Dutch cosmetics company seeks rapid expansion with joint business venture in Ethiopia

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Indonesian-based Dutch cosmetics contract manufacturer PT Cosmar’s joint venture with African cosmetics company Berchaco PLC, a part of the East African Holding conglomerate, in Ethiopia, aims to build on the rapid expansion of the region.

Cosmar East Africa, the resulting company from the joint venture, as a cosmetics manufacturer, will produce skin and hair care products, in Ethiopia, for the local and Sudanese markets.

A company spokesperson commented, “Ethiopia is growing rapidly and has over 60 million inhabitants, without any real cosmetics industry; in terms of export, Sudan is the only export market we have in mind, as it is also growing rapidly, due to the oil industry but still has no cosmetics industry to speak of​”.

Assisted Joint Venture

The joint venture was established with the help of the Dutch government and its private sector investment (PSI) programme (or PSOM as it was formerly called), which supports private investment in developing countries by sharing some of the financial risks.

The benefits of the joint venture will be seen, according to PT Cosmar, through technical assistance it will provide Cosmar East Africa in terms of formulation and processes, the sourcing of raw materials; with East African Holdings providing distribution channels.

Furthermore, PT Cosmar claims to have gained beneficial marketing experience in Indonesia, which it will draw on in this venture, as according to the company, in essence, both the Indonesian and African markets are similar.

Current Products

Cosmar East Africa currently operates a plastic packaging line, liquid process and a filling line; additionally the company has its own branded line of products, Viola.

The brand Viola comprises of hand and body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatments as well as other skin care products. Over the course of the next year, the company intends to introduce colour cosmetics as well.

Plastic bottles and jars are also contract manufactured by Cosmar East Africa for third parties.

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