Research and Innovation has undergone a spectacular modernisation for L’Oréal in 2012, with the inauguration of the largest hair research centre in the world at Saint-Ouen, in France, and a fifth regional research hub at Mumbai, in India, which CEO Jean-Paul Agon says is essential to its universalisation strategy.
Not only have production facilities been modernised, two new plants have been added, in Indonesia and Mexico, to support the conquest of the New Markets.
The L’Oréal chief commented “2012 has been a year of great progress in adapting L’Oréal to a rapidly changing world, and successfully preparing the group for tomorrow’s challenges.”
Agon explains that the New Markets, and particularly Asia, will continue to be part of L’Oréal’s focus in the future, having increased its market share in the region.
In china, the group grew faster than the market, especially with L’oréal Luxe, Maybelline New York and L’oréal Paris Men expert.
“India, Indonesia and Thailand are particularly dynamic, driven by local initiatives such as colossal kajal by Maybelline New York, and the Garnier Men range,” added Agon.
L’oréal’s growth rate in India is 23.3 percent, making it one of the most dynamic in the beauty market, and led to the decision to inaugurate its new research and innovation hub, which consists of a product development Centre in Mumbai and an advanced research centre at Bangalore.
The aim is to develop products adapted to the Indian market by drawing on a thorough knowledge of local consumer preferences and on the distinguished local scientific community.
The high-tech plant opened in the industrial zone of Jababeka, Indonesia at the end of 2012 was also to meet the fast-growing demand in the south-east Asian beauty market.
Indonesia is one of the most dynamic countries in this zone, and in 2012 the group’s growth rate there was 33.9 percent, explained by the rapid expansion of an affluent middle class and the strong appeal of high-quality, affordable cosmetics suited to the expectations of a population with a highly developed beauty culture.
l’oréal indonesia’s original plant, which was opened in 1986, has now been replaced by a much larger and more modern site, and reiterates the company’s future commitment to the region.
“30 percent of its production is intended for the Indonesian market, and 70 percent for other south-east Asian countries. This is a key step forward in the group’s universalization,” added Agon.
The latest decision to develop the luxury beauty market in China also reaffirms L’Oréal’s commitment to Asia-Pacific.
The French firm laid out its plans for attracting the next generation of Chinese luxury consumers, namely with the introduction of game-changing innovations like the successful launch of instrumental beauty leader, Clarisonic, in January 2013 and the highly anticipated opening of the new Yves Saint Laurent Beauté boutique in May 2013.
"Chinese consumers are at the heart of L'Oréal's focus and energies,” concluded Agon.
“A potential 250 million new Chinese consumers will be using L'Oréal's products in the next 10 to 15 years, making China the number one contributor to our ambition of winning 1 billion new consumers and to our strategy of universalization.”