Since its inception in 1930, The Himalaya Drug Company has focused on developing safe, natural and innovative remedies to help people lead richer and healthier lives. The company uses the tools of modern science to create pharmaceutical-grade ayurvedic products including face wash, baby care, hair care, skin care and more. In this exclusive interview, Abhish Chandhok, General Manager – Marketing, Himalaya Herbals talks about their recently launched products and their plans for this year.
What are your latest additions to the market?
We have had a lot of new products launched in the last few months. Some of the face wash variants that we have introduced are already contributing towards increasing our market share and in the period of Nov-Dec 2015 we had our highest ever market share in the Facewash market significantly increasing our lead over competition. These include the recently launched Moisturizing Aloe Vera Face Wash and the Natural Glow Fairness Face Wash. We’ve also entered the Men’s personal care range, with the launch of 2 men’s face wash, the Intense Oil Clear Face Wash and the Power Glow Face Wash.
Moreover, we have re-launched our entire premium cream range, with 5 refreshed premium creams – Anti-wrinkle cream, energizing day cream, revitalizing night cream, clear complexion whitening day cream and light hydrating gel cream.
What share of the market are you targeting?
We are already the market leaders in the UAE and we aim to target strong double digit value growth which will further increase our market share gap versus the competition.
How does your marketing strategy differ when you are targeting women from that when you are targeting men?
The mediums of communications while targeting men and women are different. For men, the mediums we mainly focus on are primarily Radio and Digital mediums of communication, whereas for women, we focus on TV and digital.
How is social media contributing to the growth of your business?
We have reinvigorated the overall social media strategy from mid-2015, with the focus being to increase our engagement percentage rate and acquiring the right set of fans from our lead markets. Our overall approach has been to encourage user generated content and to work on quality content, which includes videos, photos as well as text.
How do you differ yourself from your competitors?
We are fundamentally different from all our competitors. The starting and the main point of difference are our deep rooted offerings of the goodness of Nature. It stems from our brand name itself, Himalaya Herbals. All our products have 100% herbal actives. We have been researching herbs since 1930, and we use all that expertise to ensure that the best of nature is given to our consumers to take care of all their beauty needs.
Our unique strength is the fact that we are both the company and the brand. Many of our competitors have different brands for different categories, whereas Himalaya Herbals is in a unique position where we take care of all personal care needs from head to toe. This brings a lot of synergy from a branding point of view across the overall range.
Himalaya Herbals is a very agile company and we are continuously looking for innovative and disruptive ways to connect with our consumers. Thus, our key priority area is the digital and social media, where we have already seen results where our gains are higher than that of our competitors.
What are your plans for 2016?
2016 will be quite challenging from overall macro economical and geo political point of view. Nevertheless, we are still upbeat about the outlook. We have a large pipeline of new products which will be rolled out. We are also looking at strong double digit growth for our businesses across the geographies which we operate in despite the bleak economic outlook.
About Abhish Chandhok
Abhish Chandhok is General Manager – Marketing, Himalaya, Drug company. He has 18 years of Sales & Marketing experience straddling FMCG, FMCD and IT. He spent 13 years with the German MNC Henkel, which included 7 years in their India operations where he eventually headed the Marketing function. While in Henkel’s Headquarter in Germany, he was responsible for Market Research & Consumer Insights for the MENA region.
Abhish was the Marketing Director of Henkel Saudi Arabia where he launched the successful Persil Black Abaya Shampoo and rolled out an umbrella brand strategy for the brand Dac, which was backed with a unique Word-of-mouth program. After a successful stint with Henkel, he moved to the Finnish mobile handset company Nokia and was the Head of Consumer Marketing for their India business responsible for 360 degree marketing plans, sponsorships, media and consumer insights. His penchant for driving disruption resulted in Nokia winning 6 Abby’s at the iconic Goafest awards.