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Interview
 
December 12 , 2014
Bottega di LungaVita is a private label of OFI (Officina Farmaceutica Italiana). OFI is one of  Europe's leading companies in development and manufacture of demo-cosmetic, dietary - nutritional products and medical devices. The brand was introduced in India by Arjun Khurana, managing director, Bottega di LungaVita, and Tisha Khurana, executive director, Bottega di LungaVita, in 2013 where they established a joint venture by having 51 per cent share in OFI India. Through this association they wish to increase the presence of their private labels as well. In an email interaction with Anurag More, Arjun Khurana, spoke about the cosmetics industry, its challenges and how the industry is coping with it. Excerpts:

How big is the cosmetics industry in India? What is your share in the market?
The cosmetics industry in India has seen a tremendous growth over the years. Out of Rs 6,000 crore worth estimated cosmetics market, in India the industry has a share of 16 per cent. Global beauty trends and the numbers are prompting more international players to set up shops and increase their presence in India. The graph is expected to elevate in the coming future.

Brief us about your products offering in cosmetics.
Bottega di LungaVita is the natural cosmetic line that offers the most cutting edge products for all beauty needs skin care, anti-ageing, mom and babies, men, aromatherapy, bath and shower and so on. The quality of its formulas, the excellence of its production and its particular concern for the efficacy and skin compatibility of the product are our company's strengths. The brand was awarded two Nobel prizes for their stemcell and aqua pairing technologies. We have successfully launched our product lines like Vita-Age Aurum, Vita-Age Prestige, Vita-Age Man etc. and wish to introduce their consumers a wider array of skincare products.

What makes you different from other players?
The products we provide are extremely organic. We have intensive research before launching any product as we want to give our best to our patrons. We do not just provide products for external well being but an overall health of the customers. We have a range of diverse products that serve our purpose of complete health and nutrition. All our retail formats are designed keep the Italian essence of the brand intact.

What are the challenges faced by the industry?
Every individual is brand loyal. The only challenge is to break that barrier and offer something healthier and better to consumers from us. Hopefully our products have been well received so far making our job a little easier. Also, in a competitive market like India, the major challenge is acceptance of the brand as more international players enter the market.

How is the industry coping with those challenges?
The cosmetics industry in India is rapidly growing so we are at pace with it as much as possible. It is very important to reach the right audience at the right time to cope with these challenges. Once you offer products which are extremely reliable, the challenge is over as we have a brand loyal patron.

What are the trends that you have witnessed in the industry?
The people are now choosing simplicity over edgy overdo. So the trend is to keep it simple. Many people have become health-conscious and have started using health supplements to keep up the momentum of good health. Our health supplements have been extremely popular in Europe and we hope to bring them to India soon.

How do MNCs look at Indian cosmetics market?
MNCs see immense opportunity in the Indian market. We have already garnered a positive response in the northern part of India. Hopefully our brand will have a national acceptance in the coming time.

How are the government regulations on import and export for personal care products in India?
In terms of regulatory challenges the documentation work is very long and tedious. It is very time- consuming to enter the market. A lot of patience is kept by me to deal with government authorities.

What products do you plan to launch in the short- and long-term?
We recently launched our product line 'Sol Leon' which works against sun tanning and sunburns. We also launched a skin whitening range for the Indian masses. In future we would like to provide coloured cosmetics, hair colours, probiotics and various health supplements to all our patrons.

Tell us about your expansion plans.
With great associations we have managed to penetrate north India and generate 70 points of scale. We aim at having 100 points of sale by 2015. We have also garnered 5-7 points in the west with our entry in Goa. We hope to capture the entire Indian market with our skincare products and offer accessible luxury to everyone.

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