French beauty products maker L'Oreal is contemplating strengthening its herbal portfolio in response to the growing clout of Patanjali Ayurved.
Speaking to Business Standard, Jean-Christophe Letellier, MD, L'Oreal India, said that the global beauty products maker would consider introducing brands such as Sanoflore, which is positioned as a natural alternative to conventional cosmetics, into the Indian market in the future.
“We do have what we call 'Champions of Nature' in our portfolio. So, organic products under Body Shop or the Kiehl's range of high-end products are all positioned on the naturals platform. Even conventional, mass-market products under Garnier use a high-degree of natural ingredients in them,” Letellier says.
However, given the growing acceptance of herbal products across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in India, Letellier admits the marriage of conventional science and Ayurveda at L'Oreal is expected to grow.
“We have a research & development centre in Bengaluru, which is working on formulations that marry conventional science and Ayurveda. Action on this front will grow in the future," he says.
In the last five years, L'Oreal has pumped nearly Rs 1,000 crore across areas such as manufacturing, marketing, distribution and R&D in a bid to ramp up revenues from India.
India revenues of L'Oreal, for the record, are in excess of Rs 2,100 crore, making it a key market for the French beauty products maker within the South Asia-Pacific region.
The firm is also likely to line up its second investment tranche in the future, which will be used to not only improve local manufacturing and distribution, but is also expected to go into creating new herbal lines.
Some of these innovations could be transported abroad as the company positions itself as a hub within the South Asia-Pacific region. Markets in this region include Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines besides India.