Modernization and explosion of Indian consumers is key to major growth in the personal and home care markets

Modernization and explosion of Indian consumers is key to major growth in the personal and home care markets

The Indian personal and home care market has seen an upward trend in the post pandemic era. Major reasons for this growth are the modernisation and growth in the number of Indian consumers and their exposure to global markets. Dr Renuka Thergaonkar, President, Indian Society of Cosmetic Chemists has a phenomenal track record in the cosmetic industry. She shares exclusive insights and analysis on the market trends and the way the personal and home care industry is progressing ahead in the post pandemic era.

1. In India, personal care products market has significantly grown in recent years and majorly contributed to the growth to Indian FMCG sector. What top reasons would you attribute to this upward trend?

The top reasons I would attribute to the upward trend is modernization and exposure of Indian consumers to global markets. Because of internet more and more people today are well versed to global lifestyle and believe in self grooming and hygiene. This has led to the growth of Gen Z and Gen Y in the consumer segment; Generation Z wants to look good all the time and see personal grooming as a means of self-expression. Rising younger generation living in Tier II & Tier III cities are seen as the main target for consumer growth. Online retailers such as Nykaa, Amazon and Flipkart are providing this younger generation with access to brands that the physical stores don’t provide. Hence the FMCG sector is growing faster.

2. Consumers today are veering towards natural ingredients in addition to conventional ingredients. How does this change the overall landscape of the Industry in terms of demand and preference?

Beauty from wellbeing is the key to the market today. This has led to the increased demand for natural ingredients. Indian consumers are demanding more of natural ingredients as in India we have been exposed to Ayurveda and herbal medicine right from our birth and hence consumers are feeling that if we used natural ingredients it will be better for our wellbeing. Hence today 75% of millennial and Gen Z consumers believe that natural skin care products are more effective. But this has led to the demand of ingredients driven by environmental challenges and limited natural resources challenges. Biodiversity act and pressing environmental issues have inspired some brands to explore other sustainable options like environmental friendly bioengineered raw materials. This demand has led to advanced researches that includes the use of biotechnology-derived ingredients, genetic profiling for individual skin-care or nutritional regimes, stem-cell-based products and therapies to regenerate ageing tissues, or cell and tissue engineering for cosmetic purposes leading to new R&D discoveries. Hence the industry landscape has changed to new formats which are the starting point of the clean beauty movement in India. Today the emphasis of consumers is more on ease of use, quality and ingredients and hence the whole product categories are being changed by companies to fit in these demands.

3. India currently accounts for less than 2% of the total personal care, cosmetics, and cosmeceutical products, despite gaining significant growth in recent years. How do you see the Indian market growing, in the context of personal care and home care products over the next 5 years? Any specific segment under personal care, which is poised to develop manifold.

The consumers in India have suddenly become aware of their needs and the scenario where initially the of marketers was to show the need to customers has changed to consumers explaining in-depth personal needs to the cosmetic companies. Hence the next 2-3 years can be coined as the years of adolescence for the cosmetic industry. The Indian market will grow tremendously as suddenly the consumers have made the personal care and home care products as an essential part of their life. Earlier home care and personal care was just a part of life and consumers gave very less importance to that aspect but with so many months of lockdown and sitting at home the thinking of customers has changed and suddenly these areas have become a very important part of their lives. So several new developments will be seen in the market in personal and home care sector in the coming years. Hence the segments which will be seen booming are the personal hygiene segment, hair care segment and kids’ segment. Personal hygiene will be the top most priority in the minds of Indian customers and their demands will revolve around personal hygiene with well-being factors. The skin care market will grow but not as much as the hair care segment.

4. With demand for chemical-free products witnessing a steady uptick, a clutch of new-age skincare and cosmetics brands are offering clean beauty products claiming chemical-free formulations and recyclable packaging. What is your observation about this trend and your recommendations to companies who wish to explore the possibility of manufacturing clean beauty products?

Today the clean beauty movement has just started in India with hardly few companies following it. Though very few companies have started following this trend in India but those who are following this are talking of the ingredients in depth with percentages and the safety aspect which has wide acceptance from the consumers. But looking at the future I can say that this movement is going to stay and will receive lot of success, especially now when the consumer awareness has increased leaps and bounds. Now when most of the cosmetic companies are trying to save money and improve productivity by reducing waste and inefficiencies, gaining greater confidence in regulatory compliance data and processes as well as responding to the rapidly changing market shifts or consumer needs, clean beauty movement looks like a very good business strategy. In fact if companies follow the clean beauty motto they will be able to build a lot of confidence in there consumers mind and hence the chances of getting loyal consumers are more.

5. In the backdrop of active role played by your association- ISCC to foster research and information exchange within the communities at large, can you give us quick update of next developmental activities planned by ISCC?

