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Anuj Saxena, Managing Director, Elder Healthcare is not a conventional businessman. He has grown up within the framework of the Rs 100 crore Elder Pharma and set his sights on growing the beauty business for the company. A slew of products such as Shahnaz Husain’s Fair One, German company BeYu and American hair product Just For Men and VLCC’s Fuel for Men have come into his purvey for distribution. He is also an actor, model and a restaurant owner.

It’s a feat, juggling so many professional balls…
I believe one has enough time to do everything. I have studied medicine, found my love in acting with a movie to be released in April and working in the company here I realized there is a big market for beauty products. We have enormous plans to grow in this segment.

What do these plans entail?
Elder entered the grooming segment in 2005 when the opportunity came to distribute Fair One for Shahnaz Husain and we thought it was time to look at this business seriously. I had been working with Elder Pharma since 1991 when I finished my medical studies at Grant Medical College. I’ve
always been creatively inclined — this was right up my alley. I decided to move from pharma to consumer.

Was it a diffi cult road to walk?
My family is from pharma and the consumer business is very expensive and investment oriented. But this segment has already made Rs 25 crore and we have a lot of plans including launching our own personal care products in the first quarter of the next financial year. We have tied up with an Italian brand for body lotions and hair products. We have also launched Just For Men in the hair color segment last September after a test launch in Kolkata and Bengaluru. Milind Soman is the brand ambassador for this one.

Fuel, Fair One, Just For Men are all products for men. Do you see men as a bigger target market?
I’m really interested in the men’s market. It is not too cluttered and I feel that a lot of Indian companies don’t understand this market well. I would like to be a leading player here. In this fi rst quarter of the new fi nancial year, we are relaunching Shahnaz Husain’s Fair One with a modified and new packaging.

Launching BeYu is an ambitious project — make-up in a more premium price segment.
BeYu is a trendy, fashionable brand which we launched in March 2009. We started with four stores and now it is in 25 to 30 stores in the modern retail segment. We have several plans for the brand, including looking at a standalone store. The BeYu Fashion Awards were started in Bengaluru in
October ‘09 and will be held in New Delhi in July/August this year. This is a platform to honor upcoming fashion designers and it helps grow the brand. It’s all about creating a noise level about the products. Creating awareness is a process one has to follow step-by-step.

What are your plans for 2010 in the beauty segment?
We plan to enter the fragrance space in the next financial quarter. We have many plans for this segment to become an FMCG company to reckon with. We have been growing at 40 percent the last three years and are now making the road map for the next three years. We have to consolidate on our growth and then take on the many opportunities that are there.

You are also the hero in an upcoming film?
I am working in Jugmohan Mundhra’s movie opposite Udita Goswami which is to be released in April. I have earlier done various TV serials such as Kkusum, Kumkum and Sar Ankhon Par. I also have plans for more films with my Maverick Productions.

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