Why Kolkata is a big pull for the beauty market

The Indian beauty market is exploding, driven by young consumers who are willing to splurge and experiment. (Photo: Mint)
The Indian beauty market is exploding, driven by young consumers who are willing to splurge and experiment. (Photo: Mint)


  • SSBeauty's Biju Kassim on opening the biggest store in Kolkata and the growing beauty market

The fight for the top spot in the Indian beauty industry is still on. From big-ticket international labels such as Nars, Laura Mercier, Rare Beauty and Fenty Beauty coming to India, to a number of homegrown brands being in expansion mode, skincare and beauty companies are racing to be on the customer's must-buy list. This boom has also resulted in the launch of several physical stores over the past year or so, with companies like Tira, Nykaa and Tata Cliq Palette increasing their offerings.

SSBeauty is the latest one. Last month, the multi-beauty platform opened its 14th store, the biggest one till date, in Kolkata's Quest Mall. Besides homegrown brands, the 9,000 sq.ft store offers international names such as Dior, NARS, Armani Beauty, Kilian, Laura Mercier, Givenchy, Clarins, Lancôme, Kiehl's, Shiseido, Jo Malone and Tom Ford. It also has a dedicated “Treatment Room", offering facials and treatments and a “Nail Bar" too—all an attempt to stay ahead in the game and offer something unique to a customer.

Also read: What keeps India glowing?

The SSBeauty store in Kolkata is spread across 9,000 sq.ft
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The SSBeauty store in Kolkata is spread across 9,000 sq.ft

In an interview with Lounge, Biju Kassim, the chief executive of SSBeauty, discusses the trends of the Indian beauty industry, the eastern Indian market and what the beauty consumer wants. Edited excerpts:

What made you choose Kolkata for your biggest store?

Kolkata epitomizes sophistication in the East. You can't overlook the growing demand for luxury beauty experiences in Kolkata and its surrounding towns.

The beauty market is getting more crowded and competitive...

The Indian beauty industry is undoubtedly competitive, with numerous big players vying for market share. What sets brands apart is their ability to innovate, adapt to changing consumer preferences, and deliver exceptional value. To win the beauty game in India, it's essential to prioritize quality, authenticity, and customer-centricity. Building strong relationships with customers, offering personalized experiences, and staying ahead of trends are key factors that contribute to success in the dynamic beauty market.

Is there more space in the market for multi-retailers and beauty brands?

Absolutely, India's beauty landscape is vast and diverse, with a growing population of beauty-conscious consumers. Moreover, the beauty industry thrives on innovation and diversity, and the entry of new players only adds to the richness of offerings available to consumers.

Where does the beauty market stand in 2024?

In 2024, the beauty market continues to show resilience and growth. While the post-pandemic revenge buying boom may have subsided, the beauty market remains robust, driven by evolving consumer preferences, especially from tier two and three cities, digital transformation, and increasing awareness about self-care and personal grooming. As people continue to prioritize health, grooming and well-being, the demand for beauty products and services is expected to remain strong in the years to come.

What brings a customer back to a brand?

It goes beyond just products—it's about the overall experience. Whether it's the personalized service, the luxurious ambiance, or the exclusive offering and on-ground layout. You need to leave a lasting impression on the customer.

Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based journalist.

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