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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.

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The company has previously introduced three other skin care ranges—White Radiance, Beauty Fluid and Olay Cleansers—to the Indian market.

Indian Companies Buying International Brands

There is a new trend in the Indian beauty market as large Indian personal care brands go shopping for international beauty and personal care brands to bolster their regional offerings, sparking renewed confidence in the market. Leading personal care brand Marico Industries and Wipro Consumer Care have both acquired foreign companies.

Marico bought the consumer division of South Africa’s Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Ltd., marking its entry into the South African hair care market. The deal, valued at approximately Rs520 million, was clinched through a bidding process, the company said in a statement. The acquisition included manufacturing facilities in Mobeni and Durban, as well as a 100-member team. “This acquisition helps us to consolidate our position in Africa, as it complements our entry into Egypt last year,” said Vijay Subramaniam, CEO, international business, Marico.

In another buyout, Wipro Consumer Care purchased the Southeast Asian beauty and personal care manufacturer Unza. With the acquisition, the company controls prominent male grooming brands in Southeast Asia. Currently, the company is studying the brand names, product features and brand potential for introduction to the Indian market. “There are various factors that differentiate other markets from India,” said Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer Care & Lightning. “For instance, Vietnam is a market that is inclined towards perfumed products. However, similar products may not work in India. But, we are studying the Indian market to understand how we can launch [these] brands [in India].”

Rural Markets Spell Opportunity for Personal Care

According to a recent report by Indian industry association Assocham, the personal care market is expected to see 10% growth by 2010; the market will increase by 6% in semi-urban areas. This is a direct result of changing consumer behavior by which younger consumers are adopting western personal care habits. These consumers are also, statistically speaking, more likely to spend greater amounts on personal care products.