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Knowledge At MET

Knowledge At MET

The Crisis of Lost Identity – Story of 30 Plus

India’s first ever rejuvenator brand - 30 plus, by Ajanta Pharma, is now making a comeback with a new owner – Dabur India Ltd.

30 plus, launched in 1990 as an herbal energiser capsule, was one of the strongest and oldest healthcare energiser brands in the country. Endorsed by Bollywood veteran – Jeetendra, famous for youthful energy, the capsule was positioned as an energiser for the

30 plus population - for Glucose metabolism, sleeping disorders and lack of energy and enthusiasm. It also delayed the signs of ageing. The brand became a million dollar brand overnight.

However, over a period of time, the consumers started perceiving it as a sex stimulant, which the product did not perform as. The sales started declining.

The brand has recently been bought by another OTC pharma products major - Dabur. Dabur is planning to position it as per what the consumers perceived, i.e. as a sex stimulant and have even changed the formula to suit the consumer perception.

This case is about that crisis of lost identity.

In October 2012, Dabur (I) Ltd., India’s leading natural health care company, entered into an agreement with the Mumbai brand Pharma major - Ajanta Pharma Ltd, to acquire their over the counter (OTC) energiser brand - 30 plus.

“We are very happy to announce the acquisition of the 30 plus brand. For every acquisition that we make, we look at synergy, which can complement Dabur’s existing product folio. The acquisition of 30 plus is part of an aggressive strategy to build the capacity of the OTC health care business and I am confident that this transaction will help in our endeavour to further strengthen our portfolio in that category” said F.D. Narang, Group Director – Dabur India Ltd.

Dabur India, the world’s largest Ayurvedic and natural care company, is the fourth largest FMCG Company in India, with a revenue of over Rs. 6000 crore and a market capitalisation of 5 bn USD. Building on the legacy of quality and experience of over 127 years, Dabur operates in key consumer product categories, like hair care, oral care, health care, skin care and food. Commenting on the re launch, Anil V. Kaushal, Category Head – OTC, Dabur India said, “ 30 plus has been a trusted health revitaliser brand, which Dabur has acquired. Leveraging Dabur’s expertise in natural and Ayurvedic health care, we have re-energised the product, making it more relevant, for today’s 30+ male.” Dabur has recently acquired 30 plus from Ajanta Pharma Ltd. - a Pharma major, with a 700 cr. Revenue.


Ajanta Pharma Ltd. (APL) was originally incorporated on 31st December, 1979, under the Company Act, 1956, as Ajanta Pharma (P) Ltd., by two Agrawal brothers - Purushottam and Madhusudan. Purushottam Agrawal, a pharmacist by training, started Ajanta Pharma with his brother, to manufacture and market of 10 OTC brands through a marketing infrastructure spread across the Marathwada region.

By then, their elder brother Mannalal had already sold his textile business and joined the group as its Finance Director.

The major OTC brand included

Pinku Gripe Water – Carmine for children Glucone D – Glucose Power

Trinol – Analgesic, Antipyretic, like Tylenol Dettol – Liquid Antiseptic

In 1981, the company entered instituted segments, like the Defence, Canteen Stores Department, Hospitals, UNICEF, UNHCR, Municipalities and the Government Health Department B1 1984. When the company set up its second manufacturing facility at Paithan near Aurangabad, the company had become one of the major OTC players in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat.

On 7th July, 1986, Ajanta Pharma Ltd. (APL) became a public limited company, under a special resolution and certificate, dated 11th August, 1986. By now, APL had a strong presence in every district of all the four states, catering to places, where the population was above 50,000. Moreover, APL had a dealer network of about 75,000, catered to by strategies, C & F agents and distributors. The emphasis still was on dealer push rather than pull. It is at this stage that APL decided to spread its wings. With its existing products, they decided to develop a distribution infrastructure, across the length and breadth of the country. This was backed by a high powered media campaign, by Creative Unit and Innovative Advertising. APL was now ready to take its next major leap.

In 1990, APL decided to launch the first ever energy recharger and revitaliser, containing 500mg Korean Ginseng extract and 500mg Ashwagandha extract. Both these ingredients help in Glucose metabolism and thereby take care of lack of energy, sleep disorders and signs of ageing.


Aptly, the market segment was defined as the urban population with a household income of 15000/- plus per month and in the age group - thirty plus.

The promotion was assigned to one of the premier ad agencies - Creative Unit.

