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Interview 2016-09-14

We will extend our brand presence in Bangladesh & UAE by 2017: Sami Labs founder

Distributed by millennials, Johara cosmetics is the new brand of Sami Direct, a company that has a state-of-the-art Research and Development Center in Bengaluru and USA with over 125 research scientists.

We will extend our brand presence in Bangladesh & UAE by 2017: Sami Labs founder

Crafted from years of meticulous research, Johara is a scientifically driven cosmetics brand of Sami Direct, a subsidiary of the award winning ingredients innovator Sami Group. The result can only be beauty that is pure and real.

For the past 26 years, the Sami Group has succeeded globally as a manufacturer, supplier and marketer of herbal extracts, Cosmeceuticals, minerals, dietary supplements and specialty fine chemicals for the nutritional, cosmetic and pharmaceutical, apart from food industries.

“The learning from launching more than 100 standardised botanical extracts in the past 20years has clearly helped us position Johara in the market. It's not every day that a beautiful Ayurveda inspired Cosmeceuticals brand is born. Hand-picked from the secrets of time-tested botanical ingredients that have evolved from pure science and scripted in many ancient texts across the world,” said Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman, Sami Labs.

In an exclusive conversation with Dr. Majeed, WI Bureau unravelled more details about Sami Direct Company and its Johara Cosmetics brand and business plans. Here is the edited excerpt:

Johara has been doing tremendously well, what are the key factors boosting the growth of the company?

Beauty is increasingly regarded as ‘non-negotiable’. According to a recent report by McCann, 83 per cent of women believe there are higher standards of beauty today than there were in the past. In India, beauty was once restricted to special occasions like weddings, but is now viewed by women as an everyday opportunity. Indian consumers increasingly believe that Ayurveda and its philosophy of trusting nature and natural ingredients to deliver health, wellness and beauty. These consumers pay attention to labels and lean towards products that exclude potentially harmful ingredients. Following this consumer insight, in Johara, our skin care formulae will always be free of Parabens, Sulfate, Synthetic Dye or Formaldehyde. Our skin care products will always have standardized botanical extracts and will be clinically relevant. All our products are dermatologist tested non-irritating and non-sensitizing, just as nature intended. We will never test on animals or use animal ingredients.

What are your plans of spreading Johara’s market presence in tier II and III cities? What’s your strategy behind it?

Johara products are marketed by our SamiDirect distributors who are young men and women entrepreneurs. We support them with product knowledge and other necessary tools to help them market the products across the country. Our selling philosophy with Johara is ‘Try before you buy’ and hence our distributors conduct regular demo session where their customers can use Johara skin care product to check the suitability before they decide to buy.

Johara is a luxury brand. Do you think switching to tier II and III would turn into a milestone for the brand’s growth? In what ways?

We have positioned Johara as an Ayurveda inspired massive brand. Our products are defined as ‘premium but attainable’. Our products have price points that fill the gap between mid-market and premium. All Johara products have standardised botanical ingredients that are available at a premium cost. We do not plan to compromise on the product quality and deliverable. However, we hope to address different consumer segment and affordability through multiple pack sizes.

Market experts believe - so far the brand doesn’t require any support, but growing ahead of the curve will be challenging. How do you confront it?

It is important for brands to understand the changing buying behaviour of consumers. In emerging markets like India, consumers desire complete freedom when it comes to shopping and have adopted new technologies very quickly. As a company, we continuously invest in mobile technology and apps to help our distributors have a seamless shopping experience with physical presence of their customers.

What made you the biggest competitor for other herbal cosmetics brands? What is your biggest challenge to maintain the present position of the brand in fast growing wellness sector?

Johara is a one year young brand. We have launched few products in skin care, colours and body care in phase1. In the next 2-3 years we hope to launch more products to help address multiple skin care needs of our consumers. All our skin care products will fulfil our brand promise of been Ayurveda inspired and will always be free of Paraben, Sulfate, Synthetic Dye or Formaldehyde.

What is the current worth of the brand? Define your retail presence in Indian market? How many signature outlets do you have?

Johara products are available through our SamiDirect Independent Distributors who are present across the country. The products can also be purchased through our distributors online at www.samidirect.com or www.joharacosmetics.com.

In comparison with rival brands, Johara is investing more on the research and development, instead of improving its physical presence in big cities. Is it an intentional move?

SamiDirect is very fortunate to be able to leverage on our Group Company, Sami Sabinsa’s R&D investment. The company has a state-of-the-art R&D Center in Bengaluru and USA with over 125 research scientist. Today, the Sabinsa and Sami Group hold a strong intellectual property portfolio with 110+ US and International Patents to its credit, including worldwide awards and recognitions. We are committed to offer our customers an unrivalled range of Cosmeceuticals products that are acknowledged globally. Our Cosmeceuticals are derived from natural botanical sources to meet the changing skin care needs of the modern women. We ensure that our ingredients offer a safe and natural approach to enhance beauty and health. This perfect blend of world class products and a revolutionary business plan will make Johara a name to reckon with in the beauty business.

What about your Ecommerce presence? Which eRetail channels Johara is using and why? What about your omni-channel presence in Indian market?

Johara products are sold through our SamiDirect Independent distributors across the country. If a customer does not have a Distributor then they can reach us at www.samidirect.com or www.joharacosmetics.com to buy the product.

Unveil your brand presence in International market. What are your plans with Global market?

SamiDirect has aggressive international market launch and expansion plans. We launched the company in Malaysia last year and have plans to launch in Bangladesh and UAE by 2017.

What are your future plans with the growth and expansion of Johara?

We have aggressive 2-3 years of new product launch plans for Johara. The brand will also be offered in international markets, as and when we launch the SamiDirect Business across the world.

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