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SpiritW | Building confidence by selling products: Oriflame India's Deshpande

With large exposure to global manufacturers and trends, the beauty and cosmetics segment in India is growing at an exceptional rate. This coupled with ‘Indianised communication’ has helped many brands not only enter the Indian market, but also make the desired space in the hearts and minds of Indian consumers.

Amongst numerous players present in the market, having multiple-geography presence and selling directly, Oriflame, selling direct in more than 60 countries globally, states India to be in their top 10 markets and the leading fastest growing one. With a brand portfolio of over 550 products in five distinct categories, Oriflame is betting big on its direct selling model, and strong foothold in the consumer’s minds.

Adgully caught up with Pradnya Deshpande, Sales Director, Oriflame India, who spoke about the product portfolio at Oriflame, strategies they are looking at, her personal journey with the beauty company and more.

Having worked with Yellow Pages (insurance company) before Oriflame, speaking about picking the beauty industry, she said, “I think it all happened by chance or design of god that I am in Oriflame today. Honestly, I didn’t know anything about beauty before joining this company; also, back in my school days, I was a ‘tomboy’ who stayed away from applying make-up. After entering into a professional world I realised that education and experience do give you confidence but your appearance, how you carry yourself gives you inner confidence which boost your confidence level.”

“We don’t sale cosmetic products only but we give our consumer’s confidence for life, by providing them equipment’s and trainings. Oriflame changed my life; it made me understand the meaning of word beauty which is all about fulfilling dreams and changing people’s life. I’ve fulfilled all my dreams with the brand and I have more to accomplish”, she added.

Speaking about the Ecollagen Range, launched a few weeks back by Oriflame India, she said, “All the products on the roaster at Oriflame are produced under the global research conducted by various scientists at the company. For Ecollagen we’ve done research for 10 years. For us, Ecollagen range has been one of the best-sellers in the skin care category. Keeping in mind our aim for constant innovation, we present the Ecollagen range with revolutionary Plant Stem Cell extract to re-discover the secret to beautiful, healthy skin”.

Driven by Powerlift technology, the ingredients contain peptides that stimulate elastin production to fight against skin sagging. The powerful formula works on skin tone, re-plumps wrinkles from within, and prevents their further formation. The paraben-free range meant for women in the age group of 35- 40, has a rich, silky texture which is quickly absorbed by the skin.

Sharing her thoughts on the performance of the beauty and cosmetics segment in India, she said, “I think the industry is doing good, but when we talk about our brand it’s difficult to give exact share as we are not only into cosmetics but we are into direct sales. Hence, we are into different mode that can’t be compared with other brands. However, what I can compare as an organisation and the way we are heading towards it is that we are giving higher double digit growth year on year. Specifically, when we talk about recession period, even then we were able to gain big chunk because we are not only selling cosmetic products but improving life. When our consumers buy a product they recommend best products to their loved ones and also they get earning opportunities by being a consultant. The relation is irrespective of the market situation which gives us an edge”.

She goes on to mention that Oriflame has strong presence in the skin range category and believes that it’s the biggest loyalty builder for them. “Our objective is different, we don’t suggest new products for profit but want our consumers to look beautiful, and every consumer loves personal advice and appreciates a personal touch which enhances our relation with our consumers”, she added. Oriflame India has more than 3 lakhs people who are part of the brand who are not only promoting product but also creating opportunities for Oriflame.

Alongside a strong presence in the Indian women beauty segment, Oriflame also has men segment which, however, has not been promoted much. Speaking about that she said, “We are targeting our men segment too, we have our catalogue which goes to family and we have 90% women who are connected to us and hence to their men. So, connecting with men in our own circle is important, we are consciously strengthening our men range and trying to fulfil their daily and skin care needs too.”

India is a robust market for Oriflame as the brand is present in India for more than 18 years. Sharing some of the key learnings from the international market which Oriflame India adapts, she said, “We just don’t offer or launch the product in India which are selling well globally instead we do proper research and the product which suits well for the Indian market we have it here. Both the markets are different and so does the choices of consumers.”

Pradnya Deshpande joining Oriflame India, wholly owned subsidiary of Oriflame – Swedish cosmetics major, as key accounts manager in 2002 was a matter of luck. She holds a Masters in Management Science from D.A.V. University, Indore – Madhya Pradesh, she has a working experience of six years with media - Tata Press (now TV 18) and life insurance sector, and more than a decade of expereince at Oriflame.  [By Ranjana Gupta| Twitter: @RGrightsreserve]

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