When one talks about 'Wipro', the first thing people think of is about their IT business. The fact is that IT is a relatively new business for Wipro and they have been into others businesses which are much older, like lighting and consumer care . In fact they started their business in the vegetable oil business. These older divisions have for a long time been under the shadow of their larger younger cousin software, but of late the consumer business is coming to age, last three years it is one the fastest growing FMCG companies in the country.
The flagship brand of the consumer care division is 'Santoor'. Since its launch in 1986 the brand has been doing quite well in the fiercely competitive soap business dominated by HUL. The industry estimates the brand to be worth more than Rs 500 crore. But the big news is that it has become No 2 brand in the south edging out Lux. (It is the largest selling brand of soap in Andhra). Nielsen data shows that it has 15.6% market share in south versus 12.4% of Lux. The fact that it has overtaken Lux is something which is commendable, looking at the history and support which a brand like Lux receives with Prinka chopra and Ashiwarya Rai being the brand ambassadors for Lux. Wipro plans to leverage the brand by extending the brand into new categories like creams, moisturizers, body sprays and washes, after the relaunch of the brand.
The company website describes the brand as "a truly unique soap that combines the goodness of natural ingredients - Sandal, Turmeric and natural Skin Softeners". The long standing positioning of the brand has been - a skin that is so healthy and beautiful, it lies about your actual age !. The product is available in three variants, Santoor (Sandal & Turmeric), Santoor White (Sandal & Almond milk) and Santoor Chandan. They have extended the brand into talc, face wash and fairness cream.
For me santoor is an addition to my list of sucessful Indian brands which have done well against competition from much larger multinational companies. And as a marketer it is obviously interesting to find out more about how the brand become number two overtaking Lux which obviously has spending more money on ad and promotions. A successful case of low cost marketing....
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