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Rediff.com  » Business » Nicholas to shift 8-10 brands to Boots Piramal

Nicholas to shift 8-10 brands to Boots Piramal

August 21, 2003 10:09 IST

Boots Piramal Healthcare, the pharmaceutical retail joint venture between British giant Boots Healthcare and Nicholas Piramal, is chalking out a big expansion strategy.

This follows Boots identifying India as one of its major focus markets, and the Piramals deciding to give thrust to the over the counter segment.

On the cards are plans to transfer between 8 and 10 of Nicholas Piramal's brands to the joint venture. These would be in the cough and cold, vitamins, neutraceuticals, analgesic and skincare categories.

These categories had already been shortlisted, sources familiar with the development said.

However, the Nicholas Piramal board is yet to ratify these transfers. Last year, it transferred three of its popular brands -- Aspro, Lacto Calamine and Polycrol -- to the joint venture.

At the same time, Boots Piramal Healthcare is also actively scouting for acquisition opportunities.

Abhijit Sanyal, CEO Boots Piramal Healthcare, said: "We have embarked on a three-pronged expansion strategy. In the first step, we are revitalising our existing brands. We will be evaluating the transfer of some of the existing prescription brands that are under Nicholas Piramal's fold and could be converted into OTC brands."

"We are also looking at acquisition opportunities and marketing alliances for third-party brands. We are essentially looking at the healthcare segment and not drugs," Sanyal added.

Boots Piramal Healthcare owns brands like Strepsils, Ultra Clearsil, Icy and Sweetex. It is also a super-distributor for Saridon.

While Boots International has identified India as one of its most important markets, Nicholas Piramal has identified OTC as a 'sunrise business.'

Hence, Boots Piramal has emerged as the growth engine for both promoter companies and, accordingly, the parent companies are open to investment opportunities for inorganic as well as organic growth. The company plans to step up its annual brand building investment to 22 per cent of sales.

Booster shot

  • The brands will be in the cough and cold, vitamins, neutraceuticals, analgesic and skincare categories.
  • Nicholas Piramal board is yet to ratify these transfers.
  • Last year, it transferred Aspro, Lacto Calamine and Polycrol to the joint venture.
Rumi Dutta in Mumbai