|Hindustan Latex on Saturday launched Confidom passion rings, India's first female condom for safe sex and contraception. |
The condoms will be imported from the UK-based The Female Health Company (FHC) and sold here. Priced at Rs 250 for a pack of two, Confidom is positioned as a high-end lifestyle product. The company is targetting the high-end upwardly mobile consumers to sell the product, HLL chairman and managing director M Ayyappan said.
"We are launching the female condom in India for the first time after two years of research and test marketing. The product is not meant for the mass market as it is priced higher and will be sold through select stores in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra," Ayyappan said.
Though the condom is imported from the British firm at Rs 90 for a pack of two, the company has decided to price it at Rs 250 per pack to partly cover the cost of packaging, branding and marketing-cum-promotional charges, Ayyappan said.
"This year we are importing 5 lakh Confidoms and next year we aim to import 2 million under an agreement with FHC, the only female-controlled prevention technology firm, whose female condoms are certified by the US FDA and approved by the WHO," Ayyappan said.
Confidoms will also be available to sex workers and the lower strata of society at Rs 5 each through government agencies and non-government organisations. The central government is also importing about 5 lakh female condoms this year from FHC and subsidising them by Rs 40 for each piece to promote safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancy as one of the measures to check population growth, Ayyappan said.
Hind Latex also has plans to set up a manufacturing plant for Confidoms in Thiruvananthapuram by end of this year at an initial investment of Rs 10 crore. "Once we set up the local manufacturing plant, we will be able to bring down the cost of Confidoms by at least 30%, Ayyappan said.
"We are also in talks with FHC for transfer of technology to indigenise the production of the female condoms in the country," Ayyappan said.
Hind Latex has drawn up a comprehensive plan to expand its portfolio in the area of healthcare and contraceptives to achieve through this process a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore by 2010.