Over the past thirty nine years, one contest has helped define the changing face of Indian beauty - and in 2004 it's back with a dose of the best India has to offer. Although the venue is yet to be ascertained, 'Femina Miss India 2004' will be held in Mumbai on March 27.
A year after Sunsilk announced its partnership with Femina Miss India, it has disassociated itself from the pageant. As per the terms of the agreement signed on October 21, 2002, Sunsilk had taken up the title sponsorship of Femina Miss India for three years (till 2005), which, according to industry sources, was worth Rs 47.5 million per year. After the haircare brand's exit, Pond's has taken up the title sponsorship. The beauty pageant will now be known as the 'Pond's-Femina Miss India.'
With the last date for entries to the pageant slated for February 8, Vivek Rampal, Category Head - Skincare, Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) is upbeat, "The Pond's-Femina Miss India woman is a woman of today who is a perfect balance between the mind and the body, between personality and beauty - the very essence that the pageant represents. The pageant is a definitive step towards re-affirming Pond's positioning as a beauty, grooming and skincare specialist for the contemporary Indian woman."
Last year witnessed an eclectic mix of judges from the entertainment and corporate world including cine stars Jackie Shroff and Shilpa Shetty, Sunil Mittal (Chairman & Group MD, Bharti), Mahesh Bhupati, Chanda Kochar (Executive Director, ICICI), Nirupama Rao (former spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs) and Sulajja Firodia Motwani (Joint MD, Kinetic Engineering). Will this year follow suit? "We are yet to take a call on the panel of judges for the finals," an HLL spokesperson said.
On Pond's association with the pageant, A P Parigi, MD & CEO, Times Infotainment Media Limited stated, "It has always been our endeavor to be associated with international brands like Pond's which demonstrate a convergence of views on how to reinforce and develop a platform for the contemporary Indian woman."
VLCC is one of the key sponsors of the pageant. Commenting on the title, Vandana Luthra, Chairperson, VLCC said, ''Personality is not just a combination of beauty and brains; it is also about a fit body and a healthy mind. Today, beauty pageants are less about beauty and more about personality, which explains why VLCC came forward to partner the Femina Miss India pageant.''