Gaurav Dubey, General Manager, Kimberly Clark Professional India, give us the lowdown on how Covid-19 is going to reorient the hygiene market and habits from an Indian perspective
Q. With the COVID-19 pandemic, personal hygiene is in the limelight more than ever before. What are your views on it and the road ahead?
A: The importance of maintaining personal hygiene has been highlighted in all the guidelines issued by WHO as well as by national, state and local governing bodies. I feel it will eventually be ingrained in the psyche of the Indian populace and may not have to be necessarily forced like the earlier top-down approach in organisations. I am hopeful of a much more hygiene-conscious society, where personal hygiene and social hygiene is a personal choice and not an obligatory part of an SOP set by the management.
Q. How do you believe industrial hygiene is going to be viewed by safety heads with respect to the health of their workforce? What changes do you expect in protocols going forward?
A: I believe this will be one of the biggest paradigm shifts seen by the industry in recent times. I foresee this will lead to much more concrete SOPs of self-sanitisation, more systems coming into place for equipment disinfection etc. The health of the workforce should and will assume an even higher position in the priorities of the organization.
As a responsible industry leader in safety and hygiene products, we plan to encourage and promote this habit by introducing more innovative products. We have recently ramped up our skincare portfolio while keeping the market needs in mind – both for the present and future. I am also very excited about our new launches in skincare and hygiene this year: sensor-based sanitizer dispenser, hand rub, skin cleanser, kitchen roll, patient wipers, pre-saturated alcohol based sterile wipers etc.
Q. Where does India stand vis-à-vis global organizations as far as practicing the right industrial hygiene standards is concerned?
A: As compared to more developed countries, India is still quite a distance away on maintaining good hygiene practice for the workforce and generally too. Sadly, cost still takes precedence over safety and hygiene in most facilities. We still don’t understand that ‘Hygiene will come at a cost’. However, this is expected to change for the better post COVID-19, and as a society, it is our duty to percolate it to the grass root level. This habit needs to be developed in the densely populated areas, rural areas and even the slums of urban areas.
Q. How do you plan to create awareness around your industrial hygiene solutions in the future?
A: We have been doing a lot of activation and awareness programmes in offices and production facilities all over India to promote hand hygiene. We call it the ‘Hygienify’ campaign, and until just before the lockdown, we have installed sanitizer stands at several factories and offices, including our own. This has been appreciated by our customers and has been instrumental in inculcating a habit of personal hygiene among line operators and contract labourers too. We have also launched a retail pack of our tissue products for the ambitious markets last year, and are also making inroads into modern trade. We are planning several marketing activities around it, including activation events, displays etc. in the months to come. We have already started emailer marketing campaigns in this lockdown period to connect with our existing and prospective customers and address their hygiene requirements.