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Project on Marketing Plan of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk

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									Marketing Plan


Submitted to:

Sir Jawad Saleem

Prepared by:

Muhammad Safeed Anwar 071516

Muhammad Ali 071503

Syed Mubashir Hussain 071513

Tahir Abbas 062409

Meraj Sharif 072125

















o PRICE 22

o PLACE 24




The company was formally initiated in 1975 by the founder Hakeem Muhammad Usman, with the aim of
producing oriental medicines and natural dietary supplements in a modern and scientific manner so that the
age old prescriptions and remedies reach public in a ready to use form without disturbing their efficacy and
natural goodness.

Starting as a humble practice four decades ago, Marhaba today is the third largest phytoceutical company
after Hamdard and Qarshi with leading brands of herbal preparations backed by public’s trust in the quality
of its products and renowned as a responsible corporate citizen among the business community.

Over the decades, Marhaba has stayed firmly grounded in the principle of no compromise on quality,
extensive on research and honoring employees as partners in success. It’s these principles and an unselfish
corporate mind set that has resulted in the unprecedented achievement that is “Marhaba”.


Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has brought (with its merits of course) the unnatural prerequisite of human
fitness on a 24/7/365 basis.
Thanks to this and the escalating costs of health preservation and improvement brought about by the self-
centered commercial pursuits of pharmaceutical and modern medical professions, health deterioration
today entails a host of personal, familial, and financial repercussions for the common man. The curative
and ameliorative impact of such treatment also leaves much room to be desired.

Marhaba Laboratories is a venture created to resume public’s reliance on the age-old, tried and tested,
herbal preparations as the means of a healthy life.

Our preparations are based on years of pain taking research and development – prepared in hygienic and
environment friendly conditions employing the most modern machinery, the most effective production
means, and the most capable human resource to emerge as a high quality and safe products for public use.

Our aim is to make Marhaba a leading global brand of health and natural products by providing what is
promised by staying firmly grounded in principles of the honorable herbal tradition.

Marhaba has a product portfolio of more than 100 products which can basically be divided into three
divisions i.e.


To preserve health and improve quality of life by providing thoroughly researched high-quality
standardized Herbal products and solutions to the public through a highly capable and motivated human


Ispaghol Husk

English name: Psyllium husk

Botanical name: Plantago ovata

Ispaghol husk which is the actual coating of mucilage around the seed has high nutritional value mainly
consisting of glycosides, proteins, polysaccharides, vitamin B1, and choline. Ispaghol husk is mostly
composed of fiber called as hemicellulose.
Ispaghol husk is the nature's best known source of both soluble (70%) and insoluble (17%) fiber and is
widely used as a dietary fiber supplement.

Health experts recommend 20 to 30 grams of fiber in a day; however the average actual consumption is just
10 to 15 grams.

Ispaghol is one of the Nature's best known sources of dietary fiber. It is used mainly for its following
medicinal benefits:-

• As a natural laxative to cure constipation and related problems.

• Controls Cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity, Colon Cancer, Gastro-Intestinal Disorders.

• To cleanse bowel from toxic substance in a purely mechanical way.

• To treat ulcers in stomach and bowel, piles and fissures and acidity.

• As supplement for slimming diet.

• To control blood glucose levels in Diabetes.


Marhaba is the market leader in Ispaghol Husk and enjoying a share of 55% of the total market. The
product is well accepted and consequently has a tremendous off take. Ispaghol Husk contributes to 40% of
the total sales of Marhaba (total sales of Marhaba are approx. 0.50 billion) and therefore is a flagship brand
for the company.

The product is at the growth stage and possesses a huge potential. In order to get more of it, the objectives

• to maximize the share by making the product readily available

• to expand the market by educating people regarding various other natural, well established and researched
uses of Ispaghol Husk, for example for diabetes, weight loss and colon cancer.

Market Analysis:

Market size:

The current size of the packed Ispaghol Husk market of Pakistan is approx. 0.38 billion (by adding up the
market shares of the major players).

