A recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan on Trends and Opportunities in Surfactants for Personal Care revealed that the Indian surfactants market earned revenues of US $2,278 million in 2013 and is expected to grow at 13 percent annually to reach $3,748 million in 2017, approximately. Meanwhile, the personal care surfactants market is estimated to grow at 23 percent from 2013 till 2017 and attain $547 million in revenue. The study covers the Indian surfactants market in general and the personal care surfactants segment in particular.
India has a large market for niche beauty products, with cosmetics companies exclusively marketing oil-free fairness face washes and creams, the report stated. Surfactant-based face washes, hair creams and gels are increasingly replacing traditional products because of ease in using the product, its cleansing ability, and ease in customizing the product. With the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies riding on these innovations to penetrate the potentially enormous personal care market in India with approximately 750 million and growing users, new avenues for the use of surfactants are expected to open up. The average Indian consumer has a wider product and price bracket to choose from, which augurs well for the surfactants market for personal care.
“Multifunctional surfactants are likely to gain widespread acceptance in the Indian consumer segment, especially in the home care segment”, said Frost & Sullivan’s Chemicals, Materials & Foods Analyst. “Non-ionic surfactants with their inherent bio-friendly properties and degradability are also expected to make headway in the Indian market over the next four years.”
However, the study also pointed out that being a price-sensitive market, escalating raw material costs and the subsequent increase in product prices may dampen consumer interest in expensive product innovations, and may impede new product development in the sector. Manufacturers must deliver the best quality at the lowest price to establish a foothold in this domain. Product innovation that focusses on niche uses and convenience (like the use of multifunctional surfactants – a single surfactant to cater to multiple domestic applications) is vital for the growth of this industry. Consumers are becoming more perceptive towards value addition, hence anticipating consumer needs and broadening the application base of surfactants can expand the bandwidth for growth in the Indian market.