According to Euromonitor International, the premium beauty and personal segment in India, which is Asia’s third-largest economy, was worth $774 million in 2018 and India continues only grow thereon. And the transition from mass to premium to luxury beauty brands seems to be moving extremely fast, feels industry veteran Sargam Dhawan Bhayana…writes Puja Gupta.
“The continuous rise in disposable income and increasing internet penetration is what has made International brands view India as a potential market,” says Bhayana, Director at Paul Penders & Dafni India and the founder of Tressmart and Glow by Tressmart — an online platform that offers premium to luxury beauty and wellness brands.
We spoke to Bhayana to know more about the growing business of luxury beauty brands in India, how international brands see the Indian market and the future of the beauty industry.
How do you see India as a market for luxury beauty brands?
Over the years India has been acknowledged as an emerging market for luxury beauty brands. India as a market is a perfect blend for modernity with tradition. India is a country where International luxury beauty brands can perform just as well as Indian homegrown brands.
Indian consumers are also becoming more aware and conscious about the products they use on themselves and are also well travelled and well exposed which has expanded their knowledge on beauty brands all over world. While there are some challenges one faces when entering the market keeping in mind ethnic diversity that characterises India, this also opens doors to different opportunities in the beauty market in India. While Indian women still use certain home remedies when it comes to their skin and hair such as oiling their hair, ubtans among others, they simultaneously order luxury beauty brands of the internet.
It is the increasing access to the luxury beauty brands that individuals have that is identifying India as an upcoming beauty giant. While Ayurveda, Organic beauty has been increasing in trend, the concept of Vegan beauty is also growing. The consumer is extremely particular the natural, cruelty-free characteristic of the brand.
Many international luxury brands have made their entry in India lately. Can there be a specific reason behind it?
In 2017, I launched DAFNI in India, a premium hair straightening brush brand, whose demand seems to continue in the country. Similarly, I bought Paul Penders, the world’s first Vegan and Cruelty-free brand that has picked up even more recently due to its conscious values. After analysing the demand of premium to luxury beauty and personal care products, during the lockdown this year, we launched two e-commerce platforms Tressmart and Glow by Tressmart that has been picking up very well keeping in mind the competition that exists in the e-commerce space.
The continuous rise in disposable income and increasing internet penetration is what has made International brands view India as a potential market. We at Tressmart Marketing Pvt. Ltd. too will be introducing a few international brands in India in the coming months on both Tressmart and Glow by Tressmart.
How has the beauty market as a whole been impacted due to the pandemic and lockdown?
The lockdown period has been quite difficult for beauty businesses in general. For us, being a skincare brand predominantly, customers usually like to try our products before buying but that unfortunately hasn’t been possible during this time, thus reducing brand experience for the customer. Furthermore, initially courier services were also not operational which in turn put business on hold for a while. Then slowly courier services resumed but only allowing online payments and no COD options, which again restricts sale. Additionally, with the current situation, deliveries are taking longer than usual, which of course is completely understandable, however since we at Paul Penders don’t use any chemicals in our products and the ingredients are 100 percent organic and natural, we run the risk of the products getting spoilt due to the heat. Luckily, so far our products have reached customers in good condition.
Even though this lockdown has affected businesses all over, we feel the steps taken to curb the spread of the virus was imperative.
What do you think about the men’s beauty space in India?
The men’s grooming sector in my opinion is extremely dynamic and has definitely grown over the years. Men have also become quite conscious of their appearance and basic grooming needs which has definitely opened the market for this segment. Furthermore, the emergence of new indie brans booming along with innovative concern centric products focusing on styling and beard care have really helped drive this sector.
How do you see its future?
Bhayana: Looking at the response of the consumer in the men’s grooming sector, male grooming definitely has come of age. According to PGS Labs India’s men grooming market is projected to soar to $5.5 billion by 2021. This segment has definitely disrupted the traditional view of beauty where women were the driving force. From beard oil to facial cleansers, most men have more than one male grooming product in the bathroom, which opens the men’s grooming market considerably.