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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.

page 3 of 5

With the skin care market showing double-digit annual growth, P&G-owned Olay marked its entry into the $5.3 billion Indian skin care market with Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging cream.

“Today, antiaging is only 3% of the total skin care market at [$15 million], which means there is huge potential. It has been doubling every year for the last three years,” said Sumeet Vohra, head of marketing, P&G India. “With our latest Olay antiaging product, we feel we can make a difference to Indian women with specific skin care needs. With the launch of four new Olay brand skin care products, we want to establish a strong presence in the country.”

P&G rival HUL launched its Pond’s International range of skin care with targeted approach for every age group and skin type, and Olay’s delayed entry might cost the company some market share. Justifying the move, Vohra added, “There are other players already present in the market, but we delayed our entry because we wanted to be absolutely sure that the product is right for Indian skin. We also tweaked the product a bit to suit Indian skin types. Secondly, we wanted to make sure that it is right from an economic standpoint, and we believe the time is right now. Today, women are more willing to embrace antiaging products, since looking youthful is a key beauty trend. Finally, this move fit in our sequence of priorities, because whenever we launch something new, we want to focus on it and put in the right amount of resources and energy behind each one of them.”

Olay Total Effects has been launched in six metros for the first phase of the launch, and the company plans to extend its presence to 25 cities and then add another 44. In speaking about the market share the company looks to gain with the Indian launch of the new product, Vohra said that the antiaging products market is still nascent in the country, so there is ample room for the company to grow.

“There is a great need to increase awareness about this product. Initially Olay Total Effects will be available in around 2,000 outlets—including hyper retail stores, chemists, beauty advisors and through existing distributors in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore,” Vohra added.