Nirma, however, continues to be the second largest soap maker in the rural and rural plus urban market, ahead of Godrej, both in terms of value and volumes. Hindustan Lever is the largest toilet soap maker, both in value and volumes.
As per the AC Nielsen (formerly ORG Marg) data for urban market (in value), Nirmas toilet soap market share in April and May 2003 stood at 7.9 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively. This was marginally lower than close competitor GCPL, whose market share in these months was 8 per cent in the urban market.
In March this year, Nirmas share in the urban market in value was 8.2 per cent, ahead of Godrejs share of 7.8 per cent.
According to industry analysts, this situation could be temporary and Nirma could regain the second slot in urban India in terms of value in the coming months.
However, Nirma disagrees with the data. According to a Nirma official, Our toilet soap sales for May 2003 have been higher than that of April 2003. Hence the issue of reduction in the market share doesnt arise. The official said that market share in decimals is impossible to estimate or work out.
The official said the data comparing Nirmas sales of soaps with that of Godrej in metros seems inaccurate. Our sales of soaps in just five cities (New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Surat), where we record highest sales of our toilet soaps, are equivalent to approximately 50 per cent of the total toilet soap sales of Godrej, the official added, without revealing the figures of other places for confidential reasons.
The official added that comparison in value terms seems inappropriate as, according to Nirmas own estimates, Godrej No. 1 brand contributes about 40-50 per cent of the total volume of the Godrej portfolio, and the rates of Godrej No. 1 and that of Nirmas brands are almost on equal planks.
When contacted, a Godrej official said: The ORG data bears us out. Our shipments have been far ahead of ORG numbers.