Whilst the world is undergoing the fumes of the pandemic COVID 19, the hand sanitizer market of India seems to be the pavilion of the brand war with new entrants.
The proverb seems to be true – “The most difficult times bring the best opportunities”. The same is the case of the Indian hand sanitizer market where a large number of consumers are switching to the hand hygiene products such as hand sanitizers in order to maintain the prevention from disease spreading. Though the condition of India seems to be under control, the government of India has imposed a lockdown for more than four weeks in order to aid isolation and prevent the spreading of the disease. Moreover, the government of India has also released an advisory on maintaining hand hygiene. The coronavirus disease is a respiratory disease that harms the entire respiratory system with symptoms similar to the common cold. The Indian subcontinent experienced a total confirmed case of 17,265 with the number of deaths rising to 543. Hence, the disease is spreading at a moderate rate but prevention is always better than cure.
Hand washing and hand sanitizing play a vital role in controlling and preventing the disease as hands are the primary source of virus transmission. Hence, the people of India are encouraged by the efforts of the government and other organizations and started switching to hand hygiene products such as hand sanitizers. Moreover, encouragement by the prime minister, celebrities, cricketers, politicians, and other public faces has resulted in the increasing demand for hand sanitizers in the market. Owning this opportunity, many organizations have led their manufacturing units to produce hand sanitizers and distribute them in the Indian markets. The prominent brands for hand sanitizers in the Indian market are Dettol from Reckitt Benckiser, Savlon from ITC, and Lifebuoy from Hindustan Unilever Limited. Apart from these, many other brands such as Protek from Godrej, The Himalaya drug company, Patanjali, etc. have also come into the market with their hand sanitizers.
According to the research report entitled “India Hand Sanitizer Market By Value & Volume, By Segment (Alcohol Based, Alcohol-Free), By Format (Liquid, Gel & Others), By Brand (Dettol, lifebuoy, Protekt, Himalaya, Savlon, etc.), By End User (Institutional, Residential), (Trends & Forecast), Outlook, 2027-28”, published by Bonafide Research, the hand sanitizer market size of India is expected to reach three times from the current market size by the end of the year 2027-28. Of the new consumers, at least 5-6% are expected to continue using sanitizer in their routine life.
To overcome the demand for hand sanitizers, companies have extended their production capacities in order to serve the market. Savlon from ITC has started its hand sanitizer production in a perfume plant in Himachal Pradesh. The newly commenced plant will produce an additional 1,25,000 liters of hand sanitizers. Liquor company Diageo India, manufacturer of the Smirnoff Vodka, and Johny Walker whiskey has started the manufacturing of hand sanitizers apart from their regular production. The company is expected to make 300,000 liters of hand sanitizers in its 15 manufacturing units. Moreover, it will also donate 500,000 liters of alcohol to the hand sanitizer industry which will make an average of more than two million units of hand sanitizers. The company Radico Khaitan is also entering the hand sanitizer industry with manufacturing facilities in its sugar mills across the western regions of Maharashtra. The State Government of Maharashtra also advised the company to make hand sanitizers for the sake of relief to the state.
Apart from these manufacturing units, more than 100 brands were launched in the Indian market to fight the brand war of hand sanitizers. The new entrants include Dabur, Emami, Patanjali, Marico, etc. have launched their hand sanitizer products in the month of April. Thus, accounting for a market share of more than 50%.
On the other hand, the Government of Karnataka manufactured more than 1,00,000 bottles of hand sanitizers in a single day. The government gave a contract to a drug company to make hand sanitizer bottles in order to fulfill the demand in hospitals and clinics. While some organizations have increased their production capacities, some of them have also averaged their prices in order to make the product accessible to every citizen of India. GCPL reduced its hand sanitizer prices from Rs. 75 to Rs. 25 for a 50 ml hand sanitizer bottle. In the same way, the government imposed a regulation in the month of March to limit the prices of Rs. 100 for a 200 ml bottle till the month of June 2020.
In this way, the companies and the Government of India are working together to meet the demand for hand sanitizers in the market. But the increasing demand will encourage and attract people further. Thus, the Indian hand sanitizer market seems to be a pavilion for brand wars in future with the international and domestic brands. Moreover, many brands are still promoting their products on the base of ancient Ayurveda practices, which will in return attract the indigenous people to switch to hand sanitizers but with the goodness of nature.