Beauty isn’t skin-deep: It’s mega business for specialist cosmetics brands such as Kiko Milano
. The Italian
company, at the forefront of Europe’s expanding beauty and wellness
industry, now seeks to harness an increasingly affluent India’s desire to look better, and would invest about GBP 25 million to open 100 stores in the country in the next five years.
Millennials’ obsession with digital platforms and more disposable cash with them would be the ideal investment draw-cards for Kiko Milano, which expects the South Asian nation to be among its top ten markets in a decade.
"Potentially, India is absolutely huge and I don’t think it is an immediate market and it is changing, and it will take 6-8 years,"said Stefano Percassi
, founder of the 20-year-old specialist cosmetics company Kiko. "In the next ten years, India will be among the top ten markets for us. But it depends on the availability of malls and the (overall) economic situation."
Like Europe, where the number of new beauty and wellness shops exceeded that of any other type of retailing outlet in 2016, India is witnessing a boom in the fashion and beauty industries. Beauty salons are now ubiquitous across most Indian towns and cities, with larger shopping malls in metropolitan centres stocking beauty products of major mainstream cosmetic brands.
The demand for beauty and wellness products has risen exponentially as telecom tariffs reduce in India, and the social media become available to its 1.3-billion people.
"In countries with not much entertainment or low access to entertainment, people take to the social media dramatically," Percassi said.
"For example, in the Middle East, it is either shopping centres or their homes. So, what they do is a lot of social media: They have look good and that means more and more business for us." Euromonitor expects India’s beauty and personal care market to swell 67 per cent to Rs.1.43 lakh crore by 2020 from about Rs.85,414 crore in 2016.
Kiko entered India in September last year in a 51-49 per cent joint venture with DLF Brands, and has so far opened three outlets here. Percassi is in New Delhi to roll out its 1,000th global outlet at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the capital. Kiko chose India over the Netherlands for opening its 1,000th shop.
Timmy Sarna, chief executive of DLF Brands, said the company is targeting sales of Rs. 250-300 crore in the next five years. Percassi started Kiko Milano in 1997, and the Bergamo-based company is targeting GBP 900 million in revenue this year. The firm sources almost 80 per cent of its merchandise from within Italy, and the rest from France and Germany, while packaging materials are produced from Asia. Kiko is now present in 20 countries, and has wholly-owned subsidiaries in most markets barring India, the Middle East, and Turkey, and plans to enter China next year.