Market potential:

The packed Ispaghol husk market of Pakistan has a potential of about Rs.1.50 billion with a growth of 5 –
7% annually.
Urban population 56,000,000

15 – Onward population (61% of 56,000,000) 34,160,000

Approx. %age belonging to A, B+ & B socioeconomic class (35% of 34,160,000) 11,956,000

Approx. %age of people using Ispaghol (25% of 11,956,000) 2,989,000

Avg. usage of an individual during the year (500 gm) Rs.500 2,989,000*500

Estimated market potential 1.50 billion Approx

Market trends:

More and more people are now shifting to the herbal and natural way of treatment as it is cheap, effective
and free of side effects. Therefore, the demand for natural products is ever increasing and so is the case
with Ispaghol Husk.

Market Needs:

Along with this shift to the natural way of treatment, people are also much concerned about the quality and
credibility of the products available to them. That is why the packed Ispaghol market is ever expanding
despite the fact that lose Ispaghol husk is readily available in the market on very low prices but people
prefer the packed and refined Ispaghol husk.

Pakistan is among the largest producers of Ispaghol husk but due to poor quality of the crop and the
orthodox ways of processing despite of using the modern technology, Ispaghol is being imported from
India and the major players of packed Ispaghol industry are using the imported Ispaghol.

Marhaba is occupying the major share of the market because the company is using the best, pure and most
refined imported Indian brand and has established its image as quality and pure natural products producer
and the company has delivered the value (quality and purity which customers were seeking) to customers
and attained the customer loyalty.

This quality and purity of the product has become the USP for Marhaba Ispaghol Husk.

Market growth:
The packed Ispaghol husk market has a growth potential of 5 to 7% annually. The reason as mentioned
above is the shift to the natural way of treatment because of the awareness of the researches and established
facts about the uses and benefits of Ispaghol husk through various communication channels.

An extensive research has been made in U.S.A. which is the largest consumer of Ispaghol Husk in the
world and Ispaghol has proven to be the best natural remedy to avoid:

• Constipation

• Gastrointestinal problems

• Colon cancer

• Blood cholesterol

• Diarrhea

• Diabetes

• Excessive weight

India is the largest producer of Ispaghol Husk in the world and exports 90% of its total production. Out of
the total exports 60% is exported only to the U.S.A. So, the researches made in U.S.A. and their huge
consumption has set trends of Ispaghol consumption in the global market.

Target Market:

The target market is a set of consumers who are basically health conscious and seek quality natural
products to safeguard their health concerns. The target market of Marhaba Ispaghol husk can be
characterized as below:

• Families (members from an age of 15 to onwards) of urban population

• Belong to the A, B+ & B of socio-economic class

• Educated

• Concerned about their health and preferring quality natural products

Consumer Analysis:

Marhaba Ispaghol Husk is preferred by its target market due to its prime quality and purity.
Consumers perceive Marhaba Ispaghol Husk as a high quality product; therefore they are ready to pay
higher prices than the competition.

An interesting finding regarding the SKUs of Marhaba Ispaghol husk is that 150 gm is the most selling
SKU while 5 gm sachet is the runner up. Both these are at 180o to each other. The highest sales of 150 gm
reflect that it is purchased by the families and may be by the regular users. While 5 gm sachets are catering
to the occasional users as well as lower end of the market.

Keeping in view the highest off take of 150 gm jar, Marhaba has converted its 100 gm pack into 95 gm jar.

The use of Ispaghol husk is associated with the liquid intake and diarrhea. Therefore top sales are observed
from March to June because of this seasonal effect.

Now people are becoming aware of the benefits of Ispaghol husk especially to control body weight and
blood cholesterol so a large number of people are becoming the regular users of Ispaghol Husk.

A significant number of Ispaghol husk consumer exist in the rural area and also belongs to the lower class
of the urban areas but those are not the target market of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk because the USP of
Marhaba Ispaghol Husk is not a value for them. That market is highly price sensitive and may rarely
differentiate the packed Ispaghol husk from the lose one. That is why the rural and the lower socio-
economic classes are not focused as target market by the packed Ispaghol industry.

