Indian independence led to a peculiar disparity. Only the upper middle classes and the richer sections could afford cosmetics whereas middle classes could not access them. It was then that Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru put forth the proposition to JRD Tata to introduce an Indian cosmetics line and Lakme was born. Much later, in 1996, Tata sold the brand to Hindustan Unilever.
Today, Lakme is a leader in the Indian cosmetic industry. It continuously innovates to offer a wide range of high performance and world class colour cosmetics, skincare products, and beauty products. Combining international cosmetic technology with an in-depth understanding of the Indian needs, Lakme also offers its consumers a comprehensive beauty experience through its products and services at its salons and studios.
Their popular offerings Lakme CC Cream, Lakme Absolute Illuminating Eye Shadow Palette, Lakme Absolute Kohl Ultimate, Lakme Eyeconic Mascara, Weightless Mousse Foundation, Lakme 9 to 5 Matte Lip Colour, and Lakme Sun Expert UV.
A retail shop owner from Kolkata informed BE, “The most sold Indian cosmetic product has to be Lakme. We almost sell 1,80,000 products a month. Its kajal and 9-5 range of lipsticks are also very popular. It has a variety of colours and is preferred by office goers. But the market has taken strongly to Lakme’s recently launched Argan Oil Lipsticks.”
The marketing strategies adopted by Lakme have generated profit. Its ad campaigns are popular and it utilises social media channels well. It believes in star power. Indian film star Shraddha Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, and Katrina Kaif along with popular model Lisa Haydon have acted in its commercials.
If Lakme is the most popular Indian brand, Shahnaz Husain follows closely. As it offers herbal products, customers find it more reliable and trustworthy. But due to its high price range, the product attracts a niche crowd. But we know both men and women now-a-days are beauty conscious and they don’t mind splurging on beauty products. Youngsters prefer the brand and its Coffee Bean Scrub and Henna Precious Herb Mix are very popular. The herbal kajal is made from precious herbs and pure almond oil.The henna comes very well-reviewed by its users.
Shahnaz Husain is the Founder & Managing Director of the brand. The group represented in 138 countries and has over 600 franchises and is widely associated with beauty-clinics across the world.
Shahnaz Hussain is a globally reckoned name and she represented India at the CIDESCO World Beauty Congress in New York in 1980 and was elected as the Chairman of I.T.E.C. International Beauty Congress in 1981. The brands facial kit has a standard for itself in the Indian market.
A senior employee at the Shahnaz Herbal Salon, Kolkata, informed BE, “Shahnaz gold facial is very popular. Many women even buy the Shahnaz Husain 24 Carat Nature’s gold kit and do the face massages by themselves. The would-be brides mostly hit our salons for the Shahnaz Husain Herbal Facial Kit Shacleanse, Shascrub, Shalife & Shatex.”
Vandana Luthra started VLCC as a wellness centre in 1989 on a small bank loan, with a focus on health beauty and wellness. The business that started in a small locality in Delhi’s, Safdarjung has now expanded to 11 countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the GCC region and more recently to East Africa. The first VLCC Wellness Centre overseas was established in Dubai in 2005.
The company also has two manufacturing units, one in Haridwar, India, and another in Singapore. VLCC keeps up with technology and the latest research. They have their own research centres to keep up with the recent trends of the health and beauty sector. They operate 205 Wellness Centres in India and 49 in 10 other countries. VLCC Institutes of Beauty & Nutrition that have grown to become India’s largest chain of vocational education academies in the beauty and nutrition training segment with 73 campuses and training nearly 10,000 students annually and offering courses in multiple disciplines. The company has leveraged over 20 skincare, haircare, bodycare, functional foods and fortified foods products under the VLCC Natural Sciences, SkinMTX, BelleWave and Enavose brands.
The skincare products offered by VLCC are pocket-friendly mostly ranging from Rs.150 toRs.400. The most saleable products are VLCC Anti Tan Lightening Face Wash, VLCC Party Glow Facial Kit, VLCC Almond Under Eye Cream, VLCC Clear Tan Fruit Face Pack and VLCC Papaya Fruit Facial Kit. VLCC sun care products are highly recommended because they are paraben free and are enriched with natural ingredients. VLCC’s Sun Care range includes Hydrophobic Sun Screen Lotion SPF 50, Daily Protect Sun Screen Cream SPF 25, Anti-Tan Sun Screen Lotion SPF 25, Matte Look Sun Screen Cream SPF 30, and Skin Nourishing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40. VLCC Kera Therapy Hair Strengthening Kit and VLCC Luxury Spa that consists of anti-wrinkle day cream, anti-wrinkle night cream, shea shower cream and shea body lotion are immensely appreciated in the market.
The cosmetic market in India is taking a decisive turn towards natural products. India is popular for its rich and nutritious medicinal and therapeutic herbs. Since ancient times, the country prioritizes Ayurveda and has been using these herbs judiciously. Lotus Herbals that have popularized herbal products through years of scientific research is now reining the Indian cosmetic market. The brand was initiated by business tycoon Kamal Passi.
Shila Mazumder, a 51year old housewife from Kolkata, informed BE, “I always go for herbal products because it is safe and good for my skin. Lotus 3-in-1 Matte look Daily Sunblock, Lotus Herbals Skin Renewal Daily Moisturizing Cream, and Lotus Herbals Tea Tree Clarifying Face Pack are my favourites. To control the hair loss I am using Lotus Herbals Kera-Veda Hennapura Henna Shampoo and conditioner.”
Other than its herbal products, the company’s marketing schemes had made it popular internationally. It is now present in 20 countries across the world is also planning to grow in the South East Asian market.