‘Indians want quality products at low rates’

November 11th, 2008 - 12:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) After 13 years of selling its products in the country, Oriflame India, the wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish direct selling company Oriflame, claims to have understood the Indian market, and says that Indians want quality products at low rates.Oriflame, a cosmetics company, entered the Indian market in 1995 with 59 products and today it sells around 649.

“Initially it was very difficult to understand the Indian market and we did make mistakes, but now we have understood them so well that we know that majority of Indians want good quality products at cheap rates,” Fredrik Widell, managing director of Oriflame India, told IANS.

“We have been doing this successfully and this is the reason for our phenomenal growth rate as year on year we are growing at the rate of 40-50 percent and this is an achievement,” he added.

Oriflame India has product lines for men, women and children in four key categories of colour cosmetics, skincare, hair and personal care and fragrances, at prices that range between Rs.150 and Rs.1,300.

With its direct selling concept, the visibility of this brand is low compared to other international cosmetics brands and this does worry people who want to buy these products.

“We admit that our products are not as visible as other international brands but word of mouth is very common in India,” Widell said.

“With cosmetics there is one important thing - once you get used to the products of one brand, you stick to it - as it becomes a part of your daily routine,” he added.

What are the advantages of direct selling in India?

“It is very convenient and affordable and we have 100,000 people (consultants) who talk about it every day and this is a very good thing for our product range,” he maintained.

“Also with retail prices going high, we do not have to worry about shooting prices of shops in malls. We invest this money in our products and this is the reason we manage to maintain the quality of the products in an affordable price range.”

Talking about manufacturing, Widell said: “80 percent of our products are imported and just 20 percent are manufactured in India.”

The brand has its presence in 1,267 Indian cities and towns and, elaborating on its plans, Widell said that the company is planning to focus more on building infrastructure in different states to continue its growth rate in India.

The company is also planning to enter wellness and oral care categories in India by the end of the fiscal year.

“We believe that wellness and beauty is an excellent combination, so we are expanding our business,” Widell said.

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