Himalaya Drug Company - Branding Ayurveda

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG032
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1999 - 2002
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Himalaya Drug Company
Industry : Drugs
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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A 'Hip & Happening' Granny! Contd...

However, in a surprise move in December 2001, HDC announced that it would bring its domestic and global brands under a single global brand, 'Himalaya,' with a new logo and brand identity. The company's website stated, 'Our new brand identity communicates the very essence of our company.'

The company also decided to shift its focus from chemists and doctors (the prescription route) to consumers. Analysts questioned the company's decision to bring Ayurvedic Concepts under the global brand Himalaya.

They believed that it was not a wise move considering the huge investments it had made in establishing the brand. HDC was, however, confident that this 'universal branding' strategy would help make the company synonymous with herbal healthcare across the world. However, many analysts believed that it was not the only reason for the radical changes being brought about in the company.

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Background Note

In the 1930s, when the group's founder M. Manal (Manal) was visiting Burma (renamed as Myanmar), he was highly impressed to see the soothing effects of a herb, Rauwolfia Serpentina,2 on restless elephants. In the same year, he established HDC as a partnership concern, and began testing this herb scientifically.

After thorough research, the company launched Serpina, the world's first anti-hypertensive drug in 1934. Manal decided to bring Ayurveda at par with modern medicine and extend its benefits to the people in general. However, the company faced a lot of problems as the popularity of Ayurveda as a branch of medicine was on the decline due to the colonial rule and increasing scientific temperament of the masses.

Manal, however, continued his pursuit to develop medicines based on Ayurveda and concentrated extensively on research and development (R&D) to enhance the company's product range and quality. In 1950, Dr. Roshan M. Captain joined HDC, as the head of R&D.

Many popular drugs were launched during this period. Among the most notable of these was LIV-52, a hepatoprotective3 medicine released in 1955, which went on to become one of the highest selling drugs in the world. In the mid-1960s, a German pharmaceutical consultant named Karstein joined the company...

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2] Rauwolfia Serpentina is the Latin name for a herb known as 'Sarpagandha,' which has been used for treating poisonous snakebites since centuries.

3] Literally meaning, 'Something that protects the liver.' Reportedly, LIV 52 is extremely beneficial for people recuperating from jaundice.


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