singh said. The company has already withdrawn the product from several markets across the country after failing to compete with Nestle's Maggi and ITC's Sunfeast Yippee.