Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has been one of the biggest disruptors in the Indian consumer market. Such has been its impact that big multinationals that once defined the Indian market with their sole dominance are today forced to mend their ways and adopt to the market preferences that have undergone a sea change in a matter of a couple of years.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has gained popularity at a pace that left global biggies almost unaware. Colgate-Palmolive, that controls almost half of India’s toothpaste market and is the most affected by Patanjali’s rise, is now foraying into an area that it has never explored before.
For the first time in 80 years, Colgate is set to launch its herbal toothpaste to take on Patanjali.
According to a report in The Economic Times, the oral care giant is launching its India-focused brand Cibaca Vedshakti in order to compete with Patanjali’s Dant Kanti toothpaste, after Baba Ramdev challenged the dominance of Rs 1 lakh-crore worth global giant, which currently controls more than half the oral care market in India.
“In India, the consumer believes strongly in natural ingredients. A toothpaste launching this quarter under the Cibaca sub-brand is Colgate Cibaca Vedshakti,” Bina Thompson, senior vide-president at Colgate-Palmolive was quoted by Economic Times as saying.
“The positioning is a toothpaste packed with the goodness of natural ingredients to help keep dental problems away,” she further added.
Since its launch in India, Colgate hasn’t had a significant presence in country’s herbal market. However, its recent products – Active Salt Neem and sensitive Clove toothpaste – which are said to have natural ingredient, have helped the company enhance their sales. These products have a combined share of more than 7 per cent of the overall toothpaste market now.
On the other hand, Patanjali has raised objection against the new name, Cibaca Vedshakti, saying that it wasn’t appropriate and ‘Ayush’ or ‘jadibooti’ should have been used instead.
“We worship and respect Vedas like our gods, we don’t use them in our products. This is not a toothpaste but a direct attack on our culture,” said Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved.
Earlier this year, Balkrishna had said that with the passage of time, Patanjali’s Dant Kanti will expectedly overhaul consumer product multinationals like Colgate, claiming its estimate sales in the FY 2015-16 to be Rs 450 crore.
While Patanjali’s share in the oral care market was nearly 2 per cent in the FY 2015-16, Colgate suffered a loss of nearly 1.5 per cent in market share although it still dominates at 55 per cent.
However, analysts believe that Colgate will be able to fight back against local competition with its new product.
Referring to a battle between Hinductan Unilever Ltd and Nirma in the detergent segment, Abneesh Roy, senior vice president at Edelweiss Securities said, “Colgate’s aggression is reminiscent of the famous Wheel-Nirma war. The only difference is HUL was fighting a price war while Colgate is competing on the product front.”
In less than a decade, Ramdev’s Patanjali has grown into a Rs 5,000-crore company, which has forced other MNCs shift their focus to Ayurveda too.
To pose direct competition to Dant Kanti, Colgate’s Cibaca Vedshakti will be priced at Rs 50 for a 175 gm pack, which is about 30 per cent cheaper than Patanjali’s premium herbal oral care product.