Strengthening Public Health Through Our Grass-root Initiatives Has Been A Priority: Milind Thatte

In an exclusive conversation with BW Businessworld, Milind Thatte, Managing Director, P&G Health speaks about key projects and initiatives

What has been the area of focus for P&G Health in the last year?

As one of the leading vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) companies in India, our expertise in science, along with deep patient and consumer understanding has helped us deliver trusted, quality and recommended superior products that empower people to live healthier and more vibrant lives.

Our product portfolio in India includes: Evion, Neurobion, Livogen, Polybion, Nasivion, Seven Seas and Cosome. We have delivered a strong performance in the fiscal, marked by consistent growth across all our brands.

We are putting in dedicated efforts to empower consumers with information to help them identify symptoms for conditions such as vitamin deficiency, Iron deficiency anemia, peripheral neuropathy, etc. to seek timely treatment for improved treatment outcomes, and enhanced quality of life.

P&G Health in collaboration with Health Care Organizations is committed to providing Health Care Professionals (HCPs) with the latest scientific and technical information, empowering them to deliver superior patient care. Our medical experts are dedicated to ensuring that Health Care Professionals (HCPs) are consistently provided with reliable current scientific and technical information through scientific learning and knowledge exchange forums, diagnostic workshops, continuing medical education, case-based discussions and global discussion forums.

We bolstered our go-to-market strategy and strengthened our partnerships across omni-channel stores, increasing the availability and access of our brands across online and offline platforms, thereby helping meet the needs of our consumers and customers.

SEHAT, our flagship CSR program, continued to remain a priority during this fiscal year where we continued to strengthen public health through our grass-root initiatives in collaboration with public health and non-profit organisations.

The sales and profit performance has been positive for the year ended 30th June. What is the focus for the next year?

As chronic and lifestyle-related diseases continue to proliferate, there is an increasing focus on preventive healthcare and a transformation in consumer approaches to health management.

Today’s consumer is more aware, has more access to healthcare-related information, is interested and expects to play an active role in their healthcare choices. As consumers look for trusted quality brands to take care of themselves and their families, our portfolio continues to be more relevant than ever with their superior product quality, claims, widespread availability, and always-on communication.

With a strategic interest in the health and well-being of consumers, we will continue to collaborate with healthcare providers, pharmacists, health associations, institutions and health organizations for research, awareness, education, and improved treatment outcomes in each of the categories we operate in.

What has been the growth for Livogen, Evion and Neurobion in the last year?

The brands have registered strong growth. Neurobion continued to be India’s number one nerve care brand, Evion the number one vitamin E brand, and Livogen the number one doctor prescribed Iron supplement in India.

Please tell us about the impact made by the 'Na Na Anemia Bus Yatra'.

Anemia is a major health concern globally, particularly among vulnerable populations such as women and children. However, the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are often overlooked, making it essential to recognize them early and seek prompt medical attention. To address this challenge, P&G Health's Blood Health expert brand, Livogen, conceptualized the Na Na Anemia Bus Yatra, a multi-city activation to raise awareness and promote blood health.

On the occasion of Iron Deficiency Day last year, P&G Health and The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) inaugurated the Anaemia Bus Yatra, a step forward to drive awareness and educate consumers at the grassroots level on Iron deficiency. The Anemia Bus Yatra covered over 20 cities. After the success of the culmination of Na Na Anemia Bus Yatra, P&G Health launched Na Na Anemia Bus Yatra 2.0 to extend the initiatives to the southern parts of the country. It aims to provide free screening to over 2000 individuals along with Blood Pressure monitoring and an examination by a Gynecologist/Physician. Our awareness efforts through this campaign have so far reached over 35 million consumers and 80,000 HCPs.

With 'SEHAT', do you think you have achieved what you set out to do?

With SEHAT, our aspiration is to make a sustainable impact to Public Health at grassroots. Launched in 2019, SEHAT today comprises programs addressing the 3 aspects of Public Health, namely - capability, accessibility and intervention, in collaboration with credible Partner NGOs.

With the twin-fold objective of addressing the need of capability, while helping to build a Public Health Cadre by supporting interested candidates to choose public health as a career, we collaborated with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) to institute the 'P&G Public Health Scholarship' at the Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPHs). Till date, 228 P&G Health Scholars have initiated their career in public health.

To help support intervention, we have ‘Swasthya Sakhi’ - a rural community outreach program in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI),where we have helped digitize health information, conducted primary diagnostics of pregnant women, and referred high-risk cases to the nearest Public Health Centres (PHCs); through ‘Yes to Poshan’ in association with Tata Trusts, we have helped advance the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, and through our ‘Maternal & New Born Health Program’ with Apnalaya, we have set out to improve maternal and newborn health in Mumbai’s urban slums.

And for accessibility, we have our ‘Gift of Health’ program with 'Catalysts for Social Action' and ‘HelpAge India’ where we are supporting health needs of vulnerable children under institutional care, and disadvantaged elderly

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