India’s cosmetic market tells a slightly different story. This industry valued at just about eight billion U.S. dollars is led by hair care products accounting for a little less than half of the total in fiscal year 2016. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Parachute has the highest penetration rate since coconut oil has and continues to be a body/hair care essential in Indian households.
Before the turn of the century, beauty products, including skin care and hair care were mostly homemade, using herbs and ingredients available locally in India. In Ayurveda, Tailams (oils) and Ghritas (clarified butter or ghee) were used for facial beautification as mentioned in the Vedic texts.
With globalization, cosmetics from other countries was available in India, becoming more accessible and affordable. One example is the replacement of Shikakai (a powder made from parts of a dry shrub) with shampoos containing surfactants. Ironically, the word shampoo comes from the Hindi word Champo (meaning to press, knead and soothe) borrowed during the colonial era.
The cosmetics market worldwide is controlled by a handful of conglomerates like Unilever, Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal to name a few. Between 2016 and 2021, the Asia Pacific market is projected to grow in sales by nearly 14.9 billion U.S. dollars (664356). Although these are immensely successful in India, domestic counterparts have an equal footing, with newer, organic brands entering the market. Dabur has the largest brand value in personal care market, followed by Lifebuoy and Colgate.
A herbal brand established in 2006, Patanjali Ayurved grew rapidly since 2014, expanding geographically as well as in the development of new consumer goods. Its revenue was valued at 50 billion Indian rupees in 2015, up from a mere 1.6 billion rupees in 2010 . The company’s products have replaced those of older, more established brands over the years on store shelves. Other domestically successful brands include Lakme, VLCC and Shahnaz Hussain. There is a generous availability of choice for a population that spends about 11 hours a day on personal care.
With a rising growth rate in all segments , the Indian beauty and personal care industry is slowly but steadily transitioning towards products that are more ethically sourced and made naturally, leaving the conglomerates to work out new strategies for their futures.