India’s Marico exploring Dhaka market for skin care products

May 29th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, May 29 (IANS) After cornering much of the coconut oil market in Bangladesh, India’s hair and skin care conglomerate Marico is tapping the prospects of opening its Kaya brand skin care clinics in the country. “There is a feeling that there is a very good potential here for this sort of service. We will commission a market research to determine the size of the market for skin care clinics in Bangladesh,” Marico’s chairman and Managing Director Harsh Mariwala has said.

Mariwala is here to meet local business leaders and senior officials of Marico Bangladesh Ltd, local distributor of Parachute brand coconut oil, and Aromatic and Camelia soap.

Parachute, the flagship brand of the $477 million worth Marico, now controls majority stake in Bangladesh’s about Taka three billion ($50 million) coconut oil market, registering a double-digit growth in the last couple of years.

Marico launched its Kaya Skin Clinic four years back to offer modern skin care solutions to people.

“If there is market potential, we may open skin care clinics in Bangladesh,” he said. “We may start with two or three clinics and then, over a period of time, we may further expand our operation not only in Dhaka but also out of Dhaka,” he was quoted as saying by The Daily Star newspaper Thursday.

He said Marico would determine the size of investment based on the business potential of the skin care clinic segment.

“If the potential is good we will not hesitate to invest,” Mariwala said.

Marico, which is operating in both domestic and global markets such as the Middle East, South Africa and Bangladesh, has been marketing its Parachute brand coconut oil over the last 10 years.

So far, the group has invested over Tk 750 million ($12.5 million) in Bangladesh in two business segments - setting up of a Parachute oil packaging factory and acquisition of Aromatic and Camelia brand soaps, according to its chairman.

Marico earned a turnover of Tk two billion ($33 million) last year from the sale of its Parachute brand coconut oil.

He said Marico’s experience in Bangladesh has been very positive. “Presently, we are sourcing almost all the raw materials for the product locally, except the copra,” Mariwala said.

The group has not been able to consolidate its position in the soap segment due to stiff competition from local and multinational ones including the market leader Unilever.

Mariwala was however enthusiastic about the business potential in Bangladesh. “Our experience in the last 10 years is very positive. We have not faced any problem with government or regulatory authority,” he said.

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