As part of its larger strategy to turn into a $1-billion company by 2020, Himalaya Drug Company has created a wellness division.

The new unit will develop and market non-prescription drugs targeting areas such as immunity, joint care, women’s health and vitality.

The wellness portfolio includes internal and topical wellness products from single herb formulations, or ‘pure herbs’, as well as therapeutic massage oils, balms and creams.

“Wellness is a very established and mature category in the developed world. These wellness products to a large extent are herbal in nature and address chronic therapeutic areas like joint care, women’s health, vitality and immunity,” Himalaya President and CEO Philipe Haydon told BusinessLine .

“However, the wellness market in India has largely been dominated by cough and cold medicines and health drinks. We want to change that.”

About 42 per cent of Himalaya’s ₹3,500-crore turnover comes from personal care, and 32 per cent from pharmaceutical products.

Haydon said the wellness range will fill the gap between these two segments.

The company will be using its existing relationships with doctors and pharmacies to promote the new range.

Product promotion

“We will not go for traditional advertising but our dedicated medical representative team will promote the products to doctors and our retail team will make it available at leading supermarkets, retail outlets, chemists and pharmacies,” he said.

Haydon added that the company will spend over ₹400 crore annually in marketing these products.

Store advisors

“To help consumers identify their health needs, we have created wellness zones. These will serve as a one-stop point where our in-store advisors will be able to provide vital information on the product range,” Haydon said. These advisors will however, would not offer any medical.

Himalaya will also be launching products in the nutrition division to complement its wellness range, according to Haydon.

Apart from the new wellness division, Himalaya has five separate divisions — nutrition, personal care, pharmaceutical, baby care and animal care. These work like independent companies.

Haydon said personal care being the largest division is still growing over 30 per cent annually and wellness is expected to grow at 60-70 per cent annually over five years.

“Till 2020, we expect to grow at a CAGR of at least 25 per cent,” he said.