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India’s Cosmetic Market Ready for Big Leap

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: October 10, 2008, from the January 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In addition, men as well as the beauty professionals and beauty services segment are emerging as big buyers of cosmetics and skin care here. Pradeep Verma, managing director of Derma Color, which sells Kryolan in India, said “The market is ready for professional makeup products since the Indian professional makeup artists are very well-trained and are aware of the products and prefer to use international brands. Earlier they were sourcing their products from international markets such as Dubai or Bangkok or Singapore. But now players such as Kryolan and MAC have direct presence, so the professional makeup artists are picking up from us.”

Brand Positioning

With increasing awareness among customers, it has become very important for the cosmetic and skin care companies here to develop the right brand positioning and create the right product and brand awareness.

Pricing of the product and the nature of product usage are the two criteria that define brand positioning. For instance products falling under the price range of Rs 45 to Rs 200 are in the mass-market category. The middle market price can range from Rs 200 up to Rs 800. In the high-end market, pricing can range from Rs 800 to about Rs 5000. Finally there is the premium range of products where the pricing can touch up to Rs 35,000.

“Today it is important for big brands like us to define different brand positioning to retain the right market share. For instance, at L’Oréal we push Maybelline and Synergie ranges to the younger generation and also in the lower income group mass market. While L’Oréal range of cosmetic and skin care products are for the middle and higher-middle class women and Vichy is for high-end users,” explains the source at L’Oréal India. Brands such as Lakme and Color Bar are being pushed as mass market products and focus on younger women and women with lower buying power. Then there is Revlon, Chambor, Diana of London, Bourjois and Pupa that make the mid-range while Clarins, Shiseido, MAC, Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, YSL and Lancôme make the high end. La Prairie touches the premium end of the market.

Besides L’Oréal, Unilever, through its Indian arm Hindustan Lever, Procter & Gamble, and most premium and high-end brands prefer to come to the country through distributors such as Baccarose, Euro Traditions, Cosmos Brands, MKP and GR Fragrance.

Product Preference