L’Oréal plans growth blitz to double India biz in 3-5 years

India’s beauty and personal care (BPC) market is projected to touch $30 billion by 2027.
India’s beauty and personal care (BPC) market is projected to touch $30 billion by 2027.


  • French firm expects to grow at twice the rate of domestic beauty & personal care industry.

NEW DELHI : French beauty products giant L’Oréal plans to double its India business over three to five years, growing at twice the pace of the local personal care market, expecting higher disposable incomes to spur demand for hair colours, skin care creams and fragrances.

L’Oréal, which entered India in 1994, sells a range of beauty, personal care and coloured cosmetic products under brands such as Garnier, Maybelline New York, L’Oréal Paris and Kiehl’s. Garnier, its mass market brand for hair colours, shampoos and skin care products, is the company’s largest brand in the country.

“From our perspective, the idea is very clear—We are No. 1 in the world and No. 2 in India. Can we grow to become No. 1 in India in coming times?," said Aseem Kaushik, managing director, L’Oréal India. HUL with brands such as Lakme is the largest in the beauty and personal care market.

Kaushik has spent close to three decades with L’Oréal and took over as India MD earlier this year.

“We want to grow two times the overall beauty market in the country. Over the next three to five years, India’s beauty market is set to grow between 8% to 10%. Irrespective of the growth rates, the mandate will remain the same i.e. to grow two times the overall market. If the market remains dynamic, we would probably double our business in the next three to five years," said Kaushik added.

Kaushik said India’s economic fundamentals are very “sound" thanks to its demographic dividend, with half the country’s consumers still under the age of 30.

Kaushik said growth will be driven by skin care, apart from greater presence of its global brands across channels such as specialty retail stores, e-commerce, pharmacies and mom-and-pop stores. In India, its products, led by hair colours and face washes, are sold at one million retail outlets.

Last month, the company opened its dermatological beauty division in India comprising brands such as La Roche-Posay, Cicaplast and CeraVe. “A big category of focus in the coming years will be skin care. Skin care in India is evolving very, very fast because digitally connected consumers now have the ability to look for the right solutions for their concerns. In the last three weeks, we launched the L’Oréal dermatological division, fronted by CeraVe in India. These products would be recommended through dermatologists and sold through pharmacies in the country," he added.

L’Oreal Paris and Garnier will also continue to play their part in expanding the company’s skincare business.

India’s beauty and personal care (BPC) market is projected to touch $30 billion by 2027. Although per capita BPC spending in India is still low at $14, against $313 in the US and $38 in China, the market has boomed in recent years.

Online BPC sales are set to touch $10 billion by 2027, accounting for roughly 33% of the market then, according to a report by Redseer Management Consulting.

E-commerce firms such as Nykaa and Flipkart have helped expand the market for beauty products in India that lacks speciality beauty stores.

L’Oréal has been ahead of the curve in digital adoption, acquiring virtual try-on platforms and building strong sales of its products online. “Close to 28% of L’Oreal total business today comes from e-commerce and we are in a similar space in India with some of our bigger divisions," he said.

The company that leads the beauty market globally operates four divisions—consumer products, professional products, L’Oréal luxe, and the dermatological beauty division. It sells brands such as Kérastase, L’Oréal Professionnel, Maybelline New York, NYX Professional Makeup, Yves Saint Laurent, Urban Decay and Shu Uemura.

In 2022, the L’Oréal group reported sales of 38.23 billion euros; its products are sold in 150 countries.

On the luxury business, Kaushik said the company is building the fragrances business in a big way. L’Oréal’s luxury brands are growing at a much faster pace than mass-market ones in India, he said. It recently launched YSL’s Libre in India, apart from new Prada, Diesel and Armani perfumes.

“We’ve put them back on the map in a big way and we think that the acquisition of the luxury consumer in India will be through fragrances first, followed by out other two other axis which are makeup and skincare," he added.

Over an investor call in August, the company’s top management said that India is already a 500 million- euro business in terms of size.

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