Position: Energy Recharger for the defined segment Brand Name: 30 Plus

The Bollywood veteran –Jeetendra, famous for his jumping jack image (by now in his 40s), was the brand ambassador for the product. Jeetendra is known for his dancing, which is considered as embodying youthful energy and full of vigour. Jeetendra has left his mark on Indian cinema, as a result of his innumerable skills, charming looks, dancing and youthfulness. The elegant red pack of 10 capsules, with a dosage of one capsule a day, was priced at Rs.69.90 and dealers were offered the scheme of 80+20, with a ROI of 38%

Introduction of Brand

Its advertisement first appeared in front line newspapers and hoardings in metro towns, followed by prime time T.V and magazine. A sizable amount was spent on visibility at dealer counters, including Point Of Sales, window displays and display contests. A lot of orders got booked by filling the distributor pipe lines. 30 plus became a million dollars product overnight. A high powered media campaign generated huge product trials. The chemists were out of stock and the sales team had to work overtime to meet the orders placed by the chemists. It was like a dream run for the company. APL strengthened the manufacturing lines and the sales zoomed further.

As a result leading newspapers and magazines started writing about the product and filling up columns. Major sales came from not only the metros, but smaller towns in U.P, Bihar, M.P. – a united market segment, which constituted more than their intended focus territories.

The company did not conduct any research on this phenomenon. Had they done so, perhaps what followed could have been avoided; but, over a period of time, the company realised that the chemists were not placing orders any more. The sales team reported that tertiary orders were depleting. It was the same experience all over the country. As long as the market was clearly segmented, the sales were upbeat, but when they tried to capture entire markets, the sales started going down. The situation required urgent action. To analyse the situation, a dealer conference was called. The dealers suggested that the price of Rs.7- per capsule was very high and most people could not afford to purchase such a high price product. Also, only men were using the capsule. APL now intended to appeal to an entire market and lost its focus.

Taking this into account an elegant blue pack was designed and capsules of half the strength (250 mg) at half the price were launched. The ads now featured a Bollywood actress - Rim Rapadia, along with Jeetendra. But, this did not arrest the downward trend.

Meanwhile, the ad-account was handed over to Zen Publicity. They instituted a market research, at this late stage, in all the metro towns, Pune and the northern belt states.

Results of the survey were surprising. Consumers perceived the product as a sex stimulant; something similar to today’s Viagra and not as an energy recharger. So also, 30 plus blue was considered to be a less potent product. APL meanwhile had launched a pack of two capsules and increased the point of sales visibility. The product would not work as Ginseng and Ashwagandha act as energy rechargers only after prolonged usage.

It was also observed that whenever there was a burst of advertising, the sales would zoom, temporarily. The ad-sales correlation was as high as 0.89.

APL now sent 1,00,000 direct mailers to Diners Club members. 50% of them claimed that they perceived the product to be an energiser and 50 % claimed it to be a pep-up pill. Results were surprising - more sales came from consumers considering the product a pep-up pill, but sales soon dropped, as the ingredients don’t work as a pep-up pill.

The Board of Directors was worried as to how repositioning of brand could be effected.

Over a period of time, APL changed its focus and entered into the bulk drugs and ethical formulations business and 30 plus was no longer the company’s priority.

In October 2012, 30 plus changed hands from APL to Dabur (I) Ltd.

Dabur, the world’s largest natural and herbal healthcare company, found synergy in this acquisition and decided to release the brand in its new avatar. Says Anil V. Kaushal, Category Head OTC Business of Dabur, “We have re-energised the product, making it more relevant for today’s 30 plus male, with powerful ingredients like Gold, Musli and Shilajit. Given hectic lifestyles, the needs of 30 plus males in India are vastly different. External factors like workload stress, deadlines etc. lead to fatigue, during the day, and also affect his spending quality time with the family, in the evenings.

There is no product available today that addresses this need gap. Dabur 30 plus has key ingredients, which help you feel younger and active, maintaining your strength, stamina and vigour. It helps energise, rejuvenate, vitalize and strengthen the body, to be ready day or night. And he can feel younger again.”

On the appointment of Malaika Arora – an actress known as a sex kitten, Kaushal added, “Malaika Arora Khan is the perfect fit, for the brand. She is relevant to the communication, as show in the new campaign and hence was chosen as the brand ambassador.” Malaika is known to be a sex siren and has danced in many item songs. She is an actor, dancer, V.J., and T.V presenter. She is one of India’s top item girls.

Dabur 30 plus is being launched with a new communication – “ho jao youngeela re!” The high energy commercial is an energy concept of a middle aged male protagonist, fighting with his own self and one who keeps losing to himself every times. Rejuvenated with Dabur 30 plus, he is ready when the situation demands and displays his heroism, with youth and energy, to impress Malaika Arora in a filmy style.

