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Cosmetics Retailing in India: Obvious Excitement

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: February 20, 2007, from the February 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
Back to the February 2007 Issue

The Indian economy is on a high growth drive, which means that purchasing power and willingness to spend are on the rise. It also means big changes are coming to retail there. According to a recent Merrill Lynch and Capgemini’s Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, there are more millionaires coming from the emerging markets than from the developed nations. The country’s population of high-net-worth individuals (HNI) is increasing, and the report shows an increase of nearly 20% in 2005 over the previous year. India reportedly has the youngest HNI population in the Asia-Pacific region.

In fact, more Indian women in age group 25 to 45 are also in the HNI category. With increasing globalization, the young Indian woman has realized the importance of always looking good. All this has translated into a demand for high-quality and high-end skin care and color cosmetics. This awareness has been developing throughout the past five to six years, and industry experts believe that 2006 was the year when the Indian skin care and cosmetics market attained a certain level of maturity.

Talking about the market, Didier Villanueva, MD, L’Oréal India, says, “The Indian middle class is growing rapidly and so is its demand for the best quality products. Today they want to use the international brands whether they are mass market or premium.”

Agreeing with Villanueva, Hemanshu Kotecha, MD, Baccarose, one of the leading distributors of international brands, says that the Indian beauty product buyers are highly aware of all the international launches. “We are surprised by the swiftness with which we get demands for products launched in more developed markets such as the U.S. or Europe.”