About Us

Beginnings

The Nepal Contraceptive Retail Sales (CRS) Project was established in July 1976. Its status was formally acknowledged by the Ministry of Finance in 1978. Financial support was provided by USAID through Westinghouse Electric Inc, USA.

The social marketing of Dhaal, Nepal’s first male contraceptive, was inaugurated by
Princess Prekshya in May 1978. These condoms were sold through 55 outlets in Kathmandu and generated significant sales from the outset. The project introduced Nepal’s first condom vending machine in Kathmandu in 1980. 


In January 1983, on the recommendation of the National Commission on Population, CRS was institutionalized as a not-for-profit company, with the Ministry of Health as implementing agency. The CRS/MCH project was converted into a private “social marketing” autonomous company registered under the Company Act 2053 BS, and in 1984 onwards was represented by a bold logo – a boy and a girl nurtured within the protective hands of their parents.

Today, CRS is managed by local Nepalese staff and governed by an independent Board of Directors. It is the only social marketing company working as a not-for-profit organization in Nepal.

Achievements

The major components of CRS include the social marketing of condoms and other products for family planning and health. In addition, CRS implements behavior change communication programs across the country.

Having pioneered social marketing, CRS has established itself as a leading public health organization in Nepal. Over the last four decades, CRS has been synonymous with family planning just as its condom brand, Dhaal, is now a generic brand. Further, CRS’s marketing efforts, involving open discussions of family planning, have helped to lower cultural and societal taboos and contributed towards the health and vitality of the population.

Since its inception, CRS has supported the government in its mission to reduce Nepal’s population growth rate through education and social marketing of contraceptives. It is estimated that the company generated total a Couple Year Protection (CYP) of 373,742 up to July 2013. CRS has been very successful in improving the availability and visibility of its products, mainly due to its intensive distribution strategy and logistical support. As of March 2014, CRS had a fleet of 32 distributors, 500+ medical wholesalers, and 7,000+ medical outlets in its distribution network. As for geographical coverage, CRS condoms and health products are available in all 75 districts of Nepal. The Sangini Franchising Network has been expanded to all Nepal’s districts, with Sangini services available through 3,000 plus outlets.


CRS has built a remarkable legacy over the last four decades, and will continue to serve the Nepalese population as a social marketing organization in the years to come.

Specific milestones in the history of CRS include:
 

  • 1985: Recognizing the traditional nature of rural Nepalese society, CRS introduced a pilot community-based distribution program in Syanja and Dolkha Districts using traditional faith healers, supported by the Program for International Training in Health (INTRAH). In Dolkha, healers were used to sell and promote contraceptives and oral rehydration salts (ORS). In Syanja, women fulfilled this role. The success of the pilot led to an extension of rural social marketing in Nawalparasi and Sarlahi Districts.

    At the 15th Asian Advertising Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, CRS won the coveted Max Lewis Memorial Challenge Award for its male and female contraceptive advertising campaign.
     
  • 1994: Introduction of Sangini: Nepal first branded injectable–Depo Provera was launched through CRS with the brand name Sangini. In the first year Sangini was sold 1,248 vials through 50 medical shops and in the second year, it was expanded outside the capital to 170 medical shops and increased the sale to 11,424 vials. In the third year the number of medical shops reached to 274 and sales was 48,372 vials. In the 4th and 5th year, the number of outlets reached to 430 and 737 and the sales was a 51,190 and 94,435 vial. The social franchising of Sangini has now expanded to all 75 districts and the total numbers of franchising outlets have reached to more than 3,000 outlets while its sales have reached to 590,462 vials in the year 2012/2013.
     
  • 1997: CRS established a partnership with KfW to support family planning and health activities through social marketing programs. KfW facilitated the successful launch and social marketing of CRS’s Nava Jeevan orange-flavored ORS and the Sunaulo Gulaf combined oral contraceptive pills.

    The Nava Jeevan brand is a benchmark in the history of Nepal’s social marketing industry. From 2007 on, CRS procured low-osmolarity ORS with its own resources, demonstrating the return on KfW’s original investment; Nava Jeevan is now a “graduated”, self-sustaining, social marketing product – the first in Nepal.
     
  •  2002: CRS initiated a four-year partnership with Population Services International (PSI).
     
  • 2006: CRS partnered with the Academy for Educational Development (AED), to implement the USAID Nepal Social Marketing and Franchising Project: AIDS, Reproductive Health, and Child Survival (N-MARC). CRS carried out all advertising and media activities with technical assistance from AED.
     
  • 2008 CRS revitalized Dhaal Deluxe and Panther premium condoms with new packaging and communication campaigns. It introduced the two-rod implant Jadelle, replacing the six-rod Norplant, through a network of private doctors. New communications campaigns for female contraceptives were also developed.
     
  • 2009: In order to address post-partum hemorrhages and maternal health, CRS in partnership with the Government of Nepal’s Family Health Division and the Nepal Fertility Care Center introduced Matri Surakchya Chakki (Misoprostol tablets). Financial support was provided by Venture Strategies for Innovations. The initiative was piloted in Bardiya District through 46 Sangini Franchising Outlets targeting married women of reproductive age, and was then extended to Banke, Rupendehi, Nawalparasi and Chitwan Districts.
     
  • 2009: CRS added a new brand of emergency contraceptive pills, “e-CON”, to its health products portfolio.
     
  • 2010: CRS was awarded the Ghar Ghar Maa Swasthya (Healthy Homes) project by USAID, implemented with the technical support of FHI 360. An objective of the project was to boost the viability of CRS as a private sector company while increasing the availability and accessibility of health products in hard-to-reach rural areas, particularly low-cost maternal and child health, family planning and HIV prevention products and services, according to the mandate of the Government of Nepal.
     
  • 2011: CRS officially launched the CURe STI treatment kit for male urethritis through 100 Sangini Franchising Outlets spanning the length of the East-West Highway. These services have since been expanded across 376 outlets. Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) services were also provided in Pyuthan, Salyan, Rolpa, Rukum, Dang, Dailekh and Rupandehi.
     
  • 2013: CRS launched its first commercial brand of condom, D’zire. This marks an important milestone in the company’s move towards long-term sustainability. CRS will use profits generated from the sales of D’zire to cross-subsidize its other products, subsidized by USAID.

Recent News

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2015/16
From July 28-31, 2016, CRS organized an annual conference at Pokhara to...
ANNUAL DISTRIBUTORS CONFERENCE
On May 6, 2016, CRS held its Annual Distributors Conference. The focus...
TECHNICAL SUPPORT VISIT OF SANGINI OUTLETS
In this FY, CRS has recruited in-house Quality Assurance Officers (QAOs) for...
CONSTRUCTION HETAUNDA WAREHOUSE
In February 2016, CRS started the construction of its warehouse. The warehouse...
STUDY VISIT TO SOCIAL MARKETING COMPANY (SMC), BANGLADESH
From Januay 31- February 4, 2016, the CRS senior management team went...
QUARTERLY/ MONTHLY MEETINGS
CRS has regularized Area Managers’ meeting every quarter and departmental meeting every...
CAPACITY BUILDING OF CRS EMPLOYEES
In this FY, CRS conducted multiple trainings: salesmanship trainings for field officers,...
STREET DRAMA
In partnership with Soorya Trade Concern, CRS conducted 30  street drama sessions...

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