Sumita Vaid

Marico Industries launches Kaya Aesthetics

Marico has also acquired a US-based company Sundari to make inroads into the Ayurvedic cosmetics markets in the US and Europe

At a press conference in the capital yesterday, Marico Industries announced the launch of subsidiary Kaya Aesthetics, to service the market for Ayurvedic cosmetics. Kaya Aesthetics, a joint venture between Marico Industries (76 per cent stake) and Adil & Associates, will render its services under the brand name Kaya Skin Clinic.

"We believe a separate company will enable the new skin care business to develop a service-oriented culture of work and customer interface," said Harsh Mariwala, chairman and managing director, Marico Industries, at the function. Kaya Skin Clinic will offer a range of cosmetic dermatology services under one roof, which the company claims, is US FDA approved.

The company brass is quite upbeat about the prospects of Kaya Skin Clinic. "While the penetration of similar skin care clinics is low, the awareness level is quite high among people," added Mariwala. Alongside, Marico has acquired a US-based $1 million company Sundari to make inroads into the Ayurvedic cosmetics markets in the US and Europe.

Currently, there are three Kaya Skin Clinics in Mumbai and the company hopes to open three more in Delhi and another two in Dubai in the first phase of expansion. The investment in setting up the clinics has been about Rs 10 crore so far. The second phase of expansion will happen in September. And this phase, apart from adding new centers, will include an additional service of hair treatment.

The job at hand for Marico is to "assess the success of the Clinics" to work out the national rollout plan. "As we scale up the concept nationally, we would open between 50 to 100 clinics in the next three years," says Rakesh Pandey, CEO, Kaya Skin Clinic. Company officials feel the offerings are "competitively priced" and will not prove a deterrent to trials. Some of the products in the clinic (mostly imported) will be available with a 10 per cent surcharge though.

Mariwala made it clear yesterday the company will steer clear of the franchisee route, at least in the immediate term. "The services we offer are very serious in nature. We had especially invited professionals from the US to impart training to our skin practitioners. Moreover we have dermatologists in all our clinics. Definitely for the next two years, franchisees are out of the question," said Mariwala.

Advertising efforts to promote Kaya Skin Clinics will be low-key since the brand is yet to have a national presence. The communication will be limited to press, outdoor and radio. Special emphasis will be given to direct marketing, stressed company officials.. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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