L'Oreal to invest Rs 970 cr in India by 2016

L’Oreal, the world's biggest cosmetics group, plans to invest a total of Rs 970 crore in India from 2011 to 2016, a top company official said.

The company is eyeing $1.3 billion in India sales by 2020 as part of plans to quadruple sales over the next seven years in India, the fastest growing beauty market in the world, its chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said.

Rising demand of quality and high-end beauty products among India's emerging middle class is expected to help L'Oreal grow by more than 20 per cent every year in the country.

"Out of the 66 shades of skin colour found in this world, more than 40 are found in India. That's an example of how varied and complex the requirements of this market are," Jochen Zaumseil, executive vice-president, Asia-Pacific, said.

India contributes between 1 and 2 percent of the company's global revenue but is strategically one of its top five markets, Agon said.

L’Oréal inaugurated its new Research & Innovation (R&I) Center in Mumbai on Thursday to study Indian hair and skin specificities as well as the beauty routines and expectations of Indian consumers.

Jean-Paul Agon said that with one of the highest growth rates of the group in Asia-Pacific, India is a key contributor to L’Oréal’s objective of reaching one billion new consumers.

“The R&I Center in India reflects our confidence in the potential of the Indian market and our strong commitment to the country. It is in line with L’Oréal’s universalization strategy of adapting our global brands to each culture’s specific needs,” Agon said.

The 5,000 sq m R&I Center in India is the Group’s sixth resesarch hub globally.

 It includes both a product development centre in Mumbai and an Advanced Research Centre in Bangalore, and will employ over 100 Indian researchers and scientists from the fields of physical chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, physics and biology by end 2013.

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