Strictly business: The 3Ps of business: Product, placement & publicityIn 2009, Dilip Kundlia started his own skincare product line, Oshea Herbals, after gaining working knowledge with cosmetic brands in India. Oshea Herbals, an Indian cosmetic brand, which started its journey nine years ago, has a wide range of cosmetic products from skin care to colour cosmetics.
In 2009, Dilip Kundlia started his own skincare product line, Oshea Herbals, after gaining working knowledge with cosmetic brands in India. Oshea Herbals, an Indian cosmetic brand, which started its journey nine years ago, has a wide range of cosmetic products from skin care to colour cosmetics. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Kundlia talks about reinventing Oshea as a household brand name in the Nepali market and shares some of his marketing strategies that have helped sustain his brand in the market. Excerpts:
Herbal products, though not new, are seeing a rebirth in the market today. Is this all down to rebranding?
Before I joined Oshea as a partner, I have had experience working for some of the most renowned herbal brands in India. Today, herbal products are preferred by consumers as opposed to branded cosmetic products that rely heavily on chemicals. But obviously, for any product to become a brand, it takes time. You need to have a lot of patience and perseverance in this field. Our products aren’t like movies that come up with instant results, you need to wait for feedback and you need to have a set of loyal consumers. Any cosmetic product takes time to gain the confidence of consumers. There are various herbal products which started almost two decades back, and they are now a well-known brand not just in their home country but all over the globe.
At the end of the day, everybody loves their body and would want the best for themselves. Due to word of mouth and constant marketing, people will slowly understand and grasp the concept of using naturally made products.
As you will be entering the Nepali market soon, what sort of expectations do you have from the Nepali consumers?
I understand that the Nepali consumers are health conscious, which is great for us. A lot of other Indian herbal products have created a niche for themselves in the Nepali market, and we are looking forward to joining the fray. Our company was named Asia’s Most Trusted Brand in 2015 for herbal products and having been only catering to the Indian market for almost a decade now, I am confident that the Nepali consumers will equally welcome our brand like other familiar herbal products that are available in their market. As this is our first year in Nepal, we have a jittery feeling but I think it is only natural to feel that way. Nonetheless, we know our products will do well in the market. We have set a big target for ourselves, hopefully we can achieve it.
Since you have been part of this industry for so long, what sort of trend do you see next? What are your future plans? What are your marketing strategies?
The cosmetic industry has seen drastic changes in market trends over the years. When I began my corporate journey in this sector, fairness creams were selling like hot cakes. After a decade or so, it was the turn of anti-aging creams. Looking at the current trend, anti-pollution skincare products are now the talk of the town. The air quality is deteriorating in both India and Nepal and to begin with, among Oshea products in the Nepali market, I believe that our anti-pollution skin care products will outperform the rest. As we are new in the Nepali market, we want to offer as many skincare products as possible. We want to reach out to retailers by hiring competent sales people who can confidently extend our reach. We will also try to reinvent the brand by promoting it in Nepali way. We are gearing up to start promotional campaigns either through traditional media or the new media. Our focus is not only in urban areas and we want to reach out to each and every corner of Nepal. I believe our product has a huge potential to reinvent itself as a household brand in the Nepali market. The Nepali consumers should not feel that Oshea is an international brand. We want them to believe that Oshea is their own local product. We would like to receive feedback from them on how we could improve on our services and products.
But in order to do that, it is essential that people understand the difference between chemical and naturally-made products. Compared to other brands that create products through chemicals, the effects aren’t long lasting and the repercussions can be dangerous. Whereas, when a consumer uses herbal products, the effect lasts longer with hardly any issues.
What sort of characteristics should a brand leader have?
To become a leader, you need to be confident about your product. Confidence where you don’t have to feel hesitant while promoting your brand to your retailers or customers. If leaders don’t believe in themselves and the work they are doing, it is pointless because you can cheat the world but you cannot cheat yourself. A leader must also be well versed trained effectively.
What would you say are the three keys to branding yourself well in the market?
The three keys to branding yourself well in the market—product quality, placement and publicity.