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N-MARC Support Helps Commercial Partners Boost Condom Market Share, Revenue, and Market Sustainability

With N-MARC project “matching funds” support, small trading firms in Nepal marketing a wide variety of condom brands have nearly doubled the market share of the commercial sector–from 13 percent to 23 percent–in less than a year while boosting revenue. Nepal historically has depended on international donors for its supply of condoms for family planning and HIV prevention, so the growing role of the commercial sector in meeting consumer demand for affordably priced condoms is a promising trend that will increase prospects for market sustainability.

The USAID-funded Nepal Social Marketing and Franchise Project for AIDS, Reproductive Health and Child Survival (N-MARC) instituted an innovative “matching funds” facility for co-investment with commercial partners in developing and expanding markets for essential public health products and services in Nepal, such as condoms. N-MARC awarded matching funds to three commercial firms that submitted competitive proposals for expanding condom marketing efforts aimed to increase condom use among “most-at-risk populations” (MARPS), in a bid to mitigate the spread of HIV infection in Nepal. Within 9 months, N-MARC’s investment of $96,000 has stimulated investments of $380,000 from its commercial partners, comprising nearly a 1 to 4 match–a significant leveraging of USAID resources.

N-MARC’s commercial partners have achieved astonishing results through the matching funds program. In less than a year, Gayatra Store Enterprises nearly doubled its condoms sales and Praxis Trade Link grew its condom brand sales by nearly 50 percent. “N-MARC has helped us grow, gave us so much energy, gave us a new identity, gave us a vision, made us sustainable on our own, and took us from a small company to a corporate entity,” gushes Mr. Adhikari Himal Nath Adhikari, head of Praxis Trade Link. “It also made us realize the social and moral responsibilities that we have as a company.” In addition to selling an array of male condom varieties, Praxis is the only company in Nepal marketing a latex female condom, branded as “V-Amour”.

The Academy for Educational Development (AED) manages the N-MARC project under the USAID Global Private Sector Program (PSP) mechanism.

Posted July 2008

Read more about the Nepal Social Marketing and Franchise Project (N-MARC) project