Pure Beauty

Sephora signs partnership with Reliance Retail Group to grow business in India

By Amanda Pauley | 7-Nov-2023

India’s largest retail group has acquired the exclusive rights to build the beauty brand’s presence in India across all channels

Sephora’s Indian business will now be operated by The Reliance Retail Group (RRVL) as it looks to boost its reach in the region. 

The US beauty retailer has signed a new partnership with the largest retailer in India, which is owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

The deal is estimated to be valued at around €11.1m, according to local media reports.

The buyout gives RRVL exclusive rights to build and enhance Sephora’s presence in India across all channels.

Reliance Beauty & Personal Care Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of RRVL, will take over Sephora’s current India operations from previous partner of eight years Arvind Fashions Limited.

It will now manage the operations of Sephora’s 26 stores across 13 cities in India.

The group also plans to expand the US beauty retailer’s presence in the country. 

"Rising affluence, increasing urbanisation and the proliferation of social media have driven greater awareness of self-care and beauty, unlocking major opportunities for prestige beauty,” said Alia Gogi, Asia President of Sephora.

“It is an opportune time for us to invest in expanding our presence, and bring new, exciting and exclusive brands to delight our growing community of beauty enthusiasts.” 

V Subramaniam, Director of RRVL, said the Indian beauty market is being “propelled” by a new generation of customers.

“With a strong desire to express their individuality, rising aesthetic refinement and a growing number of women in the young workforce of India,” he commented.  

“The Indian consumerism journey is at a tipping point, providing the perfect tail wind to this partnership.

“Importantly, this partnership will help us straddle across the value chain in [the] beauty and personal care segment.” 

RRVL has more than 18,650 stores and digital commerce platforms in India across grocery, consumer electronics, pharma, and fashion and lifestyle.

The group reported a turnover of $31.7bn for the year ended 31 March 2023. 

Sephora is not the only company making a play for India's prestige beauty market.

Shiseido has opened its first standalone store in India as it ramps up its presence in the country.  

The Japanese conglomerate has also appointed its first Indian ambassador, Bollywood star Tamannaah Bhatia.  

Estée Lauder Companies has also revealed the winners of its Beauty & You incubator awards for Indian beauty businesses.

It has celebrated Indian beauty brands and creators across a variety of sectors, from active ingredients and perfumery to sustainability and brand communities.

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