India's Kamasutra condoms to roll out

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BOMBAY -- Australia's Ansell International, part of the $5.6bn Pacific Dunlop, will soon enter India's condom market through a joint venture with Bombay-based J. K. Chemicals, one of the leaders in the contraception segment.

Ansell, a leading marketer of latex products like gloves and condoms, will produce condoms in India under the name KamaSutra (the ancient Sanskrit treatise on the art of love). J.K.'s KamaSutra condom revolutionized India's staid condom market through bold advertising and currently boasts a 26% share since its introduction over five years ago.

The joint venture awaits the approval of J.K. shareholders and the Indian government's Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Both partners will hold 50% apiece in the new company that will make condoms under the KamaSutra name. Other plans include the export of KamaSutra condoms to overseas markets. Currently, nearly a fourth of J.K.'s $5.3m business from condom sales is accounted for by exports to the Middle East and eastern Europe.

Heartbeat Communications, Bombay, handles KamaSutra in India.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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