Marketing Challenges Faced by the Condom Industry due to the Consumer Behaviour in India

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2293 , Published on 15 October 2014

In the era of high virtual networking , usage of various social sites, getting informed about latest global happenings to operation black dots, India proudly participates in every activity when it comes for a social cause, but if it comes to “push a like button if u have bought a condom” on Facebook, most of the Indian youth would rather like to push the button inside their minds to change the page. Although the awareness amongst urban population is 89% yet the acceptability of Indian urban men is as low as 62 %. The retailers and distributors stated that buying a condom is not as comfortable as asking for a painkiller in a drug shop.

Men typically buy something else and then ask for a condom in a low tone, if crowd is less. Adding to this discomfort, if a female customer is present, a male customer who wishes to purchase condoms is hesitant to ask for it by name and even shopkeepers hand it over in a discreet manner. It has been observed that more than one incentive is being offered to the retailers for promoting the brand play a crucial role. About 47% followed the advertisement, that 48% choose a brand due to availability of cash discounts and product discount, which is 41%. It has been noted that inspite of extensive campaign done by different brands to tap the rural as well as urban market the gap is generated always from the demand side due to various stigmas and taboo’s attached to it. On a deeper study it came prominent that amongst 17 % of the user ,focuses on the brand which gave another insight that still in India condom is considered as a low involvement product.

Marketing strategies although kept educational when it comes to promote in rural areas yet majority of the rural women undergoes tubectomy as it is believed that usage of condoms would decrease the pleasure or may cause infertility amongst the male population. In urban areas ,however condoms are being demanded by women too, but very less in comparison to the demand of oral contraceptives.


In India market segment is divided into three

1. Free distributions from PHC’s

2. Social awareness through various NGO’s

3. Private players involving retailers and manufactures.

As the distribution and demand are dependent on each other and vice versa , demand for condoms have been predominantly low in rural areas hence retailers are reluctant to keep the stock. moreover rural areas find it cheaper to get it from PHC’S(primary health centre). In urban areas retailers tend to push the product accordingly to the margin price paid by the manufacturers, and due to the stiff competition only major market leaders suffice in the race. Price and quality matters only to the 17% of the purchasing population and that too, the consumers of premium segment condoms whose average price being rs.18 in the current market.


• Men consider it as a reduction of sexual pleasure

• Conduct of mistrust if married

• Evokes embarrassments amongst them who purchases in public


• The poor often lack convenient access to affordable condoms

• Retailers tend to push high margin goods, condom being a product of low involvement in India , they are reluctant to stock condoms.


• Identifying target group : Targeting specific markets to promote condoms could also address demand-side barriers. Poor people have a high unmet need for family planning, but they have not been targeted for condom promotion activities. Women with few children are also an important target audience.

• Increasing the visibility of affordable condoms even to the poorest of the population

• Removing social stigma by using messages “ brave men use condoms , its an act of pride to save one’s future from various sexually transmitted diseases.

• Attract non traditional outlets with wholesale bundles of products that include condoms and high-margin consumer items such as iodized salt and sanitary napkins. This will give these retailers an incentive to stock socially marketed condoms.


Looking at India’s HIV/AIDS scenario, about 35 per cent of youth belonging 1524 years age group have infection revealed that the need for promoting sex education and making them aware of all possible preventive measures and establishing counselling setup across the community would reduce the vulnerability and falling from health hazards. Condom should be promoted as a health device more than a spacing device. Moreover, relying only on male condoms in this era is very much absurd as equal to men’s behaviour. Therefore, there is a need for promoting female condoms on an extensive basis would provide additional choice and options to use. Further, female condoms expected to empower women and preventing them from health hazards. Agencies required to take necessary steps to promote female condoms and its merits and demerits so as to provide positivity.

This article has been authored by Shritika De from WELINGKAR INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT Mumbai



Ravichandran.2002.Population, Reproductive Health and Development. New Century Publications. New Delhi.

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