Dabur will use the television, print, radio and online media, for popularising the product to the 30 plus target audience, which is essentially male, and the media mix will be primarily news, followed by Hindi ZEE, movies and key events.

Thus, taking a full circle, Dabur has decided to change the product formulation to suit the consumers’ perception, re-building the belief of the consumers in the brand.

Suvarna Bhasma, Musli, Shilajit are considered to be aphrodisiacs, whereas Ginseng and Ashwagandha are energy rechargers.


Consumer Insight

Creative Unit was asked to develop the product concept from the brand name to packaging, including suggesting a launch strategy. The agency carried out an in-depth study of the properties and pharmacological effects of genes. It was found that it would be used as an aid or curative agent, for a variety of maladies, like liver damage, diabetes, blood pressure, stress; it also reduced fatigue, prevented premature ageing and helped the digestive and circulatory system. However, as an OTC product, only the general energising qualities could be actively stressed on.

The study also gave an indication of who the consumer was likely to be:

Mainly people above 50 years; it is at this age that an individual feels maximum stress – physical, psychological, social and even economic – due to increased demands of the career, family and home. It was decided that the product should address these problems – offering relief from stress and fatigue and thus helping the user to live a successful life.

Although women too are subject to stress, it was felt that segmenting career-oriented males would help give the product a sharp focus.

Consumer research was initiated, to help define the generated perception of middle age and its related problems. Men in their 30s, 40s and 50s were interviewed. It was found that mid-life crisis was experienced, only after the age of 40. It was only after a hectic period of career consolidation and setting down in terms of family and social life that a man felt that the best part of this life was over.

The Product Plus

All the other Ginseng brands, promoted ethically, were well accepted by the medical profession and enjoyed good market shares. For Ajanta Pharma’s products to succeed in the OTC market, it was felt that just generic awareness of Ginseng was not enough. A product plus was needed.

The Brand Name

The next step was to give the product a name that would personify the product promise. The fact that it would be viewed as a health supplement was taken into consideration, as could be expected from a wide variety of brands, many of them not related to Ginseng at all, like Tonos 7, Chyawanprash, Vita Ex, Shilajit, Surbex T and even Horlicks and Complan.

The brand name had to identify the product as an energiser, without confusing it with existing products and genetic brands. It also had to have top of the mind recall. Several alternatives were tested for acceptance among consumers – Juvenal, Elix, Invigora, Augmentin and 30 plus. Oriental sounding names, like Yuvan and Yangan, were also tested.

30 plus aroused maximum interest among respondents, who admitted that they felt good, asking for a product that reminded them that they were only over 30. No one would have reacted to Forty Plus of Fifty Plus respectively.

The Advertising

Prelaunch research revealed that a majority of the respondents were reasonably satisfied with their home life and careers. Few took any tonic regularly. A common reaction was: “I don’t need a tonic”.

A totally new creative strategy had to be built up to create the need for an energy restorer. Direct appeals to the feeling of tiredness and weakness would quite possibly evoke a defensive reaction or outright rejection. It was thus decided to focus on the more positive aspects of middle age, emphasising a settled and optimistic future ahead.

Advertising was aimed at reinforcing the feeling of confidence and optimism. Thus the line “The best has just begun” was developed and 30 Plus was offered to individuals over 30 with the power to go.

Quite early in the planning stage, the question whether a celebrity could promote the product was discussed. Direct endorsement by a celebrity, it was felt, might reduce credibility, as there are umpteen film stars and cricket players pushing any number of products. The person was to instead build up a certain atmosphere of confidence and success.

The Launch

The brand was launched nationally in January 1990. The capsules came in blister packs of 10, put in a box, to be slipped into one’s pocket or briefcase conveniently. The red and gold packaging sought to convey exclusiveness and richness. The plus symbol in the logo reaffirmed the pharmaceutical image as well as the positive product benefits.


Korean Panax Ginseng – The Wonder Root

Boosts the immune system function

Supports the cardiovascular health/function

Helps fight diabetes

Fights Alzheimer disease

Fights fatigue

Fights depression and anxiety

Fights certain lung conditions

May help with certain cancers


Benefits of Ashwagandha


Sleep aid




Pain relief

Eye health

Heart tonic

Lowers cholesterol

Regulates blood sugar

Reduces depression and anxiety

Combats stress

Fights cognitive decline, due to brain cell degeneration

Major Benefits of Swarna Bhasma

  • Improves resistance power of the human body
  • Boosts immunity and strengthens the human body
  • Used on a regular basis, it acts as a nerve tonic
  • Helps in treating anaemia and chronic fever
  • Improves the complexion
  • Eradicates all chronic disorders, when used consistently
  • Indicated for chronic fever, cough, asthma, urinary disorders, sleeplessness and weak digestion
  • Strengthens weak muscles, debilities associated with old-age
  • Excellent for treating tuberculosis
  • Increases sexual power
  • Helps prevent symptoms of ageing like wrinkles, dullness of skin, dark circles around the eyes, debility, fatigue,
  • Strengthens tissues and ligaments of the human body
  • Effective in maintaining vigour, vitality and stamina

