Social marketing in Nepal dates back to 1978 with the establishment of CRS Company: one of the oldest and most successful locally managed social marketing organizations in the world. CRS has established itself as a pioneer in health communications and marketing, playing a key role in developing markets for condoms, oral contraceptive pills, and oral rehydration salts. CRS has helped increase the role of the private health sector in Nepal, particularly the use of pharmacies as a source of products and services.
CRS has grown steadily since its inception and contributes significantly to Nepal’s national family planning and public health outcomes. According to NDHS 2016, 25% of women using Injectables, 58% of women using oral contraceptives pills, and 45% of women using condoms use CRS products.
Our Core Strengths
Private Sector Engagement
There is a missed opportunity to provide modern contraception through the private sector. CRS works to bridge this gap to increase access to a wider range of modern contraceptive methods for a larger number of men and women in the country.
CRS has a vast network of distributors spread across all 77 districts. CRS central warehouse located in Hetauda repackages and distributes products in 12 field offices. The field officers then supply the products to 33 distributors who supply it to 20,000 private medical retailers, 20,000 non-medical retailers, and in more than 2,300 Sangini outlets.
Evidence-based social marketing
CRS demonstrates the effectiveness of its strategies for achieving health improvements across the country by implementing evidence-based social marketing. The organization conducts various studies and surveys, reviews work of literature for effective social marketing of products, programs, and projects. Over the years CRS with support from its technical assistance partners has conducted Knowledge Attitude, and Practice (KAP), Baseline and Endline, Distribution Coverage Measurement (DISCOM) surveys; reach and recall study for the implementation of effective strategies for product branding and execution of projects and programs.
Community engagement via social and behavior change communication (SBCC)
Recognizing the importance of community engagement for improved and sustained health outcomes; CRS has successfully designed and implemented various community engagement programs via SBCC on family planning, uterus health, HIV/STI, water and sanitation, health and hygiene, and male engagement in child-rearing.
CRS is known for its cutting-edge behavior change messages in its community-based initiative run by community women to raise awareness and to promote on family planning and other health matters via group meetings and community events in hard-to-reach, rural areas. CRS has also conducted various street dramas, group meetings, community events in hot zones, and rural, hard-to-reach areas.
CRS first began its work in social franchising in 1994 when it introduced Sangini – three monthly injectable Depo/DMPA through Sangini Franchising Network. This led to increased and sustained access to the private health sector on a scale. The network was started by building the capacity of 50 private service providers in Kathmandu and today the network includes more than 2,300 Sangini outlets in all 77 districts. Since its establishment,
Between 2010-2022, CRS has supplied 10,431,728 vials of DMPA (Sangini) through the social franchising network.
Brand equity and brand value
CRS is the market leader when it comes to family planning products. Many CRS brands are synonymous with family planning products mainly Dhaal for condom and Sangini for depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). Over the years, CRS's first condom brand Dhaal has been positioned as a quality condom.
Currently, it has a market share of 15.41 percent. Other condom brands of CRS, Panther and D’zire, own a market share of 18.93 and 6.79 percent respectively. In total, CRS has a market share of 41.13 percent for condoms. Its oral contraception pills (OCPs) and emergency contraceptive pill (ECPs) have a market share of 83 and 40 percent respectively.