Udayavni Special

Covid-19: Ramping up production to meet sudden surge in demand of hygiene products, says RB


PTI, Apr 5, 2020, 4:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Consumer health and hygiene firm RB, known for its Dettol brand, is ramping up production to meet sudden surge in demand of some of its products after COVID-19 outbreak, according to a company official.

Though the 21-day lockdown imposed by the government has put “further pressure on the manpower situation” but the company is taking all possible measures to step up manufacturing activities, it said.

Consumers and retailers across the country had complained about the shortage and non-availability of hand sanitizer and soaps after health crisis reached the country.

“We recognize that consumers and customers are facing shortages for some of our products with this unprecedented demand. We have been doing all we can to meet demand while protecting the safety of our people and following guidelines set by the government,” said a company spokesperson.

To meet the “unprecedented demand” over the past few months due to Covid-19 crisis, RB has significantly scaled up production capacity of Dettol soap, liquid soap and hand sanitizer.

“We remain committed to provide trusted Dettol protection to India and would take every possible step to stand with every Indian, in the hour of national need,” the spokesperson said, adding over the last few weeks there has been “an unprecedented demand surge of our products as well as capacity and supply challenges”.

“While we are taking all possible steps to ramp up the production, the lockdown situation that the country is in has put further pressure on the manpower situation. However, the right steps are being taken by the government towards minimising the spread of COVID 19,” the official said.

RB, which owns popular brands like Lysol, Durex, Strepsils, Vanish, Harpic and Moretin, is facing shortage of man power at its several plants and making efforts to sort it out.

“Labour is still a challenge in several places but we are making every effort to get back on track while abiding by all the lockdown guidelines,” the spokesperson said.

According to the company, the lockdown has been a “difficult but necessary step to slow down the spread of COVID 19”.

“As was expected, in the initial days, we had issues in making, storage and transportation. The government officials have helped in granting permissions to operate the transport,” the firm said.

Last month, the government capped the maximum retail price of hand sanitiser at Rs 100 per 200 ml bottle till June 30 this year amid a sharp rise in the prices of this product owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To tackle the sudden demand, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had directed the state governments to grant licenses to distilleries and sugar companies to manufacture hand sanitiser to meet the demand.

Several liquor manufactures such as Radico Khaitan and Diageo have started manufacturing hand sanitisers to meet surge in demand, besides Dabur, Patanjali Ayurved and Emami have forayed into hand sanitizer segment or has plans to start the production to meet the demand, which has grown multi folds after the pandemic of Covid-19 in the country.

India is presently going through an unprecedented lockdown of three weeks, ending on April 14, to prevent the spread of the virus.

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