Important Musli Powder Benefits are:

  • Addressing general debility due to diabetes
  • As a remedy for arthritis and joint pain
  • Great help for both men and women in the context of sexual problems
  • Tonic for physical weakness and many other illnesses
  • Powerful sex tonic
  • Natal and post natal problems

Shilajit has been indicated as useful in the treatment of a number of diseases as mentioned below:

  • Has a very good pain relieving effect, in any kind of injury and muscular pain
  • Strengthening the nervous system thereby very helpful in nervous disorders like paralysis, hemiplegia
  • Helps in disorders like depression, mental stress, epilepsy and mental fatigue
  • Wonderful results have been seen in abdominal disorders like pain, gastritis, indigestion and constipation
  • Good results have been seen in piles and fistula related
  • Very effective in disease related to the heart, as it a pitta moderator
  • Helps in increasing strength and endurance power in men
  • Helps in increasing the sperm count and bettering the quality of sperms
  • Helps in regulating sex hormones for proper functioning

Authored by

Prof. Rajiv Gupte


Prof. Vikas V. Naik


Banking Sector in India

Shilajit has been indicated as useful in the treatment of a number of diseases as mentioned below:

  • Has a very good pain relieving effect, in any kind of injury and muscular pain
  • Strengthening the nervous system thereby very helpful in nervous disorders like paralysis, hemiplegia
  • Helps in disorders like depression, mental stress, epilepsy and mental fatigue
  • Wonderful results have been seen in abdominal disorders like pain, gastritis, indigestion and constipation
  • Good results have been seen in piles and fistula related
  • Very effective in disease related to the heart, as it a pitta moderator
  • Helps in increasing strength and endurance power in men
  • Helps in increasing the sperm count and bettering the quality of sperms
  • Helps in regulating sex hormones for proper functioning

Banking is the lifeline of the economy of India. The strength of banking sector determines strength of economy. It is heartening to acknowledge that after Lehman’s effect in 2008, whereas more than -100- banks failed in USA, not a single public sector bank failed in India, thanks to policies & supervision of Reserve Bank of India, the only regulatory authority for banking sector in India.

The main concerns of Government of India as regards banking sector are

  • Financial Inclusion for which finance ministry and RBI are strongly Recommendations of Nachiket Mor Committee about giving license for opening new payment banks and small banks are actively persued.
  • Boosting growth of Indian economy that just had two consecutive years of below 5% growth by improving supply side in the economy i.e. by strengthening infrastructure.
  • Capitalisation of Banking Sector to meet Basel III standards by 2018-19 which would require generation of additional capital of 4 to 5 lacs crore in Banking

The present main concerns of RBI are

  • Price stability by controlling
  • Financial stability of Indian Banks and
  • Ensuring growth

RBI has been successful to control inflation below targeted 8% presently based on recommendations of Dr. Urjit Patel Committee replacing Wholesale Price Index (WPI) on inflation by Consumer Price Index (CPI). Also in last two consecutive bi-monthly policy of RBI, RBI has reduced statutory Liquidity Ratio by 100 basis points (from 23% to 22%) there by releasing more than 8000 crores as lendable funds in hands of banks to promote growth.

The main present concerns of banking sector are

  • Arresting deterioration of asset quality more particularly in Public Sector Banks which accounts for about 70% of Banking
  • Arresting increasing stressed assets which comprise of Non- Performing Assets & Restructured Assets which accounts for more than 11% in Banking Sector Interestingly, Public Sector Banks (presently 26) here also contributed (negative) compared to their counter parts new generation private sector banks (-10- presently) which reflects poor credit management policies and practices in Public Sector RBI has accepted recommendations of P.J. Nayak Committee on Corporate Governance in Banks for revamping Banking Boards in Public Sector Banks.

The two recent incidents in Public Sector Banks are indeed shocking. One about Kolkata based United Bank of India where the CMD had to submit resignation in view of loss incurred by bank for understanding NPAs & second about arrest by CBI followed by suspension by RBI of CMD of Mangalore based Syndicate Bank on corruption charges.However, RBI Governor Dr. Rajan has termed such incidents as shocking but solitary.

Authored by

Prof. B. J. Ved

Tags: MET Institute of Management