P&G’s Gillette Sees Steady Growth in India

Despite increasing material costs, Gillette India Ltd (P&G India’s arm) male grooming products has posted impressive sales in the Indian market. The company has been focusing on increasing its sales volume by selling mass and low-priced products from its product portfolio. This has allowed Gillete to increase its share in the male grooming market; sales have grown by approximately 16%.

Gillette’s current strategy is to increase its consumer base by attracting first time users, and new users in the rural markets with low-priced grooming solutions. For example Gillette Guard, a new low-priced razor, sold 11 million units during the first quarter (April, May June) of fiscal year 2011–12. This brand has already gained a 4% market share. Gillette has also been spending heavily on advertising and promotional activities. The company has utilized 30% of its sales to promote the brand. One reason behind this aggressive move is because of the fast-growing male grooming market, which Euromonitor International forecasts to grow to be a $31 billion global market by the end of 2011.

In the men's market, shaving products, notably razors and blades, are at the front line of growth—globally fueling more than $1 billion of new retail business between 2008 and 2011, according to a Euromonitor report that will be available on www.GCImagazine.com in November.

In the January/February Go section, the editors of GCI wrote about and analyzed the implications of winning shares in emerging markets. P&G’s Gillette controls approximately 70% of sales in the global razor and blade, but, according to The Wall Street Journal, lags behind competitors in developing markets, notably India.

India’s top-selling razor brand, Super-Max at 1.5 to 2 rupees per double-edge blade, is half the cost of P&G’s low-price offering Gillette Guard, which, at the time of the analysis, retailed for 15 rupees with blades costing 5 rupees—or about 11 cents each, again, at the time of analysis. If P&G can convert the estimated 400 million Indian men using double-edge blades to its brand, the potential sales from replacement blades alone could easily garner billions of dollars annually.

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