ROHTO Pharma enters India’s eye care market

Rohto Pharma, known for its anti-acne, pain relief and other cosmeceuticals, has secured an entry into the domestic market for eye care products by introducing cooling drops. A report


Increasing screen time, persistent air-conditioned environments and rising pollution levels have increased the prevalence of dry, irritated and tired eyes.  Such modern-day lifestyle changes combined with growing consumer awareness has given a major impetus to the over-the-counter (OTC) eye care market in India. A traditionally consolidated segment, the growth opportunity has been attracting newer players to the eye care category. ROHTO Pharma (India) is the latest to enter the OTC eye care segment with two eye drops, ROHTO Icy Clear and ROHTO Icy Fresh, to cater to dry, red and tired eye conditions.

ROHTO Drops promise instant relief, with no blur

ROHTO Pharma (India), a division of the Japanese pharmaceutical major, is targeting the active, young Indian who is tech-savvy and open to self-medication. While ROHTO has been in the global eye segment for a long while now, they have just introduced their two eye drop variants in the domestic market.

ROHTO Icy Fresh is a dry eye aid, assuring fast action and long-lasting respite from dry and inflamed eyes. Interestingly, it claims to be a clear, non-blurring drop, when most lubricating eye drops in the market tend to blur the vision for a while. ROHTO Icy Fresh is aimed at consumers with extensive screen time in front of laptops, mobile phones and persons using contact lenses. It also offers relief to those impacted by smoke, dust and such other pollutants.

The other eye drop, ROHTO Icy Clear is aimed to alleviate redness and fatigue in eye, typically due to late nights and deficient tear production. It also provides cooling and relief from eye strain due to pollutants.

The eye drops will be available in handy 10 ml, clear bottles to carry along to work, travel or parties. Priced at ₹ 149/-, the drops are currently being retailed through, ROHTO’s online partner.

On the occasion of the launch, a spokesperson for ROHTO Pharma underscored the organisation’s commitment to foster daily eye care for prolonged healthy vision. He pointed that the excessive exposure to harmful UV rays, blue rays from devices and increasing pollution levels have accentuated the need for eye care.

Changing Indian mindset towards eye care

Traditionally, the Indian eye care market has been a conservative one, with people preferring to consult a doctor for their eye related issues, rather than resorting to self-medication. Consequently, OTC eye care products have seen lower penetration when compared to the other self-care products. The Indian OTC market was pegged at ₹ 188.6 billion in 2016 as per a Nicholas Hall 2017 report, and expected to grow at a CAGR of 9 percent over the next ten years, to cross the ₹ 441.1 billion mark.

But the Indian OTC eye care segment is seeing a surge, owing to the rise in lifestyle related eye problems, burgeoning middle class with more disposable income and better consumer awareness about healthcare. Increased demand for convenience and easy accessibility to health care products are other factors driving this growth.

The Indian consumer today is not looking for health care solutions through just traditional avenues like doctors and chemists. The tech savvy generation is surfing the internet and looking up forums, blogs and even WhatsApp discussions to find remedies for minor health issues.

It is no wonder then that the OTC eye care segment has acquired traction over the last few years, witnessing the entry of newer domestic and foreign players. OTC pharma margins are lucrative at 20 -25 percent, nearly double of FMCG products.

Whose game is it anyway?

India is a fast-growing economy with huge unfulfilled demand for eye care. People are increasingly becoming aware of the negative effects like eye dryness, redness and fatigue owing to screen time and pollution. This will certainly hike the demand for OTC eye care products. But consumer acceptance of OTC products is heavily reliant on consumer appeal, convenient access and brand goodwill. And players who leverage these factors will come out as leaders in the ₹  400 crore dry eye condition market.