Ghari Detergent

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Ghari Detergent
Ghari Detergent 1 kg Pack.jpg
Product type Laundry detergents
Owner Rohit Surfactants Private Limited (RSPL)
Introduced 1987

Ghari Detergent powder (Hindi:घड़ी) is manufactured by Rohit Surfactants Private Limited (RSPL), a Kanpur based is more than 5000 crore diversified conglomerate in India. The detergent brand was founded by Muralidhar and Bimal Kumar Gyanchandani in 1987. When Ghari was launched, market was already dominated by big brands like Surf and Nirma. Over the years since the launch of Ghari detergent powder, till date there have been introduction of plethora of brands from biggies like HUL and P&G and many local players. It came to limelight in late 2012 when it surpassed HUL's wheel detergent and grabbed top spot in terms of market share. It took almost 25 years for Ghari to be the market leader in detergent market. In November 2012, Ghari had a 17.4% share compared with Wheel's 16.9%. And followed by Tide and henko


In 1987, a year before Wheel was launched by HUL, without much attention of media or public, Muralidhar and Bimal Kumar Gyanchandani launched Ghari detergent in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. In 1988, Muralidhar and Bimal Kumar incorporated Shri Mahadeo Soap Industries Pvt. Ltd. under which they started manufacturing Ghari detergent. Eventually, Shri Mahadeo Soap Industries Pvt. changed its name to Rohit Surfactants Private Limited (RSPL) in June 2005.

It is said that Ghari was inspired by Nirma, which was launched in 1969 and evicted HUL's Surf within four years of its launch to become the market leader in 1987 having a market share of around 30%. Nirma was at its peak when Ghari was launched in 1987. In 1988, HUL launched Wheel to take on Nirma which snatched top spot from Nirma in 2000. Ghari had to compete against two big players Wheel and Nirma since its launch. After 25 years of its inception, it took the top spot in the detergent market in 2012.

Evolution of detergent industry in India[edit]

Detergent industry had its beginning in 1957. Swastik Oil Mills in Wadala, Mumbai, was the first Indian factory to manufacture synthetic detergents. The evolution of detergent powder industry is summarised in the table below keeping focus on Indian subcontinent.

Year What happened
1930 German scientists develop synthetic detergents to overcome post-World War-I shortages in key ingredients then used for soap, animal fat and vegetable oils. The other big advantage of synthetic detergents was that they were better at washing clothes in 'hard' water. They were also far better suited than soap for use by the textile industry.
1945-47 Detergents, specifically the brand Persil, enter post-War German morbid humour. Persilscheins was the jokey shorthand for the de-Nazification certificates issued by Allied Powers to Germans.
1950s Huge post-war expansion of the synthetic detergent industry in its key market, the US, and the associated environmental problems. Sulphonates used in detergent to get the dirt of clothes, were not biodegradable. Their release into water bodies lead to huge amounts of foam being formed in lakes and rivers. Under public pressure, manufacturers switched to biodegradable substances.
1957 The first Indian factory to manufacture synthetic detergents set up by Swastik Oil Mills in Wadala, Mumbai. Even though key ingredients are imported, they still cost far less than importing finished detergents.
1960s HUL (then HLL) enters India accelerating the shift to detergents is persisting shortages of vegetable oils, a key ingredient in soap. By the mid-60s large corporates like Tata Oil Mills and Hindustan Lever establish themselves in the business. The latter even begins exporting to Russia.
1965-70 Since 1950, another key ingredient in detergents was phosphate chemicals, which is effective in washing clothes in 'hard' water. But they also caused 'eutrophication', a dramatic and excessive growth of plants in lakes and other water bodies that uses up most of the oxygen, leading to the death of marine life like fish. Detergent makers in the US started using non-phosphate chemicals in response to the criticism, though they fight against an outright ban.
1969 Nirma, HUL's future nemesis, is born.
1970s Shortages in vegetable oils accelerate and so does the use of synthetic detergents. To promote their use among wary soap-using consumers in rural India, companies like HUL perform plays and puppet shows at mandis. HUL also introduces Rin Bar at about this time. Mindful of the need to conserve the use of vegetable oil, government classifies synthetic detergents as a 'core' industry.
1974 Despite the expansion in synthetic detergents, the capacity of the Indian industry is still only 84,000 tonnes, far less than the government-sanctioned capacity of 3.5 lakh tonnes. Queering the pitch, the government begins pondering the liberalisation of licences, but only to the small-scale sector.
1975 Due to the West Asia oil crisis, prices of key petrochemicals skyrocket, by as much as 100%, forcing manufacturers to raise prices of detergents. The price of Surf doubles in one year, causing outrage in Parliament against companies like HUL. Such high raw material prices will persist through the 70s.
1975 Point, a detergent brand, achieves history by being the first product in this category launched by a sarkari factory, the public-sector Government Soap Factory of Bangalore (which also makes Mysore Sandal soap). Soap Opera, Mid- to Late-70s High detergent prices make soap manufacturers competitive, causing consumers to switch.
1983 25 years after the first domestic factory was established, synthetic detergents only manage a 25% market share of the total fabric washing market. By comparison, the market shares in Thailand that time is 99% and in Kenya, 60%.
1985 Saea ade as lower-priced Nirma evicts HUL's Surf from the pole position in the detergents market.
1987 Unnoticed by the biggies, brothers Muralidhar and Bimal Kumar Gyanchandani launch Ghari, which will eventually come to rival the two giants in market share.
1988 HUL introduces Wheel to take on Nirma. In its battle with Nirma, HUL will bring its massive marketing and distribution muscle to bear.
2000s HUL wins the battle. Nirma falls to second place.
Early 2012 Ghari overtakes HUL.

