European direct sales company, Zepter, is making its foray into India. The privately-held organisation is one of the most diversified direct sales companies in the world, with a product portfolio including cookware, home furnishings, writing instruments, watches, beauty and skincare products, nutritional supplements, fashion jewellery, perfumes, portable medical equipments and clothing accessories.
It plans to source as well as manufacture products and components in India. This apart Zepter also intends to initiate R&D and BPO activities in the country for its business. The direct sales market in India is currently dominated by Avon, Tupperware and Amway among others and are focussed on categories like cookware, beauty care and nutritional products.
Zepter will be investing in an existing Indian company Salute Trading, that is engaged in cash and carry wholesale trading of all the products that Zepter sells globally. The company will be renamed as Zepter International India.
Since some of the products that Zepter proposes to manufacture in India comes within the ambit of the SSI sector, it will have to obtain an industrial licence and confirm to 50% export obligation. This apart, it will also need to set up a manufacturing unit within the next two years.
Globally, Zepter has seven factories located in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Given that these are high-cost manufacturing destination, it is possible that Zepter may start sourcing its products from India when it starts its operations in the country.
Though Zepter is a direct sales organisation, it also has many shops and pavilions located in many cities including Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Budapest, Chicago, Monte Carlo, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Vancouver, Warsawn and Zagreb. It is unlikely that it will open such a shop in India given the restrictions in the retail sector.