Colombian cosmetics companies get the hot house treatment

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

César Peñaloza, general manager Programa de Transformación Productiva
César Peñaloza, general manager Programa de Transformación Productiva

Related tags: Cosmetics

As part of the government-backed drive to broaden and expand the Colombian cosmetics industry, some of the key domestic players are getting hot house treatment in an effort to boost their footprints.

In the second part of this interview, we spoke to César Peñaloza, general manager Programa de Transformación Productiva (PTP) – the government body responsible for expanding the economy by focusing on 16 key industries with significant potential.

The cosmetics and personal care industry has been singled out as one of those industry, and the PTP is specifically hoping to drive that growth in the direction of natural and anti-aging products.

The chosen ones

Bearing this in mind, the PTP has chosen two groups of four Colombian cosmetics that have demonstrated innovations in these areas and potential for further development.

“Right now we have an international co-operative program with authorities in Holland to help give four Colombian companies improved access to the European market, specifically helping them EU regulations that are very tough to comply with,”​ explained Peñaloza.

“This is the second time we have done it, having already completed this program with four other Colombian companies. As part of the program those companies exhibit at the in-cosmetics event in Europe as part of the Colombia Pavilion. Indeed, one of those companies has already signed a deal in the European Union on the back of this and the other companies are almost there.”

The first four companies that exhibited at in-cosmetics in Barcelona back in April of this year were Waliwa, Neyber, Kahai and Esencia Life – each of which have a specific focus on the naturals and/or anti-aging categories.

The second group of four companies are already being prepped for next year’s in-cosmetics event in Paris, France, and include Guaviare, Grenadina, Bioprocol and Amazon Purity – which also have a focus on naturals and/or anti-aging segments.

Help with getting the message out

Peñaloza also explained that a significant part of the challenge in getting many Colombian cosmetic businesses off the ground is to ensure that their messages are out there, loud and clear.

“A lot of finished goods companies don’t have the human resources for marketing, so we can provide support for them in that area. We are helping nine companies to develop marketing plans and strategies right now. They have wonderful products, but they are not so strong when it comes to promoting them."

Although there are few Colombian companies making any significant impact in international markets, the intention is to develop a handful of brands that are making the same sort of impact that Brazilian natural brand Natura is making in the region and worldwide.

Why invest in the Colombian cosmetics industry?

Another crucial part of the ambition to help grow the Colombian cosmetics industry is to secure foreign investment from big multinational ingredients and finished products companies.

“In an effort to attract investment we are offering tax incentives for foreign companies investing in Colombia, which is new this year. These players should prove integral because they will not only bring capital investment but also a wealth of knowledge that can be shared,”​ said Peñaloza.

He also explained that the Colombian government is facilitating partnerships between the private and public sector with the help of bodies like the PTP.

“This is important because it makes things happen and it gives companies a voice, a development plan and a business plan.”

“It is through this kind of co-operation that we have managed to make so much progress in recent years. To underline how much we have grown we have multiplied production of finished cosmetic products by eight times in the past ten years. And we aim to continue this kind of momentum under the next phase of our strategy.”


The first part of this interview was published yesterday:Colombia turns to the cosmetics industry to help diversify the economy​.

Related topics: Business & Financial

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