International cosmetic brands have always been accepted well in India. Acknowledging this Vipera Cosmetics, a Poland based brand has plans to venture into the nation via the franchise route. In an interview Amit Gandhi, Director, VIP Ventures shares the brands future plans.
Abha Garyali (AG): How was the idea of ‘Vipera Cosmetics’ conceptualised? Share with us the growth and success journey of ‘Vipera Cosmetics’.
Amit Gandhi (AG): Vipera Cosmetics was created in Poland more than two decades ago. Having already created a strong presence across Europe, the brand embarked on an aggressive global expansion drive in partnership with UAE based promoter VIP Ventures in the year 2010. In the first six months of 2012, Vipera Cosmetics recorded 200 per cent growth in sales in GCC markets (Arab states) and 75 per cent growth in the UAE compared to the same period last year. This scorching pace has been maintained over the two years since the brand was launched in GCC markets. Vipera Cosmetics today has more than 5,000 points of sale across 18 countries.
AG: When and what motivated you to foray in India? What are your future plans?
AG: India has a booming color cosmetics market - which is growing at the rate of 20 per cent per year. Global researcher, Euromonitor values the Indian market at Rs 1,090 crore; with lips and nail color contributing about three-fourths of overall sales. VIP Ventures is very excited about launching Vipera Cosmetics in India. The sheer size of the market and the potential it offers is an obvious motivating factor.
Moreover, we are also in discussion with potential partners to introduce Vipera in the Far East as well as in Africa.
AG: What inspired you to adopt the franchise route for expansion of your brand in India?
AG: Given the size of the Indian market and our aim to quickly expand the brand across the country, we feel franchising would be the most effective model for us to pursue in India. Having studied the market for almost two years, we feel confident that this is the right time to launch Vipera Cosmetics. The proposition of a ‘stand-alone international cosmetics brand’ concept together with a low investment level and high growth potential will, in our opinion, is very attractive to entrepreneurs, particularly women, across the country.
We believe Vipera Cosmetics, with its extensive range of color cosmetics and very reasonable price point will be a hit in the Indian market.
AG: How is Vipera Cosmetics different from other cosmetic brands? What is success mantra for the Company?
AG: Vipera has one of the largest colour offerings of any cosmetics brand. Currently, it offers 800 SKU’s which include more than 300 nail polish colours, over 200 eye shadows, more than 125 colours in lipsticks and lipglosses and more than 60 different face powders. The success of Vipera can also be attributed to our ability to keep pace with fashion and beauty trends, an extensive range of products and colours, cosmetics of the highest quality and an underlying ethos to offer customers incredible value for money.
AG: What are your expansions plans in India?
AG: In just over two years since its launch in the GCC, 30 Vipera Cosmetics outlets have been opened. Under the current expansion plan, Vipera will have more than 60 outlets open in the region by end of 2013. However we expect to start the first Vipera Cosmetics store in India by January 2013.
AG: What can you predict about the future success of ‘Vipera Cosmetics’?
AG: As we all know, no one can predict the future! We can simply put all our efforts in trying to make Vipera a huge success in every territory we venture into. Vipera Cosmetics has been successful so far due to its appeal to women of all nationalities, backgrounds and ages.
AG: Where do you see your brand in the next five years?
AG: Our goal is to make Vipera Cosmetics one of the top five color cosmetics brand in India.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspirants keen on taking the franchise for Vipera Cosmetics?
AG: The following fundamentals of the Indian market make Vipera Cosmetics a very attractive proposition for aspiring franchisees:
AG: What are the basic fundamentals that you seek for in your franchisees?
AG: Sincere passion for making their business a success is the fundamental quality we look for. A franchisee of Vipera Cosmetics need to not only have the required capital, but importantly believe in the brand and share our vision for India. Franchisees with some experience in the cosmetics industry in India should get off to a flying start.
AG: What is the initial investment and area requirement as needed by aspiring franchisees?
AG: In line with our strategy to penetrate the market and make the business opportunity for franchisees very attractive, we have created a model that minimizes upfront investment. A Vipera Cosmetics store will only require a carpet area between 200 to 350 sq. ft. We believe for a metro city in India, the overall capital investment required will be approximately Rs 25-35 lakh for a store.
AG: Share with us the challenges that can be faced by your franchisees? How can they be overcome?
AG: The obvious challenge for a franchisee is that the Vipera Cosmetics brand is new in India. However, as with every other market Vipera has ventured into, we are confident that the brand- with its winning combination of excellent quality, vast product range, incredible colors and excellent value for money will quickly build a loyal customer following.