Mary Kay has launched a skin whitening range to spearhead its expansion efforts in the booming Indian cosmetics market.
The direct selling company has developed a line of skin care products designed specifically for the Indian market as part of its $20m investment plan.
Over the next five years Mary Kay will plough this money into India to take advantage of the opportunities present in a region that has been described as one of the most promising in the world of cosmetics.
Sales of cosmetics and toiletries in the country grew by 12.6 percent in 2006, according to Kline & Company, and this growth is expected to be maintained as India develops economically.
Mary Kay is looking to target the country's burgeoning middle class with its newly launched PureWhite range.
"The range has been priced on the lower price end of the prestige category with a great value for money equation," said Hina Nagarajan, country manager for Mary Kay India.
It consists of a mask, cleanser, softener, essence, night lotion and day lotion with sunscreen and will be sold across India with the focus being on large towns such as Delhi, Mumbia and Ludhiana.
Mary Kay entered the Indian market six months ago and already has 60 products available in the country.
"In merely six months Mary Kay has received a very inspiring response from all over India," said K K Chua Mary Kay president for the Asia Pacific region. "It's very encouraging and we anticipate tremendous growth in 2008."
India and China compared
The company has many other product launches planned for the coming year and will be hoping that it can emulate the success it has achieved in the Chinese market.
In 2006 Mary Kay had total sales of $2.25bn and the Chinese market was a significant driver for its sales growth that year.
However, the Indian market is less developed and most people chose low-cost local products over international brands, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
The organization stated that per capita expenditure per year on international branded cosmetics is $0.68 in India as opposed to $1.5 in China.
Mary Kay is well known for offering pink Cadillacs to its top sales people who number 1.7 million worldwide and operate in 32 countries.