The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behavior and has encouraged people to take precautionary measures on personal cleanliness. The Indian government has issued several guidelines to educate people about hand hygiene. The growing awareness regarding hand hygiene has produced numerous growth opportunities for the market players and hand sanitizers have become an essential commodity in every household.
The hand sanitizer market was valued at INR 8.89 Bn in 2020. It is expected to reach INR 17.97 Bn by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~12.94% during the 2021 – 2026 period.

Impact of COVID-19 and the way forward:
The demand for hand sanitizers increased significantly in February 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19. As a result, the revenue of sanitizer companies, pharmaceutical stores, and supermarkets surged. This led to the emergence of new business opportunities. Firms from different sectors forayed into the hand sanitizer space in India. However, the demand fell as things started to normalize.

Competitive landscape:
There were a few established players such as Reckitt Benckiser, HUL, Himalaya Drug Company, and Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) at the beginning of 2020. However, several small companies entered the business, in view of the pandemic, to take advantage of the demand. They grabbed more than 65% of the market share as of May 2021. New entrants, mostly included distilleries had easy access to the extra neutral alcohol (ENA) which are required in manufacturing sanitizers. The government had granted the new market players the production license. In the coming years, high demand is expected from institutional buyers; the large, established players are likely to secure market share.