Beauty and personal care are one of the widest niches in the industry and are a competitive market in India with international brands going head-to-head with locals’ ones. To win in the personal care sector, brands in India create aspirations that appeal to the socially savvy, world aware millennials. The world's largest cosmetics company, L’Oréal is looking to acquire Indian beauty brands and start-ups in the beauty-tech space.
With two R&D centers and two factories in India, 90% of the products L’Oréal sells in India are made domestically. Chairman of L’Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon said," the company has been actively scouting for acquisitions in India in all types of beauty products. the Indian unit has been one of the top three fastest-growing L’Oréal subsidiaries in the past two years".
He also added, “The trend has been around for some time now. We have been looking for opportunities but we haven’t found the right fit yet. In order to look at start-ups, we have invested in Fireside Ventures, an early-stage investment fund focused on Indian consumer brands.”
The company is working on identifying start-ups that it can co-own and develop in beauty and beauty-tech. Agon spoke the company’s focus on India-specific products. For instance, he said, natural hair dyes have been invented in India and are manufactured in India, before being exported to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. “While we have global products, we feel the right way is to develop products in countries where we sell them, especially in large countries like India,” he added.
Talking about ease of doing business, he said that from the beginning L’Oréal didn’t face any difficulties in India and that is the reason the company has raked in huge investments in plants, R&D centres, and teams.