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Street wear, street smart

Modi Revlon takes on HUL by going mass in cosmetics.

Print Edition: April 6, 2008

For a company that has a turnover of Rs 150 crore, Modi Revlon could be considered a minnow compared to the girth of the Rs 13,717-crore Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL). However, that’s not stopping it from foraying into a territory that’s considered a stronghold of the latter—mass market colour cosmetics and fragrances. “After achieving leadership in the mass premium segment with the Street Wear brand and the premium end with Revlon, we are thinking of beating HUL in the Rs 100-plus segment; and we will soon launch a range even in the sub-Rs 100 range,” says Umesh K. Modi, Chairman, President & CEO, Modi Revlon. The new range will be led by the Street Wear brand. “We could consider another subbrand,” adds Modi.

Umesh Modi: Whos the fairest of them all?
Umesh Modi
A move into hair colour and fragrances is a clear indicator of Modi’s intentions. He’s already triggered a battle in hair colour by launching a mass brand, Colour N’ Care, that is priced at Rs 120. Colour N’ Care squares up against Colour Naturals from market leader Garnier and others such as Wella and Schwarzkopf Palette. Also, after setting up its fragrances facility at the Modinagar plant in Uttar Pradesh, Modi Revlon has managed to scale down the price of its Charlie perfume to Rs 135 for a 100 ml reference.

To make sense of the segmentation, one has to look at the price bands that work for colour cosmetics. The mass end is considered to be the sub-Rs 100 category that’s dominated by Elle18 from HUL. The mass premium end (Rs 175-300) has Street Wear, Lakme (from HUL) and Maybelline. The premium end (Rs 400-Rs 700) has Modi Revlon leading the fray. The company claims to have led market share in the premium segment for its lip colour and nail enamel range. “We do not go by ACNielsen data as it does not cover premium outlets such as Lifestyle and Shoppers’ Stop, which are a strong area of focus and sales for us,” says Modi.

Modi Revlon claims a market share of 41 per cent share of premium/mass premium segment as per Euromonitor data for 2006, placing it ahead of its competitors.

Colour cosmetics account for almost 70 per cent of Modi Revlon’s turnover, and the agenda for the company is to step up the focus on hair colour, skin care and fragrances. “Going forward, we think fragrances will be very big for us and similarly we are fairly well placed to fight it out in hair colour where Garnier leads the category. We have just launched our skin care range called Pure that will look at the fast-growing skin whitening segment,” Modi says.

The company says it is well placed on the distribution front; it will look at 40,000 stores and specifically target the prominent fancy stores that sell odd-ends and cosmetics. Modern retail outlets figure notably in the game plan. “At least 6,000 stores (within modern retail formats) will be added in the next two years,” says Modi.

Shamni Pande 

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