The Background Of Nirma Washing Powder Marketing Essay

The Nirma story began in 1969 and since then it has expanded its detergents (cakes and powders), soaps, soap intermediates Alfa Olefin Sulphonate (AOS) to a level of Rs. 82 billion. Today, Nirma has a Rs.17 billion share in this market and has been acknowledged as a marketing miracle. Nirma known for its focus on cost effectiveness by integrating latest technology manufacturing facilities with innovative marketing strategies to create world class brands, has by passed MNCs like HLL, P&G to become the market leader (in terms of volumes) in this price-sensitive industry. In value terms, Nirma holds 16% market share in the branded detergents segment.

The manufacturing and marketing operations were divided in several closely held group companies. In FY97, Nirma group restructured its operations and merged 4 companies, namely Nilinta Chemicals Ltd, Nirma Detergents Limited, Nirma Soaps and Detergents Limited and Shiva Soaps and Detergents Limited, with its flagship Nirma Limited. Kisan Industries, the sole separate detergent manufacturing unit has been merged with Nirma in March ’00. Nirma now owns all the detergent manufacturing facilities of the group, besides toilet soap/other industrial chemicals manufacturing facilities and a modern packaging unit owned by Kisan.

Marketing of products is carried out through a 100% subsidiary, Nirma Consumer Care Limited (NCCL). NCCL is the licensee for using the trade marks and the brand Nirma, which are owned by Nirma Chemicals Pvt Ltd. NCCL’s lease for the brand will be in perpetuity, except in the event of Karsanbhai & Associates equity stake in NCCL falling below 51%.

GLANCENirma was the lowest priced branded washing powder.Nirma also had an impact on the upper middle & higher income families for washing of inexpensive & linens.However Nirma made all other consumer product companies sit up an take a fresh look of their markets once again.Nirma announced the results with their marketing strategy behind the success.The Benchmark inIndian Detergent MarketNirma a Grand successAdequate Quality at an affordable price.Unique selling proposition was PRICE PRICE & PRICE.Against the industry growth of 15%.


Karsanbhai does not start up a media assault until his entire distribution network has the product in place. Nirma believes in advertising only after they have launched a product in place. Their belief is that nothing can be more irritating for a customer than to see a product advertised, and then find it has not reached his grocer. Advertising just tells people that a product is available. After that, the product has to stand on its own feet on quality and price. As televisions reach spread in India during the late 1970s so too did Nirma’s. The little girl on the pack became a symbol that was almost generic with a good quality, lowpriced detergent. A catchy jungle hammered home the message to millions of housewives. It was as if a down market consumer revolution had taken off.

While advertising did not appear as a cost in his initial budgets, by the late 70’s as televisions slowly started to spread into rural  India, so did the Nirma ad campaign, with its simple message and catchy jingle. By the early 80’s Nirma became synonymous with good quality and low-price. The stockists were also responsible for promotions and they funded 50% of promotional expenditure for their goods. Nirma’s sales reached a rate of growth that was two to three times that of the industry in general. As a result of all the above measures Nirma survived and flourished on what looked like a miniscule margin per unit. The recent advertisement that has been aired on television has been devised keeping in mind the psyche and choice of the middle class housewives. With the increase the popularity of the T.V. Soaps and there amplified impact on their thinking and daily life, these serials have become an inseparable part of their lives. The new commercial has thus tried to encash on this very aspect. The commercial is a reflection of these soaps and in a way a mockery of these T.V. serials. Thus the commercial has been successful in attracting a substantial amount of the audience. Furthermore Nirma needed a “new and improved look” in its promotional activities which it has successfully achieved through this new commercial.


“Washing powder nirma,Washing powder nirma,

Doodh si safedi nirma se aaye,

Rangeen kapde bhi khil khil jaye,

Sabki pasand nirama

Washing powder nirma,Washing powder nirma.NIRMA

This is the advertisement phase of nirma the company is using to attaract the rural consumers mainly and through this advertisement campaign this was the most popular detergent in the detergent market and rural people use to know about this with the jingle associated with this advertisement.So Think of Nirma and the picture of a little girl twirling around in her white frock with the familiar jingle ‘Washing powder Nirma’ comes to mind. One of the most recognisable Indian brands, Nirma’s story is a classic example of the success of Indian entrepreneurship in the face of stiff competition. Nirma took on the might of giant multinationals and wrote a new chapter in the Indian corporate history.

Nirma’s success is synonymous with its advertising and marketing strategy. When Karsanbhai Patel, the founder of the brand, started selling his detergent powder, he decided to call it Nirma, derived from the name of his daughter Nirupama. In the early years, the Nirma packet featured a lady washing a garment. Later, however, the design was changed and an image of his daughter was featured on the pack. The white dancing girl, featured in Nirma’s television advertising, is perhaps the most enduring image of the brand.

Nirma created an entirely new market segment in the domestic marketplace and quickly emerged as a dominant market player. In line with this thought process, the recent two campaigns have been conceptualised for Nirma detergent and Super Nirma.

Super Nirma Washing Powder ::…

Exploding the myth that ‘better quality always demands higher price”, Nirma introduced a spray-dried blue coloured washing powder in the premium segment, in 1996. Available in 25g, 500g and 1000g packs, this product out-classed its competitor brands. Though, priced almost 40 % lesser, thus providing a very attractive ‘value-for-money’ proposition. This brand, within a short span of two years, had cornered substantial market share in the premium detergent segment and continues to perform better in rural market and this will be a big hit.

For getting more success in rural markets company have to take care about the four P’s of rural markets such as For Packaging it is being simple with no color and design.So that rural people can identify it in a clear way that it is a washing powder with having a girl in skirt pasted on the packs.

The second P that is Price, the brand was selling like a hotcakes and the market for Nirma grew from 0% -61.6% specially In rural areas and the prices are still set only for the rural people so that they are economically owned this product.

The third P is Planning, comprehensive & widespread distribution network so that they can ruled over the rural market.

The fourth P is Promotion, Nirma used radio, posters, banners & mobile vans as its media options to aware the rural people about their products.

The company is hoping on the advantages of the in-house production of soda ash and LAB, which together constitute 63 percent of the total costs of soaps and detergents. It is expecting to boost its sales revenue by selling salt which is the by-product of soda ash. The company will be marketing the salt called “Nirma Salt” on a platform of “value for money”, which is common to all its other products. At the moment Nirma Salt is being test marketed in rural areas of Gujarat.

Distribution Strategy in rural areas


Whole seller



For attracting more customers Nirma using following Promotional tools in rural market:

TV Commercial


News Paper

POP display

Wall panting

Contest in Melas or Haats

Video vans

Nirma offers a wide range of products



Edible salts

Scouring products




Strong Brand equity. Nirma is a Rs.17 billion umbrella brand offering consumers a broad portfolio of products at multiple price points in the Detergents, Soaps & Personal Care market. 

Produces a range of industrial chemical products which primarily serve as raw material or intermediates for Soaps & Detergents business. 

Market leadership in detergents market and fabric wash industry and second largest player in Toilet soaps industry.

Wide distribution network.



High interest burden.

Less presence in premium segment.

Lack global tie ups and thus lacking in export markets.




Acquisitions for strengthening its distribution tie ups.

Entry into other categories like shampoos, toothpastes and fabric whiteners.



MNCs coming to India particularly in Toilet and Soap industry.

Emergence of small but strong regional players.

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