Hindustan Unilever losing money in the water-purifier business
January 15, 2010
The water-purifier business is now a hot battlefield with the Tata group recently launching its ‘Tata Swach’. However, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), which also sells a non-electrical purifier ‘Pureit’ is going through a tough time. Over the past six quarters, HUL has lost about Rs140 crore in the water-purifier category, according to an industry report.
“Only a miniscule fraction of the population in India uses purifiers today. Pureit therefore sees its role as one of educating consumers, getting them to appreciate the benefits of safe water, and then adopting Pureit. In a sense, we see ourselves as helping build the water-purifier market in India. This task is very different from the task of competing with other brands for a share of an existing product market,” said an HUL company spokesperson.
The price of Tata’s purifier is likely to throw up a challenge for HUL. ‘Tata Swach’ has a price tag of Rs749-Rs999 and its filter system refill that costs Rs299, has a lifespan of 3,000 litres. On the other hand, HUL’s Pureit costs about Rs2,000 with a filter system lifespan of 1,500 litres. The Pureit filter system costs Rs350. — Moneylife Digital Team