NEW DELHI: Dabur, the FMCG company which has long been active in the Ayurvedic sector, is adopting a science-based rationale and cause marketing in order to attract more youthful consumers, a leading executive has said.

Krishan Kumar Chutani, executive director/consumer care business at Dabur, observed how India as a nation has been changing, driven by its young.

"Indians are becoming comfortable with 'Indian-ness'," he told Afaqs!, contrasting that with his own student experience when anything imported was seen as desirable.

"Not any longer," he said. "A new idea of India is taking shape, with the youth as the front-runner. This is not just a fad."

And business has to react accordingly. "When India is young, Dabur also needs to be young, through products, formats, positioning, languages and channels of communication used.

"We want to be the Fabindia of Ayurveda," Chutani declared. "Traditional, yet young and cool."

In what is likely to be an increasingly crowded marketplace – Ayurvedic offerings are growing faster than non-naturals in all categories – he expected that Dabur's "science-based Ayurveda" positioning would appeal to the mindset of younger consumers.

In addition, he noted that "the youth of today are the ones who stop you from littering and hold candlelight marches at India Gate". Given that sense of idealism, he felt that "it is important for us to associate our brands with a social cause".

Its Vatika haircare brand did just that when it took up the cause of women against cancer, where the treatment leads to hair loss; some women even chose to discontinue chemotherapy just so that they won't go bald.

In Brave and Beautiful, a campaign shortlisted for the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy and a Grand Prix winner at Goafest, the brand struck and emotional chord and gained widespread attention through its promotion of the idea that "some people do not need hair to look beautiful".

Chutani was enthused by the "virtuous cycle" of such award-winning campaigns. "Not only do consumers like it, it also infuses pride in our employees. Potential employees see it and want to join. So, it attracts talent as well." 

Data sourced from Afaqs!; additional content by Warc staff