Elder Pharma Forays Into the Nasal Inhaler Segment With the Launch of ‘Solo’ Inhalers

With a firm footing in the health and well-being segment, Elder Pharmaceuticals Limited (NSE: ELDERPHARM) has expanded its Solo range of OTC products with the launch of Solo range of inhalers for nasal congestion. The Solo basket comprises of Solo Rub, a pain balm, Solo Cough Drops and Solo lozenges for throat soothening. With an eye on the rural markets, the company is also launching these products in smaller sizes and has earmarked a budget of Rs. 25 crore for promotional activities.

Elder foresees an 8-10% annual growth in the nasal decongestion market and is banking on substantial growth from category B and C towns. The market is presently valued at Rs. 800 crore with Vicks from P&G dominating with more than 50% market share. Market for inhalation generic drugs is quite promising for India due to climate change and rapidly aging demographics where 22% of population is above 55 years of age. Although the market leaders are everywhere, there is still a large untapped market in India and Elder is hoping to garner a 7% share of the nasal decongestant market by FY2018.

Alok Saxena, Managing Director, Elder Pharmaceuticals Limited, says, “Over-the-counter inhalers are the first level treatment for nasal congestion and doctors/specialists are consulted only if the condition worsens. Rising cost of raw materials, competitive market conditions and over dependency on the urban markets had affected the sales of the company’s OTC products in the recent years. With focus on price, product mix and penetration, Elder is set to regain its prime position in the OTC sector.”

The market for cough and cold care solutions too witnessed a growth of 10% during 2013-14 due to increasingly erratic weather, whereby the temperature kept switching from hot and humid to cold and rainy, further increasing seasonal health problems such as cough, cold and allergies. It is for this reason that the company has also introduced Solo lozenges in polypack for better visibility and customer use. An ayurvedic cough syrup, which gives more than 12 hours of relief and has no side effects, is also ready for launch in April 2015.

India’s Fast Moving Health Goods (FMHG) sector has shown higher growth of 18% in rural areas as compared to 11% in urban areas. Although urban areas have high spending propensity, there has been a rise in disposable incomes levels in the rural economy and consequently in demand for FMHG products.

Saxena adds, “In view of the highly competitive nature of the industries we operate in, we plan to focus on branding, packaging upgrades, wider distribution and innovation to make our brands successful. The company has also lined up marketing strategies to offer combination products for an attractive price in order to lure the rural consumers to try out it new launches.”