Godrej Household Products (Bangladesh), enabled by its local plant, has just launched the cheapest mosquito repellent in the country.
Called the Good Knight Advanced Fast Card, it is a paper-based mosquito repellent which burns for three minutes to instantly drive away mosquitoes. It remains effective for four hours and does not consume any electricity.
The product, which was manufactured entirely in Godrej's factory in Gazipur, has been priced at Tk 15 for a booklet of 10 cards, meaning each card costs Tk 1.5, which is half the price of a mosquito coil.
“The Fast Card will be a game changer in the Bangladeshi household insecticide market. It is the cheapest solution available at the moment,” said Sunil Kataria, chief operating officer of India's Godrej Consumer Products Ltd's sales, marketing and Saarc division.
The Mumbai-based executive was in Dhaka last week to launch the product, during which he sat down with The Daily Star for an interview.
The product, which was jointly developed by Godrej's research and development team in India and Indonesia in October last year, will provide the “millions of Bangladeshi homes, which are currently not using any solution, with effective protection from mosquitoes”.
The company has so far invested around Tk 6 crore to manufacture the product in Bangladesh.
“In just 4-5 months, we have completed all the process to set up the facility here -- we imported the machineries, installed them and trained the people in that time.”
Asked about the safety of the Fast Card, Kataria said the tests revealed it to be one of the safest mosquito repellents in the market.
The annual mosquito repellent market in Bangladesh stands at around Tk 700 crore, according to Kataria, an economics graduate from Delhi University. Coils take up 80 percent of the market share, with the rest being aerosols and liquid vaporisers.
“We see Bangladesh as a promising market. It has a large and young population, and there is definitely a trend among the households to try new products,” Kataria said.
Kataria, who has over 12 years of experience in sales and marketing, said Godrej aims to double its market share in the mosquito repellent segment in Bangladesh within a year. He, however, did not disclose any figure.
Godrej, which had its presence in Bangladesh since 2001, is a key player in the country's household insecticide market with its brands Good Knight and HIT.
In 2011, it set up a factory in Kaliakoir, Gazipur. The same plant is making the new product. The company has manufacturing contracts with three more factories as well.
“We are making a few of our key products in Bangladesh for the local population. It is our endeavour to make more of our products locally as we increase our brand portfolio.”
Kataria, who joined the company in February 2011, cited access to utilities like gas supply and electricity and the time spent on getting relevant agreements to get started as challenges to operating in Bangladesh.
At present, Godrej has presence in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Australia, Canada and the Middle East.
As part of the efforts to boost its global footprint, the company has recently acquired 60 percent rights in Cosmetica Nacional, a Chilean hair colour company.
Its international business has been a major driver of growth and now accounts for about 47 percent of the total consolidated revenues, up from 15 percent in 2010, according to the company's annual report.
In the fiscal year that ended in March, Godrej generated revenue of Rs 4,300.37 crore, up 13.49 percent year-on-year.