Detergent Wars in India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTA007 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 1970-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), Unilever, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Nirma
Industry : Fast moving Consumer Goods, FMCG
Countries : India


The case discusses in detail the detergent wars in India. The changing dimensions of the industry and the strategies of three major players, Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), Unilever's Indian subsidiary Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Nirma are discussed at length. When Nirma, a small insignificant player, began challenging Surf's dominance in the detergent market, HLL launched various counter measures. The entry of P&G onto the scene further intensified the competition, creating a new market segment - the compacts. HLL has taken retaliatory steps to keep P&G in check and retain its leadership position. The case also discusses the recent price war unleashed by P&G in the detergent category, and HLL's response.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 1
The Detergent Wars 3
Looking Ahead 15
Exhibits 5


MNCs (multinational corporations) in India, Unilever, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), Nirma, Henkel, Indian business environment, Detergent wars, Competitive rivalry, Marketing warfare, Price wars, Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG)

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