India's Marico lowers hair range by 30% to compete with L'Oreal

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

India's Marico lowers hair range by 30% to compete with L'Oreal

Related tags Personal care products Cosmetics

Indian personal care products company, Marico has expanded into the hair care segment with its Livon brand, a product it priced 30% lower than those of the leaders of the segment, L'Oreal and P&G.

The brand’s move is also an effort to revamp the products it acquired from Paras Pharmaceuticals two years ago. 

The Mumbai-headquartered company operates in about 25 countries in Asia and Africa and has been cross-leveraging brands across its domestic and international businesses, mirroring similar moves by FMCG peers Dabur and Godrej, according to regional publication, Times of India.

"The entry point creme segment is expected to witness the fastest growth in the category. Livon conditioning colour occupies a sweet spot that maximises aspiration with affordability​," says Saugata Gupta, Marico CEO.

Dual advantage, low penetration

Marico reckons hair colour offers the dual advantage of a big category with low-to-medium penetration. "Livon has a strong conditioning equity, which enables us to address consumers concerns of effect on hair."

Last week, TOI says the company declared stronger-than-expected quarterly profits but said volume growth was just 3%, reflecting what some analysts say is the larger trend of consumption slowing down across categories.

"The volume growth is largely a reflection of weakness in the industry particularly hair oils,​" Kotak Securities analyst Ritwik Rai said in a recent note.

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) indicated that despite global economic uncertainty, the Indian markets should increase from a current estimate of Rs 10,000 crore (US$19.3bn) to Rs 20,000 crore by 2014), paving the way for a successful cosmetics sector.

Continuously expanding intothecosmetics industry

Back in 2010, the Indian personal care products company acquired the aesthetics businesses of Singapore-based Derma Rx Asia Pacific through its skin care solutions subsidiary, Kaya.

The acquisition, Marico said at the time gave it access to a range of skin care products and a strong sourcing network, establishing a presence for Kaya in the South East Asia region.

Derma Rx sells its products through its three clinics in Singapore and one in Kuala Lumpur. The company has a customer base of around 37,000 people and generates an estimated annual turnover of Rs 500m ($7.92m).

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