With Patanjali, Ayush of Hindustan UnileverLtd and other MNC brands entering Ayurveda consumer products market, Medimix soap which is made through a traditionally process with 18 ayurvedic medicines is only gaining more market share, according to Dr AV Anoop, Managing Director of AVA Cholayil Group. Patanjali and MNC brands are creating awareness about ayurvedic products in every nook and corner of the country. This in turn is helpful for the AVA Cholayil Group whose Medimix soap is selling more soaps than before.
Patanjali and MNCs are marketing the products developed by others as they don’t have a tradition in Ayurveda while Medimix is a patented medicinal soap of AV Cholayil Group. MNCs are unable to penetrate the markets as consumers look for companies that have a tradition in ayurveda. “I believe that the current boom in Patanjali and other ayurvedic products may peter out in five years time as we have over years experience in Ayurveda as our forefathers were all ayurvedic physicians.”
Medimix soap is made and distributed by AVA Cholayil Group in South India and in North India by Cholayil Group headed by Dr Anoop’s brother-in-law Mr Pradeep. The production of Medimix soaps in South India alone is 900 tonnes per month, Dr Anoop said. And it remains one among the few soaps that are still hand made. Medimix has production units in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttaranchal. The company earned a place in the Limca Book of World Records as maker of the largest number of handmade soaps in the country.The company also introduced Medimix Facewash and Handwash in the toiletries segment.
The company went into premium segment with Kaytra along with celebrated hair stylist Ambika Pillai. Soaps, shampoos,hairoil, hair care packs are the mainstay in this segment. Dr Anoop said that it may take some more time for the Kaytra group to keep up with the competition.
The Group also sells its products online but Dr Anoop sees only a limited potential for soaps and cosmetics as Medimix brands are available in the nearby kiranas across the country. “My concern is not whether Medimix brand is known or popular in Singapore or USA but whether the product is easily available in the shops nearby to the consumer. We are more worried about the global competition that may sweep us away from domestic markets.The soaps and cosmetics we make are also not suited for direct or multi-level marketing.”
Medimix will celebrate its golden jubilee next year but its journey was not without pains or struggles. The product was launched in 1969 by Dr V P Sidhan, father-in-law of Dr AV Anoop. However, 36 years ago, the factories were closed down in Tamilnadu and it was revived by Dr AV Anoop who took the risk ignoring the selection he got for a secure, comfortable government job in Kerala.
The AVA Group also acquired Melam Group two years ago and is not trying to expand its offerings and Dr Anoop said a foray into ready to cook foods is also likely. Currently, the Melam products are sold mainly in Kerala and Gulf countries apart from small presence in London and Singapore markets.