Reckitt Benckiser to grow consumer health business in India

By Oliver Rice

During an interview with Fortune India, Rakesh Kapoor, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, stated that the consumer health sector, including health food, has an important role to play in the company's future strategy.

UK India Business Council member, Reckitt Benckiser, specialises in health and home hygiene products and has a wide-ranging portfolio of brands in India including Dettol, Durex, Strepsils, and Harpic. However, the health-food segment is a market-gap it is eager to move in to. The consumer healthcare market in India is estimated to be worth over £2.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to over £3.2 billion by 2020.

In particular, Kapoor talked of his desire for Reckitt Benckiser to break into the infant food and child nutrition markets after the success of the $17 billion acquisition of Mead Johnson in 2017. Whilst Mead Johnson is not yet directly available to the consumer market in India, Kapoor stated that there “is clearly an idea to make it (the Mead Johnson portfolio) sizeable over time. India records the largest number of births in the world and it is going to stay that way for a very long time. So if we are going to be successful, as a company, we have to be big in India”

Despite the challenges of a depreciating Rupee and high crude oil prices, Reckitt Benckiser has benefited from the introduction of the GST (goods and Service Tax), passing much of the cost-savings on to consumers.

The full account of Kapoor’s interview with Fortune India can be found here.

UKIBC leads on promoting trade and investment in the UK-India food and drink sector on behalf of the DIT in India and we look forward to launching our ‘Food and Drink Trade Mission’ in February 2019. Please contact for further details about our 2019 Trade Mission and ongoing work in the food and drink sector.

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