‡Aishwarya Lahiri, Bikash Jyoti Borah, Divya Sarin, Joy Chakravarty


Anubhav Khandelwal, Harsha Jagasia, Daniel Fernandes, Ananya Mohanty

One of the oldest players Result of merger between William Hesketh Lever- England, Margarine Unie- Netherlands and Lever Brothers- India ƒ Total size of HLL s detergent business: Rs. 2000 crores (nearly 40% of the 5000 crores market) ƒ Three key brands- Surf, Rin and Wheel, and smaller brands like Sunlight and 501, and Rin ALA
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Started with door to door delivery- reached up to 200kgs a day Was sold in poly bags, as compared to surf s significantly expensive cartons Positioned as a cheaper alternative to Surf and as a superior product compared to inferior washing soaps Became a symbol of a low priced, good quality detergent sales grew at a rate of 49% Aimed at the unorganized laundry soap market in the urban and rural areas launched Nirma detergent bar, to counter Rin, selling at one third of the price of Rin.

Course of action
1. Aggressive advertising
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Creating a jingle that connects to the market A new fresh advertising campaign Concentrating on cost Guerilla advertising IMC New agency: new ideas, new creative

2. Decreasing price of existing product 

Nirma consumers received acceptable quality in lieu of low price HLL COULD possibly follow this way.


Launch a new cost competitive product as compared to Nirma
This is what HLL did They launched Wheel 


Tap markets which were unexplored by Nirma
Nirma was popular in Gujarat in 1980s Was gaining on markets as yet unexplored by Surf (middle to lower classes, rural) Surf could have adopted various measures like price decrease to appeal to rural markets 


3. New Promotion tactics along with advertising 

Some amount extra with pack Free items (buckets etc) Produce sachets Stick sachets in magazines and newspapers

1. Cost Reduction: decided to sell Surf in polybags as against its previous expensive cartons

2. Revamped its advertising ƒ Earlier, Surf s campaign ads were always used to establish Surf washes whiter . ƒ In 1985, HLL created a character called Lalitaji, potrayed by TV artist Kavitha Chowdhary. Lalithaji represented a smart housewife who knew that good value always comes at a price.

3. Launch of Sunlight

Then launched a white detergent powder called Sunlight in 1985 priced to match Nirma targeted the eastern and southern markets where Nirma was not very strong

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4. Launch of Wheel ƒ R&D department of HLL was given the responsibilty of producing a low-cost detergent, which gave better performance, at the same time, without any side-effects like ones caused by high soda-ash content in Nirma. ƒ 1986: developed a NSD(non-soap detergent): Wheel ƒ launched as a detergent bar too to counter Swastik s Super 777

5. Easy access to raw materials ƒ carefully selected the locations for new plants in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Pondicherry ƒ HLL supplied the raw materials, the contractors hired their own labour and produced the detergent. ƒ provided HLL with greater flexibility to start new units faster, thus gaining concessions and significant cost savings.

6. Packaging in 30 grams plastic sachets

Wheel Detergents powder was packed in 30gram plastic sachets, instead of usual one-kg packs. It was priced at Rs. 5.50 as against Nirma s Rs. 5.25.

7. Advertising strategy

campaigns emphasized that Wheel provided extra power, extra lather and was safe on hands and clothes. aimed at creating dissonance in the minds of Nirma buyers about the safety aspects and the benefits of switching over to Wheel.


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