Disinfectantsare antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms.Sanitizers are also used to destroy microorganism. Hygiene is an essential component of healthy living, integral to achieving health and preventing disease. Adopting hygienic practices and promoting hygiene in the community, schools and workplace prevents innumerable infectious disease.Cleaning is a prerequisite for effective sanitization.The various hygienic products include automatic deodorizers, tissue paper, eco friendly tissues and towels, disinfectant and sanitizers.
In the market for surface cleansers, most products were sold as commodities as brand awareness was low. More popular cleansers like kerosene, phenyls or detergents had multipurpose usages.
The average expenditure per family on surface cleansers outside the multipurpose detergents ranges between Rs 15 and Rs 25 on an all-India basis and about Rs 45 in the urban areas. It is Rs 60 in Thailand and Rs 300 in Brazil, let alone Rs 900 in the UK. With the growing awareness on the concerns for hygiene and health, the housewife's shopping list, especially in urban areas, finds increasing use of surface cleansers and other household disinfectants.
The surface cleanser and disinfectants market has grown in value terms to an estimated Rs 5 billion a year, if multi-purpose detergents are excluded. In volume terms, the market is of the order of around 9000 tpa of which more than 60% is represented by phenyls. The branded million-oriented market is placed at over Rs 2750 million and is growing at around 20%.
Reckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser) had launched Lizol, the Indian variation of Lyzol, a worldwide brand, following Lever Johnson's introduction of its disinfectant cleanser, Domex. Lever-Johnson was a 50:50 joint venture between multinationals Hindustan Lever and Johnson & Johnson. The joint venture had run into rough weather and the company was reported sick. Besides Domex, its other major product, Raid, an insect repellent, was well received in the market. It also had been marketing the Jonson & Johnson's disinfectant, Savlon, in direct competition to Dettol from Reckitt Benckiser and marketed by Hindustan Lever. The two partners in the company undertook a review of the joint venture. Apparently, there is now a sea-change in terms of volumes - a big jump in evidence as a result of media blitz.
Lately Reckit Benckiser is aggressively looking at acquisition of brands with synergy with its Indian operations. Besides Mortein, which, the company claims, has a 35% market share in insect repellent category, the company also manufactures surface-care brand Lizol and Harpic in the surface-care segment. Harpic commands about 80% of the market.
Domex is selling in twenty countries in Europe, South America and Asia. Lizol, the floor disinfectant, has graduated to Indian urban homes from ineffective liquids like phenyl. While Lizol is a floor cleanser, Domex has been positioned as a multipurpose cleanser and disinfectant.
Apart from Domex and Lizol, other brands like Dettol, Harpic (from Reckitt Benckiser) have remained strong in the market for disinfectants and cleansers. Sanifresh from Balsara is the other important brand in the market. Fernhill Laboratories' Colin has also been established as a product in demand.
The other small brands in the market are Brisk, Choice and Shevclean. Brisk is a floor cleaner and disinfectant from Henkel Spic, which it acquired following its acquisition of Calcutta Chemicals and Detergents.