Indian beauty player plans to take on the multinationals

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Indian beauty player plans to take on the multinationals

Related tags Cosmetics

Domestic personal care player Patanjali is making moves to take on India’s FMCG leaders, including Unilever and Colgate.

Patanjali is in talks to secure a site for a thirteenth production and manufacturing unit in the country, according to the Times of India​, and has made clear its intention to position itself in direct competition with both multinationals and leading domestic players.

"The Ayurveda giant is planning to give tough competition to the big cosmetic firms spread across the country,​” an official is reported as saying in the Times of India.

The unit will not only popularise the herbal products, but also create employment opportunities for the locals​.”

Although rival consumer goods players are facing poor growth rates, Patanjali says it’s on track to hit 150% growth this year, with an ambitious revenue target of Rs 10,000 crore (double that of last financial year).

Tradition and naturals

Patanjali is an ayurveda-based brand, meaning it participates in a traditional system of medicine from India which is increasingly adopted in alternative therapy more globally.

Ayurveda continues to see enormous domestic popularity in beauty and wellness applications, and is boosted further by tapping into the fellow ever-rising trend of naturals and organics.

Hitting back

L’Oréal is one major western international which has explicitly begun to respond​ to the demand for ayurveda-type cosmetic offerings.

Speaking recently to the Business Standard, Jean-Christophe Letellier, MD of L'Oreal India, said that introducing brands such as Sanoflore, positioned as a natural alternative to conventional cosmetics, forms part of this strategy.

We do have what we call 'Champions of Nature' in our portfolio. So, organic products under Body Shop or the Kiehl's range of high-end products are all positioned on the naturals platform​,” he said, in confirmation of the importance of a strong ‘naturals’ profile for beauty brands.

Hindustan Unilever has also begun moves to respond to the demand, including investment in rejuvenating its Ayush herbal brand, and buying a new one in Indulekha.

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