The problem with the ‘sachet revolution’

Why the sachet was needed in the first place and why FMCG companies continue to depend on them even after close to four decades.

A small shampoo sachet of ₹1.

A little soap of ₹2.

A finger-sized coconut oil bottle of ₹2.

Most Indians may have used these at least once in their lives. As an economist, I have always wondered why we see them in such large volumes in most Indian shops, especially in rural areas. In the developed world, rural consumers generally buy larger bottles of shampoo or oil or body wash, or larger soaps. When I began to teach a course on the Indian economy more than a decade back, I used to put this up as a question to my …


R. Ramakumar

R. Ramakumar is an economist and a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.