Avon's new MD: is the company looking to strengthen in India?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Avon's new MD: is the company looking to strengthen in India?

Related tags Retailing

Beauty giant Avon has recently appointed a new MD in India, in a move which suggests the company is looking to raise its profile in the country.

In recent years, the direct-selling beauty firm has struggled to maintain what had once been an impressive growth rate​ in the country, as Indian consumers increasingly migrate online for their beauty retail.

The appointment of the new MD, Rahul Shanker, suggests the company may now be looking to renew its focus on its presence in India.

Commenting on his role, Shanker reportedly said: "Avon is a company that stands for beauty, innovation, optimism and above all for women. I look forward to steering the India business ahead, and to making this iconic brand realize its true potential here​."

Beauty’s evolution in India​ 

Beauty is seeing a retail revolution in India, according to market researchers, thanks in large part to the rise of digital, both as a platform for commerce, and a platform for branding.

Internet retailing in India is expected to register the strongest growth in terms of retail value sales​, explain Euromonitor International analysts in the firm’s latest report on beauty in the country.

Consumers will not mind buying the same brands from an internet retailer at a discounted price rather than from a hypermarket or beauty specialist retailer​,” they confirm.

The rise of internet retail may hamper Avon’s direct-selling model; it remains to be seen how the company will assert its offering in the evolving market.

Avon in Asia

Avon has posted several consecutive quarters of falling sales globally, with the most recent results, announced last month​, no exception. However, it is in Asia that the company is seeing its strongest performance.

For the fourth Quarter of 2014, the company posted Asia Pacific regional sales of $189.4m: a drop of 2% in dollar sales, but an increase of 2% in local currencies, a figure that was boosted by a higher price and product mix.

The recent results suggest that looking ahead, the APAC region holds the best potential for Avon, and the subsequent appointment of Shanker indicates that India may be one key market in which it’s looking for opportunities.

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