Thursday, 10 September 2009

Brand Story : Lakme





Half a century ago, as India took her steps into freedom, Lakme, India's first beauty brand was born. At a time when the beauty industry in India was at a nascent stage, Lakme tapped into what would grow to be amongst the leading, high consumer interest segments in the Indian industry – that of skincare and cosmetic products. Armed with a potent combination of foresight, research and constant innovation, Lakme has grown to be the market leader in the cosmetics industry.

Lakme started as a 100% subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills (Tomco), part of the Tata Group, it was named after the French opera Lakmé, which itself is the French form of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, also renowned for her beauty. Indian cosmet Lakme was started in 1952, famously because the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru was concerned that Indian women were spending precious foreign exchange on beauty products, and personally requested JRD Tata to manufacture them in India. Simone Tata joined the company as director, and went on to become it's chairman. Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO) merged with HLL, effective from April 1, 1993. In 1995, HLL and yet another Tata company, Lakme Limited, formed a 50:50 joint venture, Lakme Lever Limited, to market Lakme’s market-leading cosmetics and other appropriate products of both the companies. Subsequently in 1998, Lakme Limited sold its brands to HLL and divested its 50% stake in the joint venture to the company.

Even today, when most multinational beauty products are available in India, Lakme still occupies a special place in the hearts of Indian women.





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