Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Pesticides
Pest control to go branded
MUMBAI, Oct. 21
THE Rs 400-crore Godrej Sara Lee Ltd (GSLL) is planning to introduce branded pest-control services.
The market leader in the Rs 900-crore household insecticide segment has decided to diversify into newer areas by tapping the nascent pest-control market.
Speaking to Business Line, Mr A. Mahendran, Managing Director, Godrej Sara Lee, said, "Yes, we are looking at offering branded pest-control services. However, we have still not decided on the name to be given to the branded service. This is our own Indian initiative."
Considering the US-based Sara Lee does not offer these services, the decision to get into branded pest-control management is an initiative taken by Godrej - the Indian counterpart in the joint venture company in which Mr Mahendran himself has a minor equity stake.
The account for the new branded service has already been given to the Mumbai-based joint venture between Creative Unit and RK Swamy BBDO which is already working on a mass media campaign for this service from GSLL. Pest-control service is currently offered by players such as Pest-control of India (PCI) and Pecopp. According to industry sources, the size of this market is estimated at Rs 100 crore and is still regional in nature with PCI being the only national player in the business.
In fact, GSLL also has intentions of spreading its wings further and extending these services into the area of hygiene management. Adds a GSLL official, "We are targeting homes and companies. The purpose is to set quality standards for the industry through our services." Bringing in a service brand from a big company such as GSLL is expected to make a difference to industry benchmarks.
Currently, GSLL is in the process of setting up a logistics model which will provide the infrastructure necessary for its pest management services.
The company has already chosen GoodKnight and Hit as its national brands for its existing insecticide business and might use one of these names for its foray into the new category. Adds the GSLL official, "We might choose either of these brands or create a new brand for our foray into this new category. The purpose is to give an identity to this service which would represent certain values." Besides, GSLL is mulling a new division for its foray into pest-control services.
A dry run of its pest-control services will start within the next 2-3 months and once the logistical operations are in place, the service will be launched in the metros before spreading into smaller towns and cities. Besides, there are plans to take these services to countries in South-East Asia once the model becomes a success in India. "While there is immense potential for the pest management model to work in developing countries, we might consider replicating the service in other countries," adds the GSLL official.
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