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Devi ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Ayush Pandey ★★★★★ ★★★★★
This product created a marketing miracle, when introduced in the domestic marketplace. In 1969, when the detergents were priced so exorbitantly that for most of the Indians, it was a luxury item. Nirma envisioned the vast Fabric Wash market segment and sensed a tremendous potential therein. This product was priced at almost one third to that of the competitor brands, resulting into instant trial by the consumers. Owing to its unique environment-friendly, phosphate-free formulation, the consumers became loyal to this brand, helping it to over-take the decades’ old brands, in terms of volumes. This brand had been ranked as the “Most widely distributed detergent powder brand in India” as per All India Census of Retail Outlets carried out in 435 urban towns by the AIMS (Asian Information Marketing & Social) Research agency [Brand Equity - The Economic Times, March 11, 1997]. As per the ORG-MARG Rural Consumer Panel [December 1998] survey, Nirma brand has been ranked as highest in terms of penetration in washing powder category [BT Rural Market Watch, Business Today, June 22, 1999].
Nirma is one of the few names - which is instantly recognized as a true Indian brand, which took on mighty multinationals and rewrote the marketing rules to win the heart of princess, i.e. the consumer.
Nirma, the proverbial Rags to Riches saga of Dr. Karsanbhai Patel, is a classic example of the success of Indian entrepreneurship in the face of stiff competition. Starting as a one-man operation in 1969, today, it has about 14, 000 employee-base and annual turnover is above Rs. 25, 00 crores.
India is a one of the largest consumer economy, with burgeoning middle class pie. In such a widespread, diverse marketplace, Nirma aptly concentrated all its efforts towards creating and building a strong consumer preference towards its value-for-money products.
It was way back in 60s and 70s, where the domestic detergent market had only premium segment, with very few players and was dominated by MNCs. It was 1969, when Karsanbhai Patel started door-to-door selling of his detergent powder, priced
at an astonishing Rs. 3 per kg, when the available cheapest brand in the market was
Rs. 13 per kg. It was really an innovative, quality product with indigenous process, packaging and low-profiled marketing, which changed the habit of Indian housewives for washing their clothes. In a short span, Nirma created an entirely new market segment in domestic marketplace, which is, eventually the largest consumer pocket
and quickly emerged as dominating market player a position it has never since relinquished. Rewriting the marketing rules, Nirma became a one of the widely discussed success stories between the four-walls of the B-school classrooms across
The performance of Nirma during the decade of 1980s has been labelled as Marketing Miracle of an era. During this period, the brand surged well ahead its nearest rival Surf, which was well-established detergent product by Hindustan Lever. It was a severing battering for MNC as it recorded a sharp drop in its market share. Nirma literally captured the market share by offering value-based marketing mix of four P s, i.e. a perfect match of product, price, place and promotion.
Now, the year 2004 sees Nirma s annual sales touch 800,000 tones, making it one of
the largest volume sales with a single brand name in the world. Looking at the FMCG synergies, Nirma stepped into toilet soaps relatively late in 1990 but this did not deter it to achieve a volume of 100,000 per annum. This makes Nirma the largest detergent and the second largest toilet soap brand in India with market share of 38% and 20% respectively.
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