NEW DELHI: Johnson & Johnson, the personal care products business, regards categories such as face care and women's sanitary products as having significant growth potential in India and is seeking to engage with consumers in these markets.

Ganesh Bangalore, General Manager Marketing (Consumer) at Johnson & Johnson India, told [Impact] that penetration of sanitary napkins in the country stood at an "abysmal" 15%, thanks to a combination of a lack of awareness, access and affordability.

J&J's Stayfree brand had accordingly undertaken several initiatives aimed at educating women in lower tier cities and rural areas about these matters.

Project Jyot, for example, was training village women in one area to instruct other women and girls about menstruation and sanitary hygiene, while a tie up with Unicef, Women for Change, saw the brand donate one percent of its half-yearly sales to help educate adolescent girls in Bihar and Jharkhand.

"This initiative has so far helped over one million girls across India to access sanitary napkins and has empowered them to live a healthy and hygienic life," said Bangalore.

Within that, J&J has also developed a scheme to bridge the gap between India's extremes of wealth and poverty. The 'Support a Woman' programme enables women from privileged backgrounds to help underprivileged women fight anaemia, he explained, by providing medical check-ups, haemoglobin estimation tests and iron–folic acid and calcium tablets for a period of three months.

He welcomed the entry of more brands into this category, a development he expected would only increase awareness about the need for better hygiene and which would drive category growth of around 20% a year for the next five years.

The face wash category was forecast to grow almost as fast, at 15% a year, and J&J was using a consumer engagement strategy here too. Its Clean & Clear brand focused on being present on teen platforms and delivering relevant content, whether that was by exploiting the selfie trend or crowdsourcing ideas for TV commercials.

J&J's latest campaign for the brand sees it encouraging teenage girls to celebrate what makes them different and get their friends to join a 'movement'.

Data sourced from [Impact]; additional content by Warc staff