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Cinthol is eyeing Rs 100 cr turnover from men’s grooming range: Sunil Kataria

After over six decades in the market, Cinthol has forayed into the male grooming market by launching 8 new variants for face, body, hair and beard applications. With this launch, Cinthol becomes the first ever brand to offer complete grooming solutions in the Rs 5,500 crore male grooming market. The male grooming range also marks the entry of Cinthol in skin and hair segments in India. 

Commenting on Cinthol’s entry into the male grooming market, Sunil Kataria, CEO – India & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), said, “Studies have shown that men in the 18-25 years age group spend more money on grooming and personal care products than women in India. They seek simple and multi-functional products that save time. The Cinthol male grooming range perfectly meets this requirement of a man on the move and I am confident that it will make the lives of our male users more awesome and alive. I am particularly excited about the first of its kind unique Cinthol Shave + Facewash and the entire beard range comprising Beard + Face wash, Wax, Oil, After Shave + After Trim, which demonstrate multi-functionality and ease of use.” 

With Cinthol Shave + Face Wash, Cinthol is targeting a combined market of Rs 620 crore of shaving cream (Rs 300 crore) and men’s face wash (Rs 320 crore) 

Cinthol After Shave + After Trim target the after shave market valued at Rs 100 crore 

Cinthol Hair Cream & Hair Gel focus on the combined market of hair styling pegged at Rs 240 crore of hair gel (Rs 200 crore) and hair cream (Rs 40 crore) 

Cinthol is also tapping the Rs 100 crore market of beard care through Cinthol Beard + Face Wash 

Cinthol has associated with Asian Games gold medallist Arpinder Singh and actor Harshvardhan Kapoor for the male grooming range. 

Trusted by 47 million households, Cinthol is a Rs 750-crore flagship personal care brand, celebrating the spirit of feeling alive. With premium international fragrances and innovative designs, Cinthol’s product range includes soaps, deodorants, talcum powders and shower gels. With its entry into the male grooming market, Cinthol aims to become the grooming choice of vibrant, young India. 

Adgully caught up with Sunil Kataria, CEO – India & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, and Kapil Pillai, CMO, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, to know about the strategy for the newly-launched men’s grooming range as well as the growth of Brand Cinthol in its 66-year presence in the market. Excerpts:

Why has Cinthol entered the male grooming space so late in the day?
Sunil Kataria: There’s no specific reason for this, we keep on evaluating categories at any given time. Cinthol is such an iconic brand and has always stood for masculinity and we have been present in many categories – soaps, deodorants, shaving creams – over the years. One of the big trends in the last 3-5 years is the emergence of men wanting to look more groomed and going to great lengths to achieve that look. That is definitely a big shift in consumer behaviour and has given rise to sub-categories like facial care, beard care, and hairstyling that go beyond deodorants and shaving. Second, when we looked at the offerings in these segments, we realised there is no one single brand that epitomises masculinity and at the same time offers comprehensive sub-clusters for these portfolios. So, there is no one-stop one solution for male grooming in India. Third, while men want to look as groomed as women now, they don’t want to spend as much time as women in grooming themselves. That’s a very clear insight there. They want to achieve the same end, but make less effort. They want products where the regimen remains simple, but the product offers multiple benefits. 

That’s the brief we gave to our R&D team. Today, we have a range of products for men that cater to body, facial, beard, and hairstyling, which are the four sub-clusters. Also, we have products that are completely disruptive. For example, we have launched India’s first shaving cream/ facewash. This is the first time Cinthol is entering the hairstyling category with hair crème and gel. What we are offering is a one-stop solution, multi-benefit products which makes men’s regimen simple; you don’t have to go anywhere beyond Cinthol to take care of all male grooming. 

What is the share of the market that you are targeting?
Sunil Kataria: Market share is a bit of a misnomer in these categories, because each category is so different. I can’t compare deodorant market share with beard care market share. Male grooming as a category cannot have market shares aggregated, but rather you have to see how it operates in the sub-clusters. Beard care is one market and similarly face care and hairstyling are their own markets. What we would like to achieve in this new portfolio is a turnover of around Rs 100 crore in the next 2-3 years. 

Kapil Pillai: One of the important things for us when we got into the men’s grooming category was that we wanted to come in with a complete range. There will be distinctness and uniqueness about our range. What you see now didn’t begin a week ago or a month ago, but is the culmination of years of product development. The products have been extensively stress tested and this entire range of products comes from a whole range of consumer understanding and that took us a bit of time to get it perfect. 

As far as growth is concerned, this represents the tip of the iceberg; even now male grooming is a top metro kind of category and for us with Cinthol, even though we are a premium brand, the objective is to come into the lives of a whole new set of consumers who have never experienced a male grooming product at realistic prices and really awesome products! So, it’s not about where the category is right now, but the potential that it represents, if manifested.

What will be your marketing strategy for the new range?
Kapil Pillai: We will approach it with a top-down approach. We will first go with e-commerce as the first drivers. We are considering that as a trial for products that are considered more niche. But general trade will play a very important role in our face wash and shaving cream products and we expect general trade to drive growth in Tier 2 and 3 towns to smaller towns.

Sunil Kataria: We have a very strong budget earmarked for Cinthol men’s grooming range. Two big channels that are a priority for us are television, backed by digital and e-commerce combination. 

We have an e-commerce vertical and a separate e-commerce team within our business that reports directly to me. We want to run e-commerce as a P&L in our system and not as a channel anymore. 

Kapil Pillai: We are adequately behind this. The cleverness of this is going to supplement our main thematic for today with a whole lot of 360 degree on digital. Digital will be in focus as some of the range will be essentially driven by digital. Right now, the market is a little less evolved, even as some of the products that we want to represent belong to very nascent categories. We want to first get trial runs through digital and expand from there.

What is the price range and the TG that you are catering to?
Sunil Kataria: Since we have multiple (20) products, the price varies from each sub-category to sub-category. But we are looking at ourselves as a mass premium pricing, so it will be pretty much accessible to all our consumers. Initially, we will roll out in the urban areas – metros as well as Tier 2 and 3 markets. 

Cinthol was positioned as a male/ macho soap. Now it is being positioned as a unisex soap…
Sunil Kataria: It is a very interesting the way that Cinthol has evolved. Cinthol is a very masculine brand. I would say it is a unisex brand with a male skew definitely, but in Tamil Nadu, Cinthol has evolved and has been positioned as a strong skincare soap. In Tamil Nadu, it has been used by families and especially by women due to its skincare properties. So, there is a little bit of differentiation in the way Cinthol has evolved in Tamil Nadu, compared to the rest of the country. 

Could you tell us about your growth in the Tamil Nadu market?
Sunil Kataria: Cinthol has a unique proposition in Tamil Nadu and the South markets. There are multiple variants of soaps that we sell under the brand name Cinthol. The soap variant that sells the largest in the South is called ‘Cinthol Original’. It is our first soap variant that we launched in 1952 and it has remained unchanged since then. Over the years, Cinthol Original has come to be known as the best quality soap in the country with the highest TFM in the soap category, that is, 79 per cent. It’s a soap that has unique skincare properties and in the last 66 years the product has established itself so strongly that in Tamil Nadu today, doctors on their own recommend Cinthol Original for any kind of skin problem – acne, pimple, and skin glow. That is the equity that has been built by Cinthol Original in the South.


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