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India Quarterly: Indian Market Attracting Natural and Herbal-based Brands

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Basic Nivea products had been available in the market through Indian distributor JL Morrison, but when the partnership broke, Nivea lost some share until its direct entry in 2007. Now, Nivea is focused on creating innovative product categories to strengthen its competitive position. In addition to standard ranges of creams and lotions, the brand plans to come up with creams that will also double as face packs—as well as lip care and tint products for young consumers uninitiated in makeup.

Big Business for Indian Day Spas

Consumers’ current reluctance to spend on big vacations is translating into good business for the Indian spa industry. While hotels brace for a drop in room bookings, their spas, as well as stand-alone spas, are preparing to handle more clients who are finding spa services to be, in general, cost-effective alternatives to vacations. According to industry watchers, consumers may curtail their buying decisions for luxury goods, big ticket items and vacations, but personal grooming and wellness still remain important for them.

There have been indications that spas have gained 15–20% in a recent three to four month period, and there are expectations of further gains. Hotels, understanding the gains in day spa business, have begun to promote spa packages as weekend destinations. Most focus on the “stress busting during tough times” factor when hard-selling their packages. This, too, translates into opportunities for international spa brands entering the Indian market. As spas aspire to offer innovative services and products to their customers, they are constantly looking into the international market.

Priyanka Bhattacharya is a writer and journalist covering the beauty, health and wellness industries in India. She is the contributing beauty features writer for several leading Indian women’s magazines.