CONDOM MARKETERS COME TOGETHER TO ENSURE HEALTHIER YOUTH IN INDIA
The alliance intends to revive the condom market in India by collectively addressing market constraints and unlocking the untapped market potential to improve reproductive wellbeing of youth in India
New Delhi, February 4th , 2021: Condom Alliance, a host of India’s most prominent condom manufacturers and marketers today announced their 2nd anniversary. Condom Alliance started as a collective of like-minded entities which came together to improve family planning and reproductive health in India and provide people, particularly youth, with more choices in planning their lives and families by increasing the use of condoms.
Condom sales in India have been stagnating at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of one percent over the past few years. This low growth is primarily due to extremely low usage by India’s 600 million youth, who make up the world's largest cohort of young people. Key insights from National Family Health Survey – 4 suggest that around 78 percent of Indian men between ages 20 and 29 do not use any method of contraception due to factors such as lack of awareness, education, beliefs that women should be responsible for contraception, and negative perceptions around condom use. Health experts believe that without increases in proper contraception use, the number of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the country will increase.
To address this, the Condom Alliance was established in January of 2019. The alliance has a ratified charter endorsed by India’s condom market leaders such as DKT India, HLL Lifecare Limited, Janani, Population Health Services India (PHSI), PSI India Private Limited, Reckitt Benckiser, Raymond Group, TTK Healthcare Ltd, to name a few, accounting for the majority of condom sales in India. The Condom Alliance is now poised to expand its work by engaging with multiple stakeholders to pursue its mission of improving the health and well-being of young people in India.
Mr Vivek Malhotra, CEO, PHSI said, “The Condom Alliance was created to collaboratively address the issues that hinder the use of condoms as a contraceptive and address the underlying need to improve reproductive health in the country.”
Representing one of the country’s leading condom marketers, Reckitt Benckiser Director of External Affairs and Partnerships in Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa, Ravi Bhatnagar added, said: “We are supporting this platform to create a unified voice among disparate players, including private commercial condom marketers, social marketers, donors, and organizations working with the youth, to grow the stagnant condom market in India. The Condom Alliance will help align the actions of all condom market players towards the core objective of ensuring greater adoption of condom usage in the country.”
Condom Alliance is in regular discussions with the Government of India to ensure condom distribution is not further disrupted during the pandemic. It has been conducting studies that explore the behaviour patterns of young people in order to make condom usage a more attractive proposition. Moreover, it is also working on launching a youth focused digital campaign to address the myths, misconceptions, and ideas people have about using condoms; promote safe sex practices; and increase awareness about STIs.
COVID-19 has had an additional impact on the condom market, as industry data suggests an approximately 40 percent drop in condom sales was related to the unavoidable restrictions of the country-wide lockdown. This decline is attributed to a variety of factors such as limited public movement, condoms not listed as essentials, and disruptions in supply chains involving condom manufacturers, raw material suppliers, and channel partners. This downward trend in contraceptive sales has stoked fears among experts that lockdowns might have resulted increased numbers of unintended pregnancies.
Ravi Bhatnagar added, “The momentum and kind of engagement we have seen [with the Condom Alliance] is impressive. I’m hoping to see our consortium rank high on innovation and foster progress on Sustainable Development Goal 17, which is about partnerships.” The Condom Alliance’s focus on increasing contraceptive use and reviving contraceptive markets aligns with the Government of India’s commitment to Family Planning 2020, United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, and Goal 17 on revitalizing global partnerships for sustainable development.