New Delhi, Dec 20 (PTI) Direct selling beauty brand Oriflame has witnessed around 25 per cent increase in number of sales partners in India during COVID-impacted 2020, a top company official said.
The company recorded higher growth in sales in the third and fourth quarter, and expects to cover up the loss of business in the second quarter due to imposition of lockdown in the country, Oriflame VP and Head of South Asia and MD of India Frederic Widell said.
Talking about the growth in sales partners, Widell said, 'We have a very good year with over 25 per cent growth in sales partner whom we call as sales force. We have a good growth this year.' Oriflame expects its turnover in 2020 to be at par as last year or even slightly higher than that.
'We have good 2020, both from point of view of sales and profitability...Despite enormous drop in sales in the second quarter, we expect that we would be on par or a little bit higher than the last year. We have grown higher in Q3 and Q4 to cover the disastrous Q2,' Widell told PTI.
Though the company has witnessed a decline in average purchase basket after pandemic, Oriflame expects its overall turnover to increase, helped by the increase in its sales partners.
'Purchase willingness is down a little bit as people hold cash in uncertain times. We have seen a slight decline on the basket, but since we have a growth in our sales forces, we still see a growth in our overall turnover,' he said, adding that 'we are on a good way now and positive for future'.
As the company mainly sells cosmetics, currently 70 per cent of its sales force is female, and the remaining 30 per cent are men, he added.
Though Widell did not share any financial details about Oriflame's operations in India and its contribution to its global turnover, he said India is one of the six key strategic markets for the company.
'India is among the top five on the global level,' he said, adding 'we have six priority market worldwide and India is one of them'.
'We have lot of good things coming to India and have lots of plans coming in the next six months and we would continue to invest here,' he said.
Oriflame, which is present in India from last 25 years, has two factories here and manufactures almost entire assortment locally, he added.
'We have one cosmetic factory and one wellness factory and both the factories also export to the international markets around the world,' he said.
The company introduced wellness products five years ago and the segment contribute around 15 to 20 per cent to the company's turnover in India, Widell said.
On being asked if the company expects contribution from the segment to go up on increase in public awareness about the category after the pandemic, Widell said, 'I think so. There is a huge opportunity in the segment.' The company has seen a strong double-digit growth in sales in the last 3-4 months, Widell said.
However, it expects some products like lipstick and eye shadows from cosmetic segment to take a longer time to return to pre-COVID sales.
'...skincare and haircare are equally important, whether you work from home or not,' Widell said. 'From the cosmetic angle, in totality, I do not see any indication for a decline.' The company, which has a strategic alliance with designer Rohit Bal, is open for more such exclusive partnership.
'I am very open to strategic partnerships, strategic alliances across the industry. I think we have huge opportunities...to join hands at such times,' he said. PTI KRH RVK