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India Quarterly: Mary Kay to Invest $20 Million in India

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

International direct seller Mary Kay Inc. has set up its Indian subsidiary, Mary Kay Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd., in Gurgaon, New Delhi. The company plans to invest approximately $20 million in the country over five years.

Targeting the high growth Indian beauty market, Mary Kay expects 50% of its business to be generated by its skin care range and the rest by its color cosmetics and body care offerings. “We anticipate generating the same success in India that we have seen in other Asia-Pacific markets,” said K.K. Chua, president, Mary Kay Asia-Pacific.

Products have been priced to attract both mass to mid-range consumers. “We want to make this brand available to all working women looking for good skin and makeup. We have kept the pricing affordable so that the maximum number of women can buy them,” said Hina Nagarajan, country manager, Mary Kay India.

While the market for direct selling beauty companies hasn’t been very strong in the country, despite Oriflame’s and Avon’s steady business, Mary Kay is confident to bring a paradigm shift with its new selling strategy and approach. The company plans to create a pull in the market rather than push, and its consultants are being trained to act as beauty advisors rather than just salespersons. In fact, the company created a very focused product portfolio that answered beauty needs specific to Indian women, launching its Botanical Customised Skin Care Collection in India.

Clinique Finds a Ready Market in India

Indian consumers have been a tempting target market for The Estée Lauder Companies-owned Clinique Laboratories for the last seven years, and the brand now has dollars earmarked for riding the wave of beauty awareness among Indian women and 400 products specially chosen for the market.