Estee Lauder ride for cosmetics in India

by Dave

Brand Equity -Features-The Economic Times

While India may not yet be ready for Origins, Aveda is the brand Lauder thinks India is ready for. “A lot of the principles on which the brand is founded, a lot of the inspirations for Aveda come from principles of Ayurveda and if properly positioned could be successful in India,” says Lauder.

The confidence of the new consumer is something which Lauder never undermines. He explains that the Internet has been the single biggest enabler to this growing confidence. It has got her better informed and more demanding as well. She’s even more comfortable moving up the value chain and aspirational than ever before. The new luxury stores in India, says Lauder, are showing sales and are no longer “mere museums”.

While most sectors find similarities between China and India or even Russia and India, it is in Brazil where Lauder finds the echo of India the most. “Both have women who have their own individuality and sense of style and beauty,” he says and explains that Brazilian consumers have a style which is very identifiable outside of Brazil. Similarly, Indian women have a very well developed sense of their own beauty and do not necessarily look to brands or brand authorities from outside. This presents a unique challenge for us to be successful in this market,” says Lauder.

In fact, one of Lauder’s most astute actions in India has been to pick up a stake in Mira Kulkarni’s Forest Essentials, another green brand. It is the first time Estee Lauder has invested in a brand that is non-Anglo or non-European. “We made it because there is a certain authority that emerges from India that the Indian consumer perceives is unique. Over time, we believe this market will evolve and begin to have a demand of its own. The consumer may want a brand that she can say is mine and is not a foreign brand. Finally, you invest in people as much as you invest in a company and Mira Kulkarni is just that kind of a person ,” ends Lauder.

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