From the backwaters of Kerala to the front pages of Kotler.
In 1989, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd. (JLL) was a Kerala-based regional player with a Rs.12 crore turnover. Its sole product was a fabric whitener called Ujala.
We were convinced Ujala could go national; it could take on the formidable near-monopoly enjoyed by the 'powder blue' leader, Robin.
Ujala was an effective whitener, but not a powder blue: it could carve out its own rival turf, defined as 'Safedi ka naya rang'. That particular rang, or colour, was Ujala's violet 'magic' liquid formulation.
TV commercials demonstrated its effectiveness, and especially the contrast with powder-blue's patchiness.
Print ads reinforced it, and a jingle conveyed its ease and economy of use: 'chaar boondon wala'.
Ujala now belongs in the select club of domestic brands which have almost totally defeated multi-national giants. The entire powder-blue category was made obsolete, and replaced by a new liquid-blue category: all on the strength of a single brand. Ujala today commands a market share of 70% with a turnover of around Rs.250 crore. The group's turnover today is over Rs. 750