After sugar mills and distillers, perfume and deodorant makers are now looking to step in to make hand sanitisers, as the country battles with the Covid-19 pandemic, and consumers and health workers face a shortage of such products.

Last month, the Consumer Affairs Ministry had asked State governments to swiftly give requisite approvals to sugar companies, distilleries and other players across the country to manufacture hand sanitisers in bulk. It had also asked deodorant makers to step in to make hand sanitisers or enable bottling of hand sanitisers for sugar companies and distilleries.

A spokesperson for Raymond Consumer Care, known for brands such as Park Avenue (apparels, deodorants and perfumes), said it is awaiting government approvals for commercial production of hand sanitisers.

Distribution network

“A steady supply of hand sanitisers is the need of the hour as India battles the Covid-19 pandemic. We are awaiting government approval for commercial production of hand sanitisers. It is our endeavour to make the same available across the country through our expansive distribution network,” the company said.

“At Raymond Consumer Care, we intend to make a positive contribution to India’s fight against Covid-19. We have currently developed an effective hand sanitiser. Given our wide presence in the category, we have strong capabilities to scale up the supplies of our other personal hygiene products such as soaps and shampoos,” a spokesperson added.

A spokesperson of Emami, known for its HE brand of deodorants, confirmed to BusinessLine that it will be foraying into the hand sanitiser segment. But she did not specify timelines for the launch.

Similarly, a spokesperson for RSH Global, which owns the X-MEN brand, said the company already had plans to come up with a “handcare range” by the third quarter of FY21. However, there are no immediate plans to advance it. “We have long-term plans with our handcare range, which would consist of hand-wash, sanitisers and cream,” a spokesperson said.

Re-purposing factories

ITC has already decided to re-purpose its perfume-making factory at Himachal Pradesh to enhance production of its Savlon-branded hand sanitiser.

Other deodorant and perfume-makers may also re-purpose some of their existing facilities to produce hand sanitisers, say sources. Existing hand sanitiser players are already ramping up their production.

In the past few days, companies such as Dabur India, Cavinkare and VLCC have launched hand sanitiser products in the market or on e-commerce channels. In the alcohol sector, Radico Khaitan, Diageo India, Jagatjit Industries and other distilleries have stepped in to make hand sanitisers.