Avon appoints new General Manager to ‘advance India expansion’

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Avon appoints new General Manager to ‘advance India expansion’
Direct-selling beauty firm AVON has appointed a new General Manager to its Indian operations in bid to improve the company’s position in the country’s fast-growing market.

It comes after the firm said it had 50% brand awareness, but low penetration.

Dronacharya Chakraborty’s appointment comes just days after Avon revealed plans to streamline its business by consolidating its offices and reducing approximately 100 staff from its US workforce.

New leadership

According to the company, Chakraborty has 20 years of experience in both direct-sales and personal care under his belt.

"I am excited to join Avon to work with Bill and his team to advance expansion and growth in the Asia-Pacific region," ​he said. “Avon's strong brand recognition represents a compelling opportunity, both globally and in the vibrant Indian market.”

Previously, Chakraborty was the General Manager, Sales of PM International India. Before that, he spent 12 years with multi-level corporation Herbalife.

“Having spent a majority of my career in the direct selling industry, I believe strongly in the value proposition of the model and its relevance in emerging economies. I look forward to working with the team to capture these opportunities," ​said Chakraborty.

Jan Zijderveld, Chief Executive Officer of Avon added that the company was excited to bring a leader of Chakraborty’s calibre on board.

"In addition to expertise in our categories and strong track record in direct selling, Drona brings a deep understanding of and familiarity with the large and growing Indian market. I'm confident he'll be an asset to the team as we work to strengthen our capabilities to ensure we deliver on our plans for growth in the region," ​said Zijderveld.

Return to growth

A day after the announcement, Avon revealed on its Investor’s Day that it planned to introduce a new long-term strategy to drive growth and secure the company’s place as a leading “digital social selling beauty company”.

Zijderveld shared with investors that the company plans to do so by rebooting direct selling, modernising the brand, focus on e-commerce capabilities, as well as “begin a cultural transformation”.

"We have assessed our operations, our markets and value-creating opportunities, and are implementing a plan to make Avon more attractive to beauty entrepreneurs and accessible to more consumers,” ​said Zijderveld.

The firm plans to do this by recruiting and retaining more Avon Representatives, capturing share in fast-growing areas, and opening their eco-system to third-party providers.

Additionally, an estimated $300m will be allocated to building up Avon’s digital and IT infrastructure.

Zijderveld further reveals that the strategy to “Open Up Avon”​ is expected help the firm achieve low single-digit revenue growth and low double-digit margins by 2021.

"We believe that our strategy to Open Up Avon will enable the Company to stabilize our financial results and achieve our goals of low-single digit revenue growth and low double-digit margins by 2021, delivering on our commitment to shareholders."

In August, the firm reported that its total revenue for Avon Products declined by 3% to $1.4bn during its second-quarter, and experienced a 4% decrease in active representatives.

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