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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

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Anoop hair oil creator to launch odourless deo

Vinson Kurian


ARSHIK Herbal Remedies (India) Ltd of Anoop Hair Oil fame, which made the bald men of the world think bold and bountiful, is ready with two new products for the personal care market.

Speaking to Business Line here, Mr S. Gopalakrishnan Nair, proprietor of Arshik Herbal Remedies, said the first product was based on distilled water, plain and simple, which, when sprayed or applied, promises to "neutralise" the strongest of odours and ease the olfactory nerves.

It is not a deodorant in the conventional sense; it does not have a scent of its own to hide body odour. What it does is merely "nullify" or "neutralise" smelly air which is too close for one's comfort.

Still, it has the ability to deodorise without triggering the olfactory system. It can be used to wash (or spray) your hands to free them of any smell, especially of the food that you may have taken. It can be used as a mouth freshener, it cleans clothes and clears a room of any unpleasant odour. It can be even consumed without any side effects.

"As for personal care, the product makes a case for universal application straddling all age groups - be it a mother nursing a new-born or an invalid being looked after by others," Mr Nair explained.

Despite these credits, the product looks and tastes like potable water, if at all. Said Mr Nair, "I spend at least 10 hours every day browsing the Net but have not been able to come across a comparable product. Searches for deodorants and air fresheners generate around six lakh results each but none for this product. Trade enquiries have started pouring in after I sounded out some people. I am weighing my options."

Asked if Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, to which the all-India marketing rights for Anoop Hair Oil were sold as far back as the early nineties, was among the interested parties, Mr Nair chose not to comment. He was supremely confident about the "killer" application of both the new products which are due for a commercial launch towards the latter part of the year.

The second product is a herbal cream which promises to cure the severest case of dandruff in six months.

It has already worked and shown results with those on whom it has been tested "in little doses and within a short time span".

In a sense, it is a product which seeks "to backwardly integrate" with Anoop Hair Oil, as, according to Mr Nair, the scalp has to be free of dandruff for the latter to be absolutely effective.

If Anoop has not worked with some people, it could well have been because of the `dandruff shield' which may have prevented the oil from sinking in to act on the follicles.

In such cases, the new remedy can work by first ridding the scalp of dandruff. Mr Nair says significant results were discernible on the very second morning of testing. He said a complete cure was possible in 6-12 month's time.

Mr Nair is in the process of complying with the stipulations of the Drug Controller and other authorities for a formal all-India launch of both the new products.

Fully-automated plant

Arshik Herbal Remedies has installed a fully automated Rs 3-crore plant at Mulayara in rural Thiruvananthapuram.

The plant fills 60 bottles of Anoop Hair Oil every minute (each 50 ml bottle sells at an MRP of Rs 150). On an average, three truckloads, each containing 600 crates of 50 bottles, are despatched from the Mulayara plant for marketing.

Demand has tended to outstrip supply with Mr Nair saying he has a tough task gathering the herbs, of which the requirement now runs into tonnes.

Coconut oil is the base for Anoop. Mr Nair has installed an expeller plant which can process raw coconuts into roasted copra in eight hours. It has the capacity to process 12 tonnes on a daily basis but as of now the monthly requirement is only around five tonnes.

Mr Nair has been feted for two consecutive terms with the Samman Patra award instituted by the Central Government for being the highest individual payer of income tax and central excise.

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