FMCG Giant Reckitt Benckiser, Hindustan Unilever Slug It Out in Swachh Bharat Drive
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Global FMCG giant RB is taking the fight to HUL through its Banega Swachh India campaign. Both companies have high stakes in PM Narendra Modi's clean India initiative as they believe they can drive change in con sumer behaviour through the programme, which will eventually lead to higher sales volumes of soaps and cleaners.
After constructing high tech toilets on the ghats of Varanasi, RB India, the maker of Dettol soaps and Lizol cleaners, is now developing a curriculum about sanitation practices that will be taught in over 10,000 schools across the country, starting October. It will follow it up by launching two low-cost products for bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers by the end of the year – one for pit latrines and the other, a soap that uses very less water. While HUL, the maker of Lifebuoy soaps, Domex cleaners and Pureit water purifiers, has earmarked around Rs 700 crore for its 'clean-India' initiatives, RB has set aside a sum of Rs 100 crore.
"The school curriculum consists of 45 lessons in four languages currently – Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu. We have also developed a programme for teachers that will help them teach children about sanitation and hygiene practices in an effective manner," said Nitish Kapoor, regional director, RB South Asia. The company has partnered with Ernst & Young to create Hygiene Index to measure the success of its Banega Swachh India programmes that will cover 200 cities in three years.
"The Hygiene Index will provide a standard and holistic measurement of hygiene (personal, food and environmental hygiene, sanitation, safe water) in India, to influence policy decisions," said Kapoor.
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