Following its entry in the Indian market in October 2010 in partnership with Ruchi Cosmetics India Pvt Ltd, Jafra, the global direct selling cosmetics company, is now looking to consolidate its presence in the country and expand across the country.
Johan Wicklund, Joint Managing Director, Jafra Ruchi Cosmetics Pvt Ltd, told exchange4media, “We see enormous potential in Indian market. There are favourable economic reasons for us to grow. The middle class consumer segment is growing exponentially. Our target audience is very much within those segments. The way direct selling is now moving, there is a clear cut opportunity. Eureka Forbes was the first company to come here and many of them started their operations in 1995.”
The company is analysing the markets as of now and discovering positive signals for growth. “The market could not be better than now and we see strong signals of potential growth, especially the North-East part of the country. Chandigarh, Delhi, Ludhiana are amongst the cities we are targeting first,” Wicklund informed.
But what made Jafra believe that the Indian cosmetic industry is seeing its growth curve going up? Wicklund replied, “Competitors are growing at about 30-40 per cent and these signs prove that the market is picking up. People are seeking business opportunities all the time and there are opportunities to gain independence. Here, to find your own identity, you don’t need to put in more money.”
Harish Singla, Joint Managing Director, Jafra Ruchi Cosmetics Pvt Ltd, felt that there was stiff competition in the direct selling category. According to him, “It is competitive landscape. The Indian market is resourceful and we will be competing directly with few selected players. In the world of direct sales, we compete with the retail market. Surely there is competition.”
Since the brand is at its nascent stage, it is still mulling over how to go about advertising its specialty. Speaking on this, Wicklund said, “We are not going to be on television as of now, but we will be doing lot of PR activities. Website would be a very important tool of communication for us, but we are not selling to mass costumers. We have a premium positioning. We also send internal newsletters to consultants for timely communication.”
And the first step has been taken in that direction with the appointment of actress Sushmita Sen as its brand ambassador. “Jafra is about the empowerment of woman and we felt Sush stood out from everybody that we were looking at. She will be promoting the brand manifesto,” Wicklund stated.
He also believed that direct selling companies’ perception of advertising as a medium of communication was changing. “What drives us is our team of independent consultants, and in the recent years, more and more companies are doing advertising. The pattern has changed and today and the players are finding it fruitful,” he added.
Speaking on the budgets, Singla divulged, “We are a bit cost-driven, but we don’t have substantial budgets. Broadly speaking, we are looking to keep aside 20-25 per cent of our sales revenues for our marketing budget.”
He further said that at present it was very difficult to foresee the growth, but added that the company had chalked out aggressive plans. “The project is at a high-focused priority,” he insisted.
For the record, Water, Mudra India’s strategic unit is handling the brand’s identity and strategy.