Prega News is focusing on smaller cities, regional content and micro influencers to ring in its next phase of growth
The brand is associating with regional stars like Srabanti Chatterjee in West Bengal to reach out to its audiencePrega News/screenshot
Prega News is also working towards creating a dialogue on stereotypes around infertility issues to spread awareness
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Prega News is focusing on smaller cities, regional content and micro influencers to ring in its next phase of growth

Prega News is also working towards creating a dialogue on stereotypes around infertility issues to spread awareness
  • In the last few years, Prega News has associated with a lot of known faces like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma and more recently Kajal Aggarwal, to build its visibility.
  • Now, it is trying to go deeper into the country and is partnering with regional influencers to engage with its audiences. It is also making a conscious effort to talk about sensitive issues around pregnancy to raise awareness and sensitize people.
  • We speak to Joy Chatterjee, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma to understand the brand's roadmap ahead.
Prega News from Mankind Pharma is today one of the most recognized pregnancy-related brands. Its rapid detection kit currently holds 80% market share. In order to further expand its reach in the country, the brand has been engaging in a lot of ATL and BTL activities while also regularly coming up with communications that talk about different pregnancy-related issues. Its campaign, #SheIsCompleteInHerself for this year’s International Women's Day spoke about infertility in women with an aim of sensitizing people towards the issue.

Over the past few years, the brand has also taken on popular faces like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma and more recently Kajal Aggarwal, to reach out to their audiences while also focussing on specific markets. The aim is now not only to go deeper into the country but also start conversations around important issues related to pregnancy.

We recently spoke to Joy Chatterjee, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma who told us their strategy to grow the brand so far, its marketing game plan and how it aims to expand its presence in different markets by going deeper into the country and by starting conversations around sensitive topics around pregnancy to sensitize and educate people.

Excerpts:

Q) What has helped Prega News capture the maximum market share in the category?
Prega News is a rapid detection kit that gives accurate results in 5 minutes and at the same time is convenient to use. The best part of the product is that a women can test urine samples anytime of the day. These factors are the foundational core of the product.

Over the years, we have built the credibility of the product brand regarding its accuracy and convenience. This has benefited us, and whenever expecting mothers buy Prega News, they do it because there is an assurance that it will give truthful results. With this approach, we focused extensively on ATL and BTL activities. In the beginning, our objective was to spread awareness among the target audience, and focus on the distribution and supply chain so people easily get the product. Also, we hold the market share by 80%. The only way left for a brand to grow is by expanding the market itself and, thus, getting more and more women to use the product confidently.

Q) The current penetration of the category is 17% which Prega News aims increase in the next five years. What will be your strategy to make this target a reality?

We are building awareness in rural areas, focusing on social messaging with the intent of bringing positive change in society. We have launched several campaigns on different issues that need to change. We drive a strong presence in the urban market. It has become a go-to product amongst the target audience. As the expansion of the product is one of our main priorities, we are focusing on regional markets. Earlier, we faced issues in connecting with people and were thinking of the best way of reaching rural women. We realized that the influence of regional channels is growing tremendously and now run different media plans and brand ambassadors for different regions. We have got a lot of success with regional channels. The consumers relate well with them which leads to better engagement for us.

Q) What are a few milestones for Prega News in the last few years? What has given you an edge over the competition?
Through our campaigns, we have spoken on issues surrounding soon-to-be mothers – workplace bias towards pregnant women or new moms, physical issues faced by expectant mothers, gender discrimination, and many more. Last year, we completed 10 years in the Indian market and launched a digital campaign, #PregaMoment. The product has been growing in healthy double digits annually. We witnessed a steep spike of over 20% in its demand during the COVID lockdown. It’s the trust factor that gives us the edge over others.

Q) How has your marketing strategy helped you stand out? What role did popular faces like Kareena Kapoor and Anushka Sharma play in building brand Prega News?
In the preliminary days, we used to release ads in newspapers and magazines to target women because that time pregnancy detection card was not available very easily. We launched this product in the OTC category to make it easily available. Our advertising journey started in 2010 with our first brand ambassador, Neha Marda. The message targeted at married women was simple – that it will take just 5 minutes to clear all doubts about their missed periods with the Prega News detection card. There are two parts to the Prega News advertising journey – the first being functional, which educates people about the tangible benefits of the product. In the beginning, this was done using semi-celebrity moms and later with big celebrity mothers and now we are focusing on regional actors and mom influencers. We have adopted a ‘Social Good’ content strategy as the second pillar of our communication, where we have highlighted many issues in our different campaigns. Our associations with endorsers like Neha Marda, Shilpa Shetty, Srabanti Chatterjee, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kajal Aggarwal and Anushka Sharma over the years have helped us reach different markets across the country.

Q) How are you going deeper into the country? What are your expansion plans?
Our expansion strategy is to reach every market in the country. We have realised that if we need to make women aware of pregnancy detection cards, we will need to associate with local people, NGO’s, Asha workers and others where we can talk to women about different things surrounding a pregnancy. To fulfil the same, we’re focusing on our distribution channels. The markets are further segmented as per the supply channels ranging from drugstores, pharmacies, online retail, supermarkets/hypermarkets, and Fertility and Gynaecology Clinics.

In the last year, we have received a great response from the West Bengal market. Our focus is now on strengthening our reach in different states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, amongst others. We will extensively focus on rural areas like Mirzapur, Unnao and Kannauj, to name a few.

Q) Are most of your consumers in larger cities or do you see a demand in Tier II & Tier III cities too?
Brand awareness is pretty high among urban populations. However, we are witnessing a positive trend in Tier II and Tier III cities too. People are becoming aware of the product and have started considering buying the pregnancy detection card but there is still some hesitancy around using the product among some people. We’re building awareness through many initiatives, so more and more women open up to using the product.

Q) Looking ahead, what will your marketing strategy look like?
We are quite prominent on TV, Digital, and OOH. We focus on a 360 degree marketing channel. From a reach perspective- there is no active brand on TV and our SOV is almost 95%. Television has helped us in reaching the masses. We are doing branded content, and focusing on digital mediums as well, be it by roping in mom influencers or creating a dialogue among the TG. Regional campaigns have been our strength and have helped us establish a connection with consumers by interacting with them in their language. In 2019, we ventured into the southern market and roped in celebrities like Kareena Kapoor and Priyamani simultaneously to capture both the northern and southern markets. Also, this year we have roped in Kajal Agarwal as the face of the South market. In the future too, we will keep this momentum going. There are new campaigns in the pipeline, which will go live at the right time.

Q) Apart from TVCs, how have you been educating/sensitizing people about the complications around pregnancy, or infertility (since this was a topic you touched on in your last campaign)?
Yes, we want to sensitize people on the pregnancy-related issues. In India, there is a stereotypical mindset when it comes to adopting a child or opting for IVF or surrogacy. There is a need to create a dialogue on breaking stereotypes around infertility issues, as this is a common issue prevalent among couples nowadays. Around 10-15% of all married couples face a problem in conceiving a child today. With changing times, we need to become more progressive and inclusive, to be able to bring about a positive cultural change. Hence, this is the first step towards the change. Going further, we also have plans to rope in gynaecologists who can impart knowledge on the importance of family-planning, the use of contraceptives and pregnancy detection cards and the importance of health and nutrition during pregnancy. Our objective is to initiate a healthy conversation around important issues in society.