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Alkem plans Rs 6-cr marketing splash for new Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub

Alkem is positioning the product as a solution to the tech and posture related neck and shoulder pains that heavy tech users of smartphones and other mobile devices, along with those who lead busy but sedentary lifestyles in India, put up with

(L to R) Mukesh Tiwary, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Alkem Healthcare, A K Han, Executive Director of Haw Par Corporation Limited

Mumbai based drug firm Alkem Laboratories entered into a partnership with Haw Par India last year, which allowed the firm to market and distribute the brand’s Tiger Balm range of products in India. Both the organisations have now announced the launch of a new product from the Tiger Balm stable.

The Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub, which is already available in international markets like USA and Singapore, has been launched as a solution to tech and posture-related neck and shoulder pains that heavy tech users of smartphones and other mobile devices, along with those who lead busy but sedentary lifestyles in India, put up with.

As per Euromonitor 2015, the size of the OTC analgesic market in India is about Rs 20 billion and has grown at a CAGR of 9.9% through 2010 to 2015.Tiger Balm, the flagship brand of the Alkem Health Care division (the brand’s foray into the OTC category), crossed sales amounting to Rs 80 crores on MRP value in the financial year ending December 2017 (Tiger Balm follows the January-December calendar), a 30% increase from 2016.

Alkem has set itself the target of making Tiger Balm a Rs 200-crore brand in the coming two years. With that target in mind, the brand is investing heavily on marketing its new offering and is also looking at expanding the brand’s product portfolio in the country.

“The association so far with Haw Par has been great and mutually beneficial. We are now looking at more product opportunities. Haw Par has a product called the Tiger Balm Mosquito Repellent Spray, it also has a mosquito repellent patch for children and pain-relieving patches and we are in talks with them for launching these brands in India. It should come to the India market in the coming two to three years,” said Mukesh Tiwary, Sr Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, Alkem Healthcare.

Alkem will be spending Rs 6 crore to market the newest offering from Tiger Balm. While AK Han, Executive Director, Haw Par Corporation, agreed that a lot of the Tiger Balm’s popularity relies on word-of-mouth, he also mentioned how the brand will be looking towards digital for this product as it is primarily directed at the tech-savvy generation.

Elaborating on their marketing plan for the product, Tiwary said, “At Alkem, we have a separate digital marketing team. We are not outsourcing our digital marketing to any outside agency. TV, of course, will play a major role but Alkem has been very active in the digital marketing space as well. For this product as well, digital will be a factor but TV will be the main focus.”

Tiger Balm currently has a 50% market share in the OTC analgesic market and considers Zandu Balm as its biggest competition. Priced at a slight premium, the brand will be first launched in the metros and will slowly be introduced to the tier II, III and rural markets.

Speaking about their strong markets, Tiwary said that about 46% of their revenue comes from South, about 36% from West, 14% from North and about 6% from East.

“What has to be noted here is that before we came into the picture, the East was almost non-existent for Tiger Balm. In the last one year, sales in East and North have picked up for us,” said Tiwary.

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