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One must focus on becoming a strong domestic player in order to grow in international markets: Nitin Passi

Amid the ongoing competition, brands under the beauty industry umbrella have to prove their metal in order to climb the ladder of growth.

By Feature Writer
One must focus on becoming a strong domestic player in order to grow in international markets: Nitin Passi

Channelling a way to the top is what every brand in the beauty industry wants, but only some get it clear. In a conversation with Nitin Passi, Director, Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd, we got to know what he thinks about the beauty industry and his definition of channelling the perfect way to success for his brand.

Which market, according to you, should be targeted for overall growth in the industry?
As happens in any industry and in any company, firstly, you must know how to be a very strong domestic player, which is my focus in the immediate future in India and its neighbouring countries and the entire SAARC region. We will deploy a large amount of resources for the SAARC region to grow and to become one of the top players in the beauty segment.We are not any FMCG company; we are pure play Beauty Company. We operate in two segments – one is the retail segment and the other is the salon or spa segment. We want to become strong players in these two segments and we have taken our baby steps towards the goal. We opened our office in the Middle East some 3-4 years back and we are doing decently well in some of those countries.I think a large market requires large resources, whether it is the American market or the Chinese market and we should be ready in the times to come to tap these markets.

Among so many areas to give attention to, which area should be focussed more to excel in the market?
There are many management jargons thrown around at lot of times and personally I am not a believer of the bottom of pyramid because I feel there is no money at the bottom of pyramid for beauty services, which involve basic haircuts etc. The money is in the middle and I see India as a diamond and not a pyramid in terms of beauty services. So, I think if we start targeting the lower middle class and the middle class, this is where the tremendous growth will be. They are waiting to be catered to and this will boost the growth of the beauty sector and the value generation can happen. The industry should focus on this segment rather than focusing on luxury and premium segments which have been focused on traditionally by everyone. They can keep growing at a good pace, but the numbers are very small and I don’t think focusing only on 30-40 cities is enough. There are more than 5000 towns that can be targeted. So, according to me, we should leave the bottom of the pyramid to the basic services providers

In terms of competition among different brands in the beauty industry, what is the step ahead to diversify or to consolidate it’s already offered product in order to expand?
If the question is regarding Lotus diversifying, the DNA of a FMCG company is completely different from a pure play beauty company. If you take international examples, a pure play beauty company and a FMCG company works on extremely different stands. A pure play beauty company will have tremendous resources in research and development, in brand management and will also be experienced for the consumers unlike a pure play FMCG company which will be having distribution strengths and various processes which will be more transactional in nature.So, Lotus will always continue to be a pure play beauty company whether it is in the emerging channels of beauty, direct to the consumers or whether it is through different brands or geographies, but I think we will never diversify into related or unrelated FMCG areas and will continue to be a pure play beauty company.

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