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The Body Shop Gets Closer to Mass Market in India

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

The Body Shop India strives to deepen its connection with its customers by touting its eco-friendly and socially responsible efforts, as well as promoting hero products.

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Since its entry into India in 2006, The Body Shop has consistently won awards for its products in the Indian market, as well as for its market performance there. While its skin care products—and its body butters in particular—are highly regarded in terms of delivering results, the company was initially not as successful with its makeup products. To counteract this, The Body Shop’s Indian team created a strategy that brought its makeup products to the fore. First, it began defining seasonal makeup trends with limited-edition SKUs in order to help create a look. “The products and colors selected were such that they would pull in the consumers for color cosmetics,” explains Gasperment. The company also distinctly highlighted the natural ingredient elements of its color cosmetics, and it was one of the first brands to make skin-beneficial mineral makeup available. “Today, our mineral makeup foundation powder is very popular. It is well-accepted because of the sheer texture and almost natural finish that most women like here,” Gasperment says.

In addition, the company also worked on highlighting makeup favorites. Once The Body Shop’s India team grasped how much Indian women love to highlight their eyes, it created special eye makeup islands within the stores where walk-in consumers were introduced to hero products and taught application tips. “Here, we showcased eye makeup products and refreshed the theme. This pulled in a young crowd that is more experimental and wants to try new colors and makeup,” says Shriti Malhotra, general manager, The Body Shop India.

In the next growth phase, The Body Shop is looking to strengthen its product branding in India and live up to and fulfill its ethical goals and involvement in community service with a hands-on approach when dealing with Indian social causes. “We support global causes and, with local institutions and non-governmental agencies (NGOs), actively seek to make an impact in the lives of the underprivileged. Our community service work is so serious that The Body Shop has a separate division to deal with the causes it espouses. One of the biggest campaigns is Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People. This has been one of the company’s most powerful campaigns to date. In the last year, it has already raised not just awareness but has also worked with local NGOs to support the affected group, and it has been able to already get four million petitions for this cause. In India alone, it has sold 10,000 units of the [associated] hand cream, and the profits are channeled to fight the cause,” says Gasperment. In addition, the company is also looking at ways to stay eco-conscious. It is now developing products using organically grown ingredients, as well as without sulfates, parabens, colorants or silicones. It has also further improved its packaging to help save the environment, and all its PET bottles are from 100% recycled materials.

Dabur India Eyes Ethnic Hair Care Market in the U.S.

With the acquisition of the African hair care company Namasté Laboratories LLC and its three subsidiary companies—Hair Rejuvenation & Revitalization Nigeria Limited; Healing Hair Laboratories International, LLC; and Urban Laboratories International, LLC—Dabur India is looking to tap into the rising demand for quality hair care products for ethnic hair types in the U.S. market. This $100 million, all-cash deal brokered by Dabur India Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary Dermoviva Skin Essentials Inc. marks Dabur’s entry into the fast-growing ethnic hair care products market in the U.S., Europe and Africa. According to the chairman of Dabur, The Namasté Group has a complementary product mix that can be easily integrated with Dabur and will also serve as a gateway to the U.S. market for its portfolio of consumer products.

Namasté Laboratories, Hair Rejuvenation & Revitalization, Healing Hair Laboratories and Urban Laboratories have subsequently become step-down subsidiaries of Dabur, and the company plans to consolidate its position in the global personal care market while also strengthening its position in the African market. Gary Gardner, founder and CEO of Namasté, along with an experienced management team, will continue to run the business as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dermoviva Skin Essentials Inc., and The Namasté Group feels this takeover will help Namasté to improve its own brand recall and global footprint.

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