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We aim for 5 x growth over next five years says Sharmili Rajput

In an exclusive conversation with Sharmili Rajput, CEO, FACES Cosmetics India sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.

Tags: FACES, Sephora, Bobbi Brown, cosmetic

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  October 08, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
We aim for 5 x growth over next five years says Sharmili Rajput
Sharmili Rajput

What has changed within FACES since the brand has been acquired by Sequoia Capital?

We are silently working towards building the base for the company to have very strong growth momentum. Now, our target is to deliver 5 x growths over next five years. To achieve the same, we are creating building blocks within the organization to deliver that kind of growth. From sharply defining the brand identity to have much more focused approach for marketing we are working in all domains. In fact, this is the first time we have hired actress Kriti Sanon as our brand ambassador. Also, we have ventured into television advertising for the first time.

Also, we are working towards expanding our distribution. Now, we have almost 1300 shop-in-shops (SIS) spread across more than 100 cities. Also after Sequoia we have really up the social media strategy and very shortly we would be launching upgraded website.

So, what are the plans to scale up the distribution?

Right now the focus is on SIS. We are already present in all leading departmental chains such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Big Bazaar and Spencer’s amongst others.  In fact, we are also planning to venture into franchising.

So how many franchised stores the company is targeting for next two years? Also are you looking to tie up with salon chains as the part of distribution strategy?

We are looking to add 500-600 more stores. These stores will be healthy mix of franchising, company exclusive and MBOS.

As far as salon tie-up is concerned, it has limited opportunity as far as color cosmetic is concerned. We may look at selective distribution for small number of SKUS. Salon is good sales opportunity for hair care products but not for color cosmetics except nail paints or bridal makeup that too in limited amount and selective months.  We don’t see salon much retailing happen via salon chains, so it cannot be our key distribution channel.

In last couple of year Indian beauty market is heavily penetrated by many MNC brands such as Sephora, Bobbi Brown amongst others. In such scenario, what kind of challenges do you see in beauty retail?

India is still a under penetrated category. The market of color cosmetic is still very small compared to beauty and personal care market; it is just a small part of it.  The overall market size of color cosmetics would hardly stands at Rs 6500 cr in India. However, this category has the potential for double digit growth. In fact, we are doubling our turnover year on year basis and created strong a base for 5x growth.

Moreover, the kind of growth India is offering is not available anywhere else at the moment. I do agree the competition has increase but in terms of penetration of products we have long way to go. In fact, there is a lot of potential in niche categories such as kajal, kohl etc. Also, because of foreign brands customer evolution is happening and their exposure level is changing which ultimately boosting the category.

What are the plans to expand the product portfolio?

We have more than more 400 products in color cosmetics. In fact, we have more than 100 launches take place every year. Now we have ventured into premium range primarily to cater our loyal customers.  The price point for premium range is between Rs800 to Rs1200.

If we talk about color cosmetics, home grown Nykaa has done exceptionally well. Do you see them as competition?

They are our partner because we are present on Nykaa, so they are our business partner.

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