India Fashion Forum 2023: Amidst FTA negotiations, British delegation arrives in Bengaluru

India Fashion Forum 2023: Amidst FTA negotiations, British delegation arrives in Bengaluru

The UK is currently the 7th largest cosmetic market and is one of the largest fashion and apparel markets in the world.

Pratiksha ThayilUpdated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 08:20 PM IST
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Some of the top fashion and beauty brands have embarked on a trade mission to India to capitalise on the rapidly growing demand for the high-end products in India. This includes the British delegation that arrived in Bengaluru for the India Fashion Forum 2023.

Their visit comes against the backdrop of the bilateral India-UK free trade agreement negotiations, and will help both the countries in creating jobs and boost the economy. The UK is currently the 7th largest cosmetic market and is one of the largest fashion and apparel markets in the world.

The UK delegation included 10 companies such as Lush which is a beauty brand for women across ages and John Smedley that offers luxury knitwear. The delegation speaking at the event talked about their products in the hopes to find the right partners and enter the Indian market.

Anita Baker, MD of Lush spoke about the company being the best fit for the country as their beliefs are in sync with the Indians. The company uses natural elements for their products and is vegan, which according to Baker helps them blend with the current brands in the country. The company had launched their first stores in Bangalore a long time ago, but the company did not expand any further. But according to Baker this is the perfect time to re-enter the market.

Benny Hancock, Director of Benny Hancock, offering some gender balance talked about his grooming products and why these products are important. He said, "Men like to look handsome and these products will help them be more confident." He also added that Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli has also used the company's products.

Men's beauty products, though prominent, are limited to a certain section in the society and the addition of these companies will help tap into a section that is yet to be explored.

Jessic Methara, Founder of VENIA Cosmetic spoke about his family business that uses natural 24 carat gold skin care products for both men and women. He also spoke about how India was his choice in the first venture outside the UK. His company is looking to formulate partnership in the male grooming setor.

Justine Lavergne, Head of Business Development FB Beauty LTDgiving reasons for why the company is planning to explore the Indian market said that the British make up brand offers 'accessible and affordable solutions with best quality products' and it also covers all shades from light skin to dark offering multiple options to users across the country. She also said, "We are a brand for young and digital savvy users, which is what I think we will find here in India."


Raishma Islam the owner of Raisham in her presentation said, "We are looking for a partnership to help us create a brand presence in every city in three years." She was open to the first designers to start with fusion designs and started with wedding and evening gowns.

Natasha Baldev sharing her Indian roots, spoke about how her grandmother who was trained in Ayurveda helped her go into medicine. She said, "My grandmother was Indian and she moved to Africa where she used both Indian and African herbs to create or what I call cook up healthy options. These herbs I noticed were part of my diet and it pushed me to find out what these herbs did to my skin, which is why I entered medicine."

Baldev used her knowledge of science and mixed it with the knowledge of Ayurveda that her grandmother had to create her products. She said coming to India was like coming home and would love to partner with companies with a similar vision.

The last but not the least was Willian Leach, from John Smedley which is a family business of knitwear. The company was started in 1784 by John Smedely who played a key role in the Industrial revolution. The company already has a presence in 98 countries but is looking to enter the Indian market.

Each of these companies through the IFF 2023 plan to form partnerships and set up shop in India, which will create more jobs and offer a boost to the economy.

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