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Za: From Strength to Strength

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, Managing Director, shares his plans for the brand

Do tell us about the creation of the India subsidiary?

Shiseido Co Ltd launched its wholly-owned subsidiary ‘Shiseido India Private Limited’ in Mumbai in March 2014. This initiative is a part of the company’s ‘Asian Breakthrough strategy’ that focuses on growth in Asian countries, including India that boasts of bourgeoning beauty mar ket, which is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Shiseido Co Ltd’s flagship namesake brand ‘Shiseido’ has been present in the Indian market since 2001 through a local distributor, but with the establishment of this subsidiary, our focus is on further strengthening
our foothold in the Indian market with our premium flagship brand ‘Za’, (pronounced zee-ei).

What’s been the investment in India so far?

The company has made an initial investment of Rs 650,000,000.

What is the product range now?
Designated as one of Shiseido’s global megabrands, Za is available in 12 countries including Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore,
China and Taiwan, amongst others. The brand boasts of a highly innovative and advanced skin care and make-up line that is designed especially for 20 to 35 year old urban women who desire for sophisticated and fashionable beauty. Shiseido has launched three distinctive lines from Za this year – an advanced Whitening range ‘Za True White’, a Youth Retention range ‘Za Perfect Solution’ and a skin care meets make-up pressed foundation range ‘Za True White Two-Way Foundation’.

Where all will Za products be available?
Za is available at multiple points of sale including modern trade formats like department stores and multi-brand beauty stores in addition to a large number of beauty specialty stores in traditional trade. The brand launched in Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Bangalore, this month we have also forays into e-commerce with e-tailer ‘Nykaa’.

How are you training the Beauty Advisors?
Our brand Za operates on an assisted selling model, which means most of the points of sale will feature our expert Beauty Advisors. In Shiseido’s 142 year old history, the importance and prominence of Beauty Advisors to our overall business and culture is undisputable. The same principles apply here in India. These young women are face of our brand and company and we have scouted all over to get the best talent from the industry and ensured that they are trained and equipped to represent Za in the best possible fashion.

What is your view on the Beauty and Wellness industry of India?

The Beauty and Wellness Industry is dynamic in India, the country is seeing unprecedented growth across all categories, benefits and formats. The primary drivers for this is, indeed, the growing economic influence of India not only in Asia, but worldwide. Overall, there is immense economic optimism championed by a young Indian population that is more aware, more well-travelled and more exposed and connected than ever before. This growth can also be attributed to the increased initiatives by both domestic and international beauty players who are ensuring that the country is aligned to the global products and services offered.

What will be the other initiatives that the brand will take in India?
Za is a highly acclaimed brand loved by millions of metropolitan women around the world for its high efficacy, sensorials and elegance. We have a focused approach at reaching out to the consumers through the most relevant touchpoints. Our objective is to establish awareness of the brand through multiple mediums like print, digital, below the line activation, events, and of course in-store activities.

What’s in the pipeline?
We are working towards increasing the presence of Za year on year. It will be our endeavour to ensure that we offer the ‘best in class’ products, experiences and service to our customers.