Hamdard gives century-old Rooh Afza a facelift | business | Hindustan Times
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Hamdard gives century-old Rooh Afza a facelift

Health and wellness company Hamdard Laboratories is healthy and well, thank you. Perhaps it is the power of mixing the herbal secrets of the ancient Unani (Greek) medical tradition with some savvy modern marketing.

business Updated: Jun 28, 2010 22:12 IST
Sachin Kumar

Health and wellness company Hamdard Laboratories is healthy and well, thank you. Perhaps it is the power of mixing the herbal secrets of the ancient Unani (Greek) medical tradition with some savvy modern marketing.

The company, which has a portfolio of over 600 products, is re-positioning its flagship brand Rooh Afza, which is over a century old, as an all-seasons drink rather than a summer drink, apart from promoting it as an additive. Rooh Afza has been a cult brand, holding its own against brands like Dabur's Sharbat-e-Azam through a decades-long tradition of customer loyalty.

But now, the focus is wider. “Extending Rooh Afza consumption beyond the summer months, the drink is being promoted as an additive to increase at-home sales,” says Arshad Siddiqui, chief marketing officer.

The company, which was established as a small Unani clinic in 1906 in old Delhi, developed Rooh Afza a year later. Today, the brand contributes about 33 per cent of Hamdard’s total revenues. Little wonder that it is central to it’s plans as it launches an at-home and out-of-home sales strategy.

Hamdard’s new ad campaign projects Rooh Afza as an additive for mocktails and desserts, for which it has roped in Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla. Celebrity chef Nita Mehta has been engaged to prepare Rooh Afza-based mocktails and dessert recipes.

For the out-of-home campaign, it set up tasting counters at shopping malls in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Jaipur to sample these Rooh Afza-based mocktails.

It also initiated a pilot project to dispense Rooh Afza at around 40 high congregation points like highways, hospitals, malls and tourist spots. The feedback has been positive, and the firm expects to launch Rooh Afza dispensers across Delhi and NCR in current year.