Avid watchers of Doordarshan in the ’80s (the stateowned broadcaster used to be the only ‘channel’ back then) would recall Bollywood matinee star Vinod Khanna, riding a horse, frolicking on a beach, in an ad for Cinthol soap. After Khanna, other famous brand ambassadors followed, including Imran Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham and Akshaye Khanna. Two decades after Vinod Khanna’s iconic ad, you have another actor riding a horse, jumping off buildings, riding water scooters et al to sell more than just Cinthol soap. Last fortnight, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) re-launched Cinthol with Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassador. GCPL also launched a new range of Cinthol talc, deos and soaps.“Every once in a while, a brand must be invigorated. We expect the Cinthol brand to grow by 20-25 per cent after the re-launch. GCPL, too, will grow at similar rates,” says H.K. Press, Executive Director and President, GCPL. On a consolidated basis, GCPL’s revenues stood at about Rs 1,000 crore for 2007-08; Cinthol contributes about Rs 200 crore of this. Cinthol would have a 2 per cent share in the Rs 5,500-crore market for toilet soaps.
Press is confident that despite rising input costs and bitter competition in the FMCG sector, GCPL will be able to register robust growth.
— T.V. Mahalingam