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For Piramal, OTC business is not just child's play

The group, which entered into kids' well-being space, targets Rs 1,000 cr revenue

Reghu Balakrishnan  |  Mumbai 

The cash-rich Group is targeting the top position among the over -the -counter (OTC) drug makers in India in the next three to four years. As part of the expansion, the group has entered into a niche area of children well-being, an innovative space where no other FMCG makers have ventured into.

According to senior officials, the OTC division aims at touching Rs 1,000-crore mark in the next 3-4 years from the current revenue of Rs 240-crore.

Nandini Piramal, executive director, Enterprises, and who leads the OTC division of Healthcare, said, “The self-care market is a large Rs 10,000- crore market, growing at 12-13%. We are quite small now but believe we can be one of the top players in 3-4 years time.”

As part of expanding the portfolio, the group has launched perfumes for kids with 5 variants in animal shaped bottles under Jungle Magic brand and also another product for children is band- The company is expected to reap about Rs 60-70 crore from these two products in 2 years.

“After the Abbott deal, we decided to retain the OTC business as we believe this is a great business opportunity leveraging the growing Indian consumer market. The Indian consumer space is evolving rapidly. With rising incomes and increased access to information, the consumer is realising the importance of being proactive about their self care needs,” Piramal added.

Last month, the group had launched its new anti-ageing cream ‘Lacto Calamine RENEU. The brands in the OTC portfolio includes Lacto calamine, I products (i-pill, i-sure, i-can), Saridon, Supractive Complete (nutrition supplement), Polycrol, Tri-active (anti-Bacterial Soap), Itchmosol and Jungle Magic. According to the company, division's field force serves 400,000 chemists and general stores.

Kedar Rajadnye, president & COO, Consumer Products Division, said, “We see more competition from FMCG players than OTC makers in India. Hence, we plan to make our portfolio more relevant and contemporary. With an effort of 2 years, we made the makeover of traditional brand like lacto calamine.”

According to him, OTC division has presence in 1 lakh towns across India. It plans to enter tier II, III cities with 50,000 and 20,000 plus population.

As part of widening the reach of its OTC products, the group had tied up with Olympic medalist Mary Kom as brand ambassador to endorse its new product of antacid range - Polycrol+.

In 2010, Piramal Healthcare had bought Cipla's oral contraceptive brand, i-pill, for Rs 95 crore. Later, Piramal has launched I range of products adding I Sure (Ovulation strip) and I Can (pregnancy test kit). Currently, I-pill is the second largest selling emergency contraceptive brand, in India after Mankind Pharma's Unwanted 72, in a fast-growing, Rs 150-crore oral contraceptive market. Currently, I Pill has annual sales revenue of Rs 80 crore.

In line with I Pill buyout, the group has plans for buying out more brands in India. “We have firm plans for more brand buyouts in India. We have no restrictions as far as money is concerned, but it should fit into our basket,” Rajadnye added.

According to Kedar, since its setup in 2007 - the OTC business has grown at a CAGR of 33 per cent and has jumped ranks from 40th in 2007 to 9th in 2012.

First Published: Thu, April 25 2013. 17:35 IST