We at ISCC believe that the Indian Cosmetic Industry as a whole will benefit immeasurably when an environment is created where in  all persons, regardless of gender, caste, creed, geographical locations may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on the knowledge, credibility and opportunity. Keeping in mind this belief and the opportunities that will be created from these for our new generation we are taking the initiative to create platforms for the advancement of the fraternity. These platforms will help the student community and industry professionals to benefit along with the exposure to the new technologies and getting them ready to step into the era of digitalization, increased consumer awareness and advanced cosmetic technology  with confidence. We are starting new educational programs and certificate courses for the members which they can join in and avail the new technological learnings. We are also arranging technical lectures on various subjects and encouraging our members to increase and publish their research work. We recently conducted an essay competition for students on various technical topics to encourage them to learn new things. In 2023 we are hosting the first ASCS Conference in India.

6. As the cosmetics industry makes a shift towards holistic beauty, who in your opinion shall emerge as winner – is it the upcoming natural brands produced domestically or reputed global companies adapting to new-age demands in their product line? And why?

The Indian market will see the growth of several Inde Brands being launched now. The Indian cosmetic market will still be divided into mass and masstige but the premium masstige segment will also be seen in the market. Products with clean and transparent label themes will be the key to customers in the premium and masstige category. This will lead to growth of not only domestic brands but also global companies in India. So the industry here will itself be the winner with domestic and global companies sharing the revenues.

7. In some sense, the pandemic has been a significant contributor to the rise in demand for personal care products in India. Would you agree?  How do you see market changes in the personal care and home care segment during the post covid era?

Covid 19 has been a great learning factor for the industry as well as the consumers. The Indian cosmetic market is going to see a paradigm shift from manufacturer driven to consumer driven market. The consumers in India have suddenly become aware of their needs and the scenario where the duty of marketers was to show the need to customers has changed to consumers explaining their in-depth need to the cosmetic companies. The cosmetic products will revolve around the theme of hope, protection and wellbeing. During the pandemic the status of hygiene and personal care products changed from need based to the essential category and this is going to make a major change in the future. The segments which will be seen booming are the personal hygiene segment, hair care segment and kids’ segment. Personal hygiene will the top most priority in the minds of Indian customers and their demands will revolve around personal hygiene with well-being factors. The center theme for all the products will revolve around well-being concept with protection and nourishment as the main target points. The reason for this is the awareness of good health among customers. Soaps, body washes, hand washes sector with gentle surfactants will be theme for this year. All products whether skin creams or makeup will be seen with antibacterial properties.

8. What changes has the Industry witnessed overall in terms of formulation technologies and modernisation over the last few years?

There has been a tremendous change in the formulation technologies and modernization in the last few years. Today, cosmetics are more a combination of actives and vehicle. Earlier vehicles where bases but now vehicles are also adding to the overall impact of the product. Hence more combinations are being emphasized, innovative ingredients are being preferred in the products. Functional materials are often understated but are the most important game changers for the economic development of sensorially enriching formulations e.g. Sulphate Free surfactants with luxurious foam and gentle cleansing, lower irritancy and soft after feel like Amphoteric surfactants are now used in sulphate free rinse off products. Simplicity in products – clean green products, innovations revolving around simple products like waters, oils, powders etc are the formulators goal in the coming years. The future formulations will be all about fun textures like creating water from gels, balms to oil, powders to cream, mixing ingredients like gums, starches and humectants to create jelly, lumpy textures etc. Ingestible beauty products: Pills, Oils: Face oils, body oils, nourishing oils, Water: Herbal waters, Foam Shampoos etc are now being looked upon as new formulation whereas earlier we were restricted to creams, lotions and balms.

9. Within the global context, where is India placed in terms of emerging as a hub for manufacturing for the home and personal care Industry?

If we look at global market today, if the Indian manufacturers are able to provide quality and stick to complete GMP norms, I can say that India can be a potential manufacturing hub for home and personal care industry. Globally the industry is looking at India as a potential manufacturing market but it is up to our manufacturers to develop these practices and abide by the global manufacturing standards. We should actually harness the opportunities with respect to manufacturing and innovation  placed before us globally after the pandemic.  Many international players are now looking at India for contract manufacturing but quality is being considered first. Hence industries should focus more on safe practises for manufacturing quality products. Put proper plans and actions in place for companies as well as farmers. Bigger role for Contract Manufacturers is now seen as there is a potential for closer collaboration among brands and retailers, through data sharing and inventory pooling. The pace of innovation has to be accelerated as there is a substantial shift in demand from consumers. Hence more scope for innovative natural and sustainable products.

About Dr. Renuka Thergaonkar

Renuka Thergaonkar started her journey in Cosmetic industry with BTech, MTech and PhD in Cosmetic Technology along with Diploma in Business Management.

Currently Director of R&D Global Consultants Pvt Ltd, dealing in Contract research and consultancy services to Industries and Research organizations globally in the field of Cosmetics & Fragrances.

She has teaching experience of 25 years being the Head of Cosmetic department. Has 4 published Patents and few filed patents, along with several publications and more than 5000 marketed products worldwide to her credit. Has presented papers at multiple national & international platforms.

Has received Best Innovative Formulation Award in Beauty World 2012 in France. Member of BIS, Consultant to Government organizations, President – Indian society of cosmetic chemists, Committee member of OTAI.

Works on social mission of training and providing respectable positions in society to the visually Challenged students.  She has also written a book for Visually Challenged in Braille on “Introduction to Perfumery”

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