“Yahi Hai Sahi!” Growing the Condom Market in North India through the Private Sector

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In June 2004, ICICI Bank initiated the Yahi Hai Sahi (meaning “This is the Right Choice” in Hindi) condom promotion project under the USAID funded Program for Advancement of Commercial Technology-Child and Reproductive Health (PACT-CRH), as part of its commitment to use the power of the private sector to improve reproductive health in India. Three of the largest private sector condom marketers in India – JK Ansell Limited, Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) and TTK-LIG Limited – agreed to partner with ICICI Bank in this project through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). ICICI Bank contracted Lowe India to implement marketing and communications activities in this project. Project strategies were developed and implemented with technical assistance provided by the PSP-One project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2006, the Yahi Hai Sahi project was repositioned as Condom Bindaas Bol (meaning “Condom Just Say It” in Hindi) to specifically address the issue of embarrassment This report summarizes the project strategies, activities and results achieved in this program.

Project Rationale and Operating Context

This project was conceived in the context of a declining market for condoms in North India – both in value and volume terms.This declining trend was observed amongst both commercial brands and social marketed brands between 2002 and 2005.The key implication of this was the likely declining use of condoms (for family planning or STI prevention), assuming that use of freely distributed condoms has remained the same. Data of freely distributed condoms was not considere in the analysis, as estimates of wastage in freely distributed condoms vary considerably.

The response to this was modeled on the successful Goli Ke Hamjoli (GkH) project.The GkH project – another USAID funded PACT-CRH initiative to increase the Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPs) market in India – successfully demonstrated that generic category promotion campaigns can increase the volume and value of the market thereby increasing:

  • motivation of commercial marketers to invest in the category (a growing market is a more attractive investment), and
  • ability of commercial marketers to invest in the category (improved bottom-lines allows for further investment).

The project efforts were focused in North India for many reasons:

  • Size of the potential market: Ten states in North India (Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi) account for 47%1 of India’s population allowing focused efforts to reach a large potential market.
  • Family Planning need: Many of these ten states are characterized by poor health indicators (Contraceptive Prevalence Rates,Total Fertility Rates, Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates) and lower economic development levels.
  • Lower levels of HIV prevention efforts: In these states the HIV prevalence amongst the general population has not yet crossed the 1% threshold. Consequently, these states receive lower levels of HIV prevention efforts as compared to high prevalence states.
  • Homogeneity: Unlike other states in India where regional languages and dialects dominate all forms of communication, Hindi is spoken and understood in these 10 states.This allows for utilizing common communication material across these states.
  • GkH infrastructure: Through the GkH project, with USAID funding, PSP-One had established an experienced field team of over 100 people for detailing chemists and doctors in North India.

Commercial condom marketers partnering in this project are JK Ansell (Kamasutra, Sajan), Hindustan Latex Limited (Moods, Rakshak),TTK-LIG (Durex, Kohinoor). Brands marketed by these companies together account for more than one third of the total condom market and over half of the commercial market in North India.