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NEW DELHI : Atomy Enterprise India, a subsidiary of Korean direct-selling brand Atomy, will invest approximately 250 crore in the Indian market by 2025 to set up over three manufacturing units in India to supply products to the world. This investment will come in the form of an FDI.

The company specialises in skincare products, health supplements and food. It will focus on the food category to grow its India manufacturing business, said Abraham Lee, chief executive officer, Atomy Enterprise India. This will also include the supplements category which he said is consumed more frequently and hence has better sales.

The company aims to become a direct selling platform that leverages e-commerce. Globally, its business model is such that it lets its members or sellers purchase its products from an online "shopping mall", and not directly from another distributor.

"Right now, we have 80 different suppliers around the world because we have grown to become a $1.7 billion company. But in India we are still young," he added. The company began operations in India in 2020.

The India arm's investment will primarily be deployed to set up its manufacturing facilities in the country where Atomy will be a majority stakeholder. Following this, the company will deploy funds for its next phase of research and development.

"When we invest in any country in a manufacturing plant, we tend to invest on a 50-50 basis with a local partner. This helps us control quality," said Lee. The company currently works with 14 lakh distributors in the country.

India is one of the top markets and number one across the globe when it comes to the demand for K-products and so the most important market for Korean manufacturers and brands, said another player. Seo Youngdoo, CEO & founder, Korikart, an online retailer of all-things Korean in India said the country is one of the top countries across the globe when it comes to the demand for K-products and is a strategically important market for Korean manufacturers. While he didn't define the exact size of the market, he said that import and export between India and Korea had grown by 38% in the last one year alone.

"The K-wave has definitely put Korean culture in the spotlight. Indians aren't just aware of K-traditions, thanks to television serials but also about fashion, food, culture and traditions. K-pop and K-dramas have generated curiosity among the Indians and have been the reason for an uptick in sales of Korean products.

More recently the popularity of Squid Game has also fuelled the sales of K-products a great deal and contributed to the growth of everything Korean in India. Youngdoo's own brand has seen a spike in sales owing to the pandemic of 300% since March 2020 and is currently reporting over 40-50% month-on-month growth.

Atomy was founded in 2009 in Korea and started to establish its presence overseas with its branch offices in the USA in 2010, followed by Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Thailand. The company's focus has been on 'global sourcing, global sales'. For instance, its avocado oil from Mexico is distributed through its channel to over 50 different countries.

According to Allied Market Research, the K-beauty products market size was valued at $10.2 billion in 2019 in India. This is projected to reach $13.9 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.0% from 2021 to 2027. Asia-Pacific is one of the prominent regions in the market that solely accounted for approximately 70% of the total K-beauty market share in 2019.

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