Strategies of Ghari[edit]

Ghari followed Nirma’s path of aggressive pricing[edit]

The growth of Nirma in the seventies was not from market share gains within detergent powders; however, it was from market expansion. The low price of Nirma brought an evolution among laundry soap users who gradually switched from soap to detergent powder. Slowly detergent powders substituted laundry soaps within overall fabric wash category. Ghari followed Nirma’s strategy of keeping low price and targeting customers at the bottom of the market.

Regional Focus[edit]

Ghari did not have the financial power to beat giants like HUL and P&G. Focussing on Uttar Pradesh, its home state, was a big advantage for Ghadi. The reason is attributed to the fact that Uttar Pradesh has a population of 167 million, the highest among Indian states. It accounts for over 12% of the country’s FMCG sales.

In addition, the adjoining markets of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab along with UP account for one third of the total consumer products market. The strategic focus for Ghari was to capture adjoining markets after capturing the massive market in Uttar Pradesh. Ghari was successful in capturing the adjoining markets over a period of time.

Incentives to the Dealers[edit]

Compared to competitors who provided 5% profit margin, Ghari detergent provided a profit margin of 6-7% to its dealers. This enabled Ghari to have a stronger dealer base to push sales while keeping its prices low.

Mobile application to track sales[edit]

Around April 2011 onwards, RSPL started using mobile phones to book sales and track distributor's positions and sales for which it adopted a mobile application, ‘msales’. Msales helped RSPL’s sales force to take care of the sales activity on the go and the data captured is pushed to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Msales is GPS enabled. So, it is possible to track the sales since the application is GPS-enabled. Earlier, it was not possible to track sales on the go.

Branding and Promotion[edit]

Advertising and Promotion[edit]

RSPL spends 2% of sales for marketing and promotional activities. All advertisements are centred on the tagline ‘Pahle istemal karein fir vishwaas karein’ (Use it and then believe it) which encourages trial and prompts repeat purchase.

Ghari is for common man and usually it targets household wives. To live in that spirit Ghari brand has avoided using any celebrity to endorse it unlike wheel (endorsed by Salman Khan), Rin (Kajol), and Ariel oxybin (Kiran Bedi).

Ghari detergent has gone to advertise in train too. The first train campaign was launched in 2008 and was called the ‘Ghari Detergent Express’. That train campaign ran between Lucknow and Guwahati for two months. Then it advertised in Pushpak Express and Swarna Jayanti Express.

Apart from advertisements in train, RSPL promotes Ghari through roadside shows, magic shows and exhibitions in smaller towns and cities. The magic shows have been highly successful in giving the brand a good visibility in cities like Jaipur, Indore, Kota, Alwar and Kanpur.

Brand recall[edit]

By name Ghari detergent, people immediately connect with the tagline ‘Pahle istemal karein fir vishwaas karein’ which means, ‘Use it and then believe it’. Those who use Ghadi and come to know about the credibility of the message it communicates through various advertisements, would prefer to go for Ghari again.


External links[edit]