Industry Analysis:

The total industry of packed Ispaghol husk consists of Marhaba, Hashmi, Lifestyle, Qarshi, Serne and a
large number of unknown illegitimate brands. Because of low entry barriers, i.e. no manufacturing license,
no product registration and a very few and not very expensive resources required with very small labor
force attracts so many small companies or even single individuals to enter into the market and try their

Because of this easy entry, more than 100 brands can be seen in sachets or small packs of 25 gram on small
retail shops, especially in small cities or towns in the out skirts.

Industry SWOT Analysis:


Low start up and operation cost

Large profit margins

Very low entry barriers


Less awareness among consumers

Low differentiation among competing brands
Third party involvement in raw material importation


Increasing demand with a growth rates of 5 to 7% annually

Growing trend of Ispaghol usage in urban population


Price war may result in cutting down the profit margins

Entry of a large number of incompetent players

Competition Analysis:

The major competitors operating in the market are Hashmi, Lifestyle, Qarshi and Serne. Marhaba is the
market leader with almost 55% of the market share. Hashmi secures 30% of the market share which is less
than that of Marhaba. Lifestyle, Serne, Qarshi, and a quite large number of illegitimate brands share the
remaining 15% of the market.


The market leadership of Marhaba is followed by the superior quality of the product which is a value to the
customers and also by the trust and loyalty of the consumers which Marhaba has successfully built over


Hashmi is the only one who is following Marhaba and doing the marketing and advertising efforts which
has paid him and he is the 2nd one in the industry leaving behind the big names like Qarshi.


Serne is following Marhaba and Hashmi by marketing same SKUs. Serne is also registering its name in the
packed Ispaghol Husk industry and gradually increasing its share in the market though it is far behind
Marhaba and Hashmi.


Lifestyle is not into the SKU of sachets but offering many different SKUs like 80 gm, 160 gm etc. (all in
jars). Lifestyle has successfully discovered a new channel by visiting doctors and initiated the prescription
through doctors.


Amazingly Qarshi seems not interested in the Ispaghol market because they have not yet got into the 5 gm
sachet and 150 gm jar SKUs which are major contributors to the sales of all other companies. Qarshi is just
offering 3 SKUs of 25 gm, 50 gm & 100 gm.

Apart from the direct competitors, the different levels of competition faced by Marhaba Ispaghol Husk are
as appended below:
Levels of Competition

Positioning Strategy:

Ispaghol husk is perceived as a product for people of an age of 40+, but now due to the emerging awareness
of Ispaghol husk as a Health Food Supplement, companies are now targeting families through TV
commercials and magazine ads and trying to position Ispaghol husk as a daily use product or we may say as
an FMCG product.

Marhaba is positioning as:





While Hashmi’s positioning is:



Both these statements are positioning Ispaghol husk as a health food supplement supposed to be used daily.

The positioning is directed to the families, as any member of the family may face the problems of
constipation, acidity or cholesterol and this problem is now more common in young people due to the
consumption of junk and fast food.

The strategic objective of such a positioning is to expand the consumers’ boundary and to make it a product
of regular use which will ultimately bring in more business.

SWOT ANALYSIS (Marhaba Ispaghol Husk):


• Marhaba brand strength

• 100% cash sales

• Strong consumer perception

• Strong distribution channels

• Large field force

• Attractive packaging
• Large volumes

• Tremendous product off take


• Not innovating the new sales channels

• Marhaba Ispaghol seems to be week in execution of ads especially in the current campaign than Hashmi.


• Marhaba can hold an exclusive agency for the bulk Indian Ispaghol brands.

• Marhaba can have the leverage of its strong brand image for the launch of new Ispaghol variants.

• Huge market potential

• Good growth rates of the market.

• Health sector recommendations for various benefits of Ispaghol like; usage in diabetes, for the prevention
of the colon cancer etc.


• Low entry barriers of the industry

• Shortage of raw material

• Involvement of indenters

Continuous increase in prices, taxes and labor cost


Marhaba Ispaghol husk is the largest selling brand of Ispaghol husk in Pakistan. The brand commands
consumer trust as the best quality Ispaghol husk available in the market.

Product features:

Marhaba Ispaghol husk is a natural health food product rich in fibre and a natural remedy for Constipation,
Gastrointestinal problems, Colon cancer, Blood cholesterol, Diarrhea, Diabetes, Excessive weight. The
product offers a natural and economical way of treatment without any bad effects.

