Revlon, with the distinction of being the first international color cosmetics brand to be launched in India in 1995, was started with an alliance between Modi-Mundipharma PVT Ltd. (a joint venture between the Umesh K Modi Group of India and Mundipharma Group of Switzerland) and Revlon of USA.
The company’s vision was to establish Revlon as the quintessential and most innovative beauty company in India. Today, the brand is a global-standard cosmetic, hair color, hair care, body sprays, fragrances and Skincare Company.
In an exclusive conversation with IMAGES Retail Bureau, Rajiv Kumar Bobal, Director Sales and Marketing, Modi-Mundipharma Beauty Products Pvt Limited, talks about the company’s India journey, its expansion plans, and the growth he has observed in the beauty industry in India. Excerpts…
You were aggressive in opening EBOs in 2017, what has been the total count last year? What are your plans for 2018?
We had plans to open 80 stores by the end of 2017 and we reached our target and went ahead to launch 83 stores in total. Our new target is to reach 140 stores by the end of 2018.
How much will these EBOs contribute to your total India revenue?
India as a country is taking retail forward. As of now we are just planning to increase EBOs and achieve 15 per cent growth and we hope to reach up to 20 per cent by 2018 end.
What are the preferred store types for Revlon in India – full-fledged EBOs or kiosks? What is your location strategy – malls or high streets?
We don’t have a fixed strategy. Or main motive is to make the brand visible. Cosmetics fall under the category of impulse purchase. A woman sees something new, she will buy it. So visibility is key for us then be it in a high street or a mall, an EBO or an MBO.
What is the growth in the beauty industry in India, a country where beauty may not be priority for a lot of people?
This was true some years ago, but of late, beauty has really evolved as an industry. People are experimenting a lot with new brands that are coming in. There used to be typically three or four beauty brands in India earlier. However, about five years ago, beauty brands from developed economies started foraying into India. Then more recently, brands from developing countries like Turkey have started coming into India as well.
So, the industry is growing, there’s going to be a lot of tough competition going ahead, and of course there is going to be a lot of choices available to the consumer in the market.
Tell us about your Omnichannel strategy for India.
We are opening up a lot of avenues of sale and doing great business in e-commerce as we go along. We are planning to upgrade the online side of the business, come up with various offers and combos for consumers. Omnichannel is at the top of our minds. It is a strategy that we are evolving constantly. The priority for now is to open more EBOs, establish a regular store growth pattern. Once we do this, we will certainly come in tune with the world as far as Omnichannel is concerned.
What does Revlon India do to attract and retain consumers in a market which is brimming with cosmetic brands – both foreign and homegrown?
I think first and foremost, the quality of products that Revlon offers is the main reason that the consumers prefer us. We have done a lot of research on this and we understand the kind of quality and safety in products that the consumer demands. Our stringent American regulations in terms of quality control work in our favour.
Apart from that, we upgrade products are per latest trends, fashions and colours which are in vogue across the globe. We also innovate a lot to create new and higher quality products. Most of our products are ahead of our competitors because we use superior technology.
What are some product innovations that Revlon is bringing into India?
There are two things that we are doing – firstly, we are using latest technology to develop new products and secondly, we are also experimenting with shades to suit the Indian skin tone and climate. Since almost 70 per cent of the products are manufactured in India, as per our American guidelines, we make sure that we come up with shades which are in tune with Indian demands.
Some of our latest products will showcase the above:
1. Revlon ColorStay Exactify Liquid Liner – The recently launched ColorStay Exactify Liquid Liner has the innovative and easy to use Exactify Wheel Tip that promises a comfortable, smooth and exactifying line that stays up to 24 hours.
2. Revlon ColorStay 2-in-1 – Another of our breakthrough and revolutionary product is the two-in-one case of a compact-cum-concealer — a first for a cosmetic brand. They are so precisely shade matched that women automatically prefer this.
3. Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor – When it comes to hydrating, high-definition and lightweight lipcolor, the final word is the gorgeous-looking Ultra HD Gel Lipcolors. There’s simply no match to these darlings!
Tell us about Revlon Lounge, the exclusive beauty lounge that was launched in January 2018.
Located and spread across 660 sq. ft. in Phoenix Mall Pune, it is the largest and one-of-a-kind exclusive beauty lounge with plush space which boasts of a ‘Shampoo Station’ for complimentary hair colour activity. It also has a designated space for makeovers. It also boasts of a luxurious experience with a specialised gondola right in the middle of the store to choose from a variety of hair colour. All display unit and visuals come with a back light and as per Revlon standards, the lounge has a complete range of products to choose from. We are in talks with other mall developers to roll out such lounges across all metro cities by 2018.
What kind of competition do face from homegrown brands?
Indian brands are very differently positioned from us. We have an edge over them in terms of technology and understanding of trends. Consumers want to follow global trends – something we understand better because of our American heritage. We then adapt these trends to India. The way we behave is very different from homegrown brands to be honest.