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Making noise creates awareness, it’ll be better if brands do something about it too, says GCPL’s Sudhir Sitapati

At the product launch of Godrej Magic body wash, Sudhir Sitapati, Managing Director and CEO at Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), and Chief Marketing Officer Somashree Bose Awasthi spoke to about the innovations in the space and how they are trying to bring in a habitual change in the consumers with environment-friendly products

(L) Sudhir Sitapati and Somashree Bose Awasthi (R)

Brands making noise is not a bad thing, because it creates awareness, but it will be better if they make noise and then go on to do something about it, said Sudhir Sitapati, Managing Director and CEO at Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL).

In line with its value of ‘Putting Planet before Profits’, GCPL unveiled its new offering Godrej Magic Bodywash. This innovation encourages the habit of reusing and reducing wastage, thereby, empowering people to make a sustainable choices for their daily activities.

On the launch of the product, Sitapati, along with Advocate and Environmentalist Afroz Shah, and Rajat Wahi, Partner at Deloitte India, spoke about innovations in the space and how the company is bringing changes in the habit of the consumers with environment-friendly products.

Speaking about the consistent communication and inclusion of environmental issues and sustainability in the communication that fades away with time in most of the companies’ communication, Sitapati, said, “Brands making noise is not a bad thing, because by making noise they create awareness, it will be better that brands make noise and do something about it. I feel that solutions for plastic are people taking initiative, and a lot of it comes from the rural strata and the demand for it is coming from there and brands are responding to it.”

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been roped in as the brand ambassador for Godrej Magic Bodywash and he is featuring in the mass awareness campaign for the product. also caught up with the Chief Marketing Officer of GCPL, Somashree Bose Awasthi, to speak about the new product, the brand’s efforts to bring in change and the thought process which went behind its communication.

Speaking on the communication of the company to bring in change, Bose said, “It's a journey that we have started. It starts with changing the habit, which is the most important thing, it requires reaching out at a very basic level. Indian consumers have the habit of reusing their bottles and that was the habit we latched on to. Even in the crowded hygiene space, we are able to garner more than 20% share, in the case of body wash, for the first time, we have now started actively calling out for less plastic use. Every time, we take a tiny step and bring in a change with our products.”

India generates 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Further, skin and body care products usually have high-water content; making the finished goods heavier while being transported and heavily reliant on plastic for packaging. 

As per Awasthi, the Godrej Magic Bodywash requires just 16% of the plastic than is normally used in packaging and only 19% of the energy to manufacture as compared to a regular body wash and just 10% of the total energy required to make a soap bar. Since the gel-based sachets are small and light, more sachets can be transported in every truck, leading to 44% lesser diesel consumption resulting in 44% lower carbon emissions as compared to transporting a regular body wash.

Awasthi also said, “In a lot of spheres, we have started recycling plastic and reusing it. Further, 30% of our fuel needs are coming from renewable sources, in the last 4 years, we have had 0 landfills. Similarly, we have been doing a lot of things as a part of EPR. We will be reducing the usage of plastic, we wanted to inculcate the habit in the people starting with this product. The ultimate goal is to make this product totally biodegradable.”

From a consumer perspective, they prefer upgrading to a body wash from soap, but steep prices pose the biggest barrier. To tackle this, the new GCPL offering is available in a gel sachet and in a combi-pack, comprising of a bottle and gel sachet. The sachet is priced at Rs 45 while the combi pack is available for Rs 65.

Marketing FMCG and electronics, especially at a time when there is a boom in the start-up economy and the arrival of many new age companies with sustainable product options, must be a tedious task. Talking about how Godrej continues to be a household name, Awasthi said, “We believe in understanding what consumers want and delivering it in a differentiated manner, and that's the difference we are creating, seeing the number of products we have launched as well as the reduced price. In the phase of inflation, Magic is the best product. Giving consumers what they want at the price they can afford, for enabling accessibility.”

“The second thing is - communicate in a very unique way, use the emotion of the people. Like in the recent relaunch of GoodNight, we have repositioned it as an efficient product, as well as in an emotional way by showcasing the message of it being the protector of a good night’s sleep. The unique way in which you approach the consumer and tackle the emotionality that’s where the marketing piece works. We are also catering to the uber-rich consumer. We are there in every household and want to reach every segment of the society and provide them with our products,” she added.

The company is focusing on audio-visual mediums like TV and digital to promote the campaign and make people aware of how to use the product. Awasthi also said that although inflation has an impact, it gives companies a chance to innovate.

Meanwhile, speaking about the launch of the product, Sitapati said, “Sustainability is core to our strategy. In doing so, we are committed to making amazing quality products at accessible price points. All this while ensuring it is pocket-friendly and friendly for mother earth. We roped in a celebrity for this product to ensure we create awareness around plastic, carbon footprint and upgrade the bathing experience of soap users.”

Commenting on his appointment as the brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan said, “It’s an innovative product designed intelligently to support an environment-conscious lifestyle and is almost magic! It is a simple and effective idea that will help reduce plastic wastage and energy consumption. I am proud to endorse it and feel sustainability is a life choice and anyone can adopt it in the smallest of ways”.

While talking about Sustainability, Sitapati recalled the Mangrove project that is being maintained by the company in the area of Vikhroli in Mumbai, along with that Shah spoke about the importance of reducing plastic waste and how it is affecting the country.

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