A 133-year-old Indian Ayurveda company is tapping Amazon to reach even more customers around the world.
Dabur, known for its Vatika hair oil and Meswak toothpaste, will now be part of the American giant’s global selling program, through which it will sell 30 products, including herbal toothpaste and honey, on Amazon.com. The Indian firm already generates 30% of its revenues from the 120 countries it sells in, but this global partnership with Amazon will help it access shoppers in the US, Canada, and Mexico that are increasingly looking for more natural and herbal products.
“In particular markets like the US, there is a huge demand because people are willing to pay a premium for Ayurvedic or organic products, and the number of manufacturers with a heritage like Dabur are limited,” Gopal Pillai, director and general manager of seller services at Amazon India, told Quartz.
This comes as Dabur is battling stiff competition at home from a relative newcomer, Patanjali Ayurved, promoted by yoga guru Ramdev. Since its launch in 2006, the company has become a hit with Indian consumers, disrupting the market for herbal and natural consumer goods, and challenging the dominance of existing players.
While Dabur still has a strong legacy in the country and a product portfolio of nearly 250 brands—the bulk of which are made with natural or herbal ingredients—it’s become clear that the company needs to step up its efforts to hold its place in the Ayurveda market.
And that explains its online push in India, too.
Dabur’s products are already available via e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, and BigBasket in the country, but the company generates less than 1% of its sales online. Over the next three to five years, though, it expects sales from online channels to go up to 2-3%. For the year ended March 31, the company registered sales of over Rs7,680 crore.
Last week, Dabur also announced a tie-up with Amazon.in, the Indian arm of the e-commerce major, to launch an Ayurveda marketplace. This online store will sell products of different brands, including Patanjali and Himalaya, apart from providing information on how to use various herbal medicines.
“We are seeing a resurgence in the demand for Ayurveda but consumers are still seeking information on the use and benefits of these products,” said Krishan Kumar Chutani, executive director, consumer care business, Dabur India. The company, he added, has been working “towards making Ayurveda contemporary for modern-day consumers.”
Besides expanding its reach online, Dabur is also trying to leverage the growing demand for natural products and remedies via tele-medicine. It recently piloted AskDabur.com, a tele-medicine initiative that provides free consultations on ayurvedic remedies for patients. Dabur has a wide portfolio of both over-the-counter and prescription-based herbal medicines, such as Swarna Guggulu Gold (for joint pains) and Khadiradi Gutika (for a sore throat). The company has tied up with a panel of Ayurveda doctors who will now advise callers and prescribe medicines, Chutani explained.
“With tele-medicine and our doctors, we want to own the ecosystem of knowledge around Ayurveda,” Chutani said.