Customer benefits:

Marhaba Ispaghol husk offers a value to its consumer through its quality and purity. This quality and purity
is the USP of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk.


Marhaba Ispaghol husk is available in the attractive packs of 5gm sachet, 25 gm pack, 50 gm pack, 95 gm
jar and 150 gm jar.

The brand strength of Marhaba Ispaghol husk will definitely help the company to launch new Ispaghol
variants based on flavors or some other innovative formulations later to the growth stage.


Price vs. non price competition:

The price competition is faced with the competitors like Hashmi, Lifestyle, Serne etc. while the non price
competition is faced with loose Ispaghol husk which is available on much lower price than the packed ones.

Market entry penetration:

The strategy which is being used by all the players in the packed Ispaghol market is the penetration

Discounts and allowances:

Marhaba is selling the products on 100% cash and in order to attract the distributors to buy more stocks a
cash discount is offered on trade price in addition to the 15% margin between the trade and retail prices. So
the distributor has a handsome margin in between himself and the retailer.

Geographic pricing strategy:

Retail, trade prices and the discounts offered are uniform and same all over the Pakistan.

Price reflects the value of the products and is only accepted if customer perceives that he/she is getting
value for his/her money. The prices are being followed by its main competitors like Hashmi, Lifestyle and
Retail prices of various SKUs of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk & Hashmi are as below:

SKU Marhaba R.P. Hashmi R.P.

5 gram sachet Rs. 7.00 Rs. 5.00

25 gram pack Rs. 30.00 Rs. 25.00

50 gram pack Rs. 59.00 Rs. 48.00

95 gram jar Rs. 120.00 100 gm------- Rs. 100.00

150 gram jar Rs. 180.00 Rs. 150.00

Amazingly the recent price increase has not much affected the sales of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk which
reflect that the consumers of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk are not much price sensitive and are satisfied by the
value being delivered against their money. This also testifies that the consumers of the product belong to
the upper and upper middle class of the society who prefer quality over price.

Remedy available:

In order to cope with the issue of prices (if it will arise), Marhaba can always take the leverage of its
product acceptance by the trade and retail channels. To retain its end consumers Marhaba can cut short the
cash discounts of its distributors and compensate its end consumers.


Product distribution and availability are the strengths of Marhaba. The extensive market coverage is backed
by a field force of 130 sales executives all over the country and an extensive distribution network of 240
distributors all over the country.

All SKUs of Marhaba Ispaghol Husk are available on the big stores like Alfatah Departmental Store, Pace,
HKB, Decent Super Store etc, as well as on every pharmacy and small retail shop of the urban areas.

Apart from the above Marhaba Ispaghol is now available at the emerging international retailers like Metro
Cash and Carry and Makro Habib and both of these are generating a reasonable amount of sales.

As the product has tremendous off take so in order to achieve the targeted growth, the only objective is to
maximize the availability. Company is now working hard to make the product available at every shop.

In order to create a pull, advertising and promotion are the tools to be used effectively. Marhaba is
advertising for Ispaghol Husk on various television channels as well as in many magazines.

To accomplish the objective of creating awareness of the uses and benefits of Ispaghol Husk and to create
regular users of the product, especially in cases of controlling blood cholesterol, diabetes and weight
following channels can be developed.

Promotion and prescription through doctors:

Heart surgeons are prescribing Ispaghol husk to the patients after their heart surgeries so; the need is to
develop this channel and to contact the doctors through sales representatives (on the lines of pharma

Sponsoring health programme on TV and radio:

A health related programme may be sponsored on television or radio and some renowned specialists of
heart, blood cholesterol and diabetes can be invited and the information of the benefits of Ispaghol husk can
be disseminated through them, which will help to create the awareness and will also lead to the credibility
of the brand (Marhaba Ispaghol Husk).


• Meeting with C.E.O. & N.S.M. of Marhaba Laboratories

• Market visit (Stores, Pharmacies etc.)



• Internet browsing for the information on Ispaghol especially Indian Ispaghol manufacturers and exporters

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