The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

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American beauty giant Estée Lauder is teaming up with Nykaa, India’s biggest beauty and wellness e-commerce platform, to launch an incubator for Indian beauty entrepreneurs.

The Estée Lauder Companies is responding to the boom in the Indian beauty market with the launch of a new incubator to support beauty entrepreneurs in the country.

The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

The launch is being driven by the American beauty conglomerate’s new incubation ventures arm and is in partnership with Nykaa, India’s biggest beauty, and wellness e-commerce platform.

“India is poised to really accelerate its beauty consumption,” says Anchit Nayar, CEO of beauty e-commerce for Nykaa (and son of founder Falguni Nayar). “It’s the perfect time for us to identify the next generation of entrepreneurs who can carry the flag of Indian beauty brands and consumer brands, who will make a name for themselves not only in India but globally.”

The initiative, called Beauty & You, will support India-focused companies and entrepreneurs. It’s open to an indefinite number of brands at pre-launch or the in-market stage of development. The selected companies will have access to the two companies’ networks of local and international mentors, including Nicola Kilner, co-founder, and CEO of science-backed skincare umbrella brand Deciem, and Derek Blasberg, head of fashion and beauty at YouTube, among others on the judging panel. A sum of $500,000 will be shared among brands for the most innovative, inspiring, and breakthrough ideas.

Beauty & You will also offer masterclasses and guidance on financing, product development, distribution, and marketing. “We are creating a platform where we will be able to bring our network, our experience, and leading market experts to really help reinforce what we think are critical criteria for building out brands of the future,” says Shana Randhava, vice president of new incubation ventures at The Estée Lauder Companies.

By leveraging Estée Lauder’s international reach and Nykaa’s local presence, Randhava says, the program will provide brands with a forum to build brand awareness and amplify growth.

The broader aim of the incubator is to grow the prestige and premium beauty offer in India. “We are looking for entrepreneurs who are leading with creativity and innovation,” says Randhava. “Product efficacy is key and a key driver to command a premium price. We really are focused on making sure that that premium or the extra level of experience is shaped across all touchpoints.” These include production innovation, storytelling and consumer engagement.

Beauty in India: A surging market

Estee Lauder

The Indian market is buoyant, says Nayar of Nykaa. “India is one of the fastest growing beauty and personal care markets in the world.” However, without support and mentorship, it’s difficult for Indian brands to scale. The offer of experienced mentorship is as important as the financial support, he emphasises.

The Indian beauty and personal care market is currently valued at $15 billion and is estimated to surge by 9.6 per cent this year, according to Euromonitor International. While it’s small by comparison with the US, which is worth $102 billion, or China at $88 billion, rapid growth is predicted for some years ahead by The Estée Lauder Companies, which first entered the Indian market in 2005. Two years later, Estée Lauder invested in Indian beauty brand Forest Essentials, based in New Delhi and a leading Indian brand in prestige skincare.

The Estée Lauder Companies was an early partner of Nykaa, listing beauty products on the platform from its early days. A $720 million IPO in 2021 saw Nykaa valued at nearly $14 billion. Now, described as a “consumer-technology” company, Nykaa started out as an online retailer. It owns over 110 multi-brand beauty stores in India and works with over 3,000 domestic and international beauty brands.

Both Nayar and Randhava are on the lookout for brands with global potential, although India is the initial priority. “We have a good sense for what the Indian consumers are looking for and we have a good understanding of what makes sense for the Indian market,” says Nayar.

Canadian-born Deciem is a clear example of how The Estée Lauder Companies helps emerging beauty brands grow in the global market. The brand’s sales were only $14 million when Estée Lauder made an initial investment in 2017. “Over the course of the period while we were in the minority position, the brand grew from $14 million to approaching $500 million today,” says Randhava. Deceim was able to leverage the American conglomerate’s internal networks including R&D teams and distribution expertise. “We launched Deciem in Nykaa a few months ago — and it has already become the number one player in the skincare market,” she says.

The Estée Lauder Companies and Nykaa are accepting applications from 1 August until 30 September. Selected participants will be announced in November.

Written By

Ezreen Benissan

With additional reporting by

Kati Chitrakorn

All Rights Reserved | No Copyright Infringement Intended

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India

#The next breakthrough beauty brand? Estée Lauder says it could come from India


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