You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Cipla bets big on consumer health segment

Company aims to build five Rs 100 cr-plus brands and launch products from South African arm in domestic market

Topics
Cipla

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

Cipla bets big on consumer health space

Five years after it exited over-the-counter products, Cipla has renewed its focus on the segment. The company is looking to build five Rs 100-crore brands in five years by tapping into the growing health and wellness consciousness among urban population.

Last year, the 80-year-old drug major spun off its consumer health business to Cipla Health, its joint venture subsidiary with private equity (PE) firm Eight Roads Ventures India (formerly Fidelity Growth Partners). The PE firm completed its Rs 145-crore investment in the company 10 days ago after receiving government approvals.

Cipla holds 74 per cent in the subsidiary while the remainder is held by Eight Roads Ventures India.

The over-the-counter (OTC) segment within India is growing at around 15 per cent annually. It is also the crowded segment with both local and multi-national drug companies including Sun Pharmaceuticals, Piramal Enterprises, GSK, Abbott and Pfizer competing for a pie of the business.

Cipla sold its only consumer health product — oral contraceptive pill (I-Pill) — to Piramal Enterprises in 2010. At that time, it was felt sustaining a single brand would not be viable. Also, Cipla lacked a consumer-centric strategy and a team focused on consumer product marketing. Now, this has changed. Cipla Health is led by Anantha Nayak, a former Procter & Gamble executive. Now, his team has executives with experience in both pharmaceuticals and consumer product sales.

Experts say achieving Rs 100 crore turnover for a brand is possible in five years, but that would require disproportionately high level of investment in advertising and marketing. Typically, pharma companies do not have the appetite for the kind of advertising done by consumer goods firms. Nayak says the Rs 100-crore target can be achieved by launching products for unmet customer needs and brand-building with a focus on consumers.

Cipla’s OTC portfolio includes nicotine replacement therapy gums (Nicotex and Nicogum) and cough lozenges (Cofsil). Nicotex is a five-year-old product, but was brought into the consumer health division in December 2014 and a revamped product was launched nationally in October last.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, April 23 2016. 22:14 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.