What are your Partygirl essentials?
A bottle of wine and a good attitude, and this goes without a saying. And it's also a must to walk into the room wearing a smile, and of course a comfortable dress. Now, again, this really depends on the kind of party it is. If it's a relaxing party, I try to bring some nice food and drinks — some fresh juice. If we have a movie party, then chips and dips, fruit, sandwiches, and a few other types of snacks are a must. If I have some board game that my friends love or a favorite game title that my cousins enjoy, that also makes its way to my Partygirl essential. More than being crazy for a party, I prefer being the party — the crazy part just happens.
If you had an alter ego, who would they be? Where would they go? What would they do?
My alter ego would be on a joyride across the world. The hill stations in India, the beaches in Colombia, the quiet of the mountains, and the depth of the sea — there's just so much to explore, and my alter ego would love to soak in all with a bottle of wine and book, and sunscreen-ready too!
What inspires you?
Nature inspires me — its will to grow against all the odds and differences really makes me feel humble. It's experiencing a sort of positive presence that I know is always around me. And that's why I have a lot of plants in my house. It's nice to see things grow and prosper in their natural way. People inspire me too. Nobody is perfect, and everyone aspires to be a better version of themselves — each in their own path...making mistakes and learning. It's all really too inspiring.
You work in a very niche field. What hurdles have you overcome as a female consultant?
So, it can be different when you are in an industry that tends to be male-dominated. That's why the most challenging hurdle for me has been navigating the gender dynamics in consulting that discourage or inhibit female consultants from participating in certain activities. I have struggled with the idea that my opinions were given less weight than my male counterparts. I dealt with my male colleagues talking over me and generally insistent on taking control of the conversation without acknowledging my input. But I think it's a part of the job, and it only gets better when we speak for ourselves.
Is there any element of the consumer psyche or a business strategy that's very effective in the beauty market that's commonly overlooked by most brands and consultants?
The beauty market is a very competitive and lucrative industry that is constantly changing and evolving. There is always something new and vital to consider and study in this industry. One thing that some brands and consultants may overlook is the importance of packaging. There are many packaging components, but some brands think the only thing that matters is the product's competitive price and marketing. Packaging can be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. It can be used as a way to differentiate your brand from the competition. But packaging is not the only thing. While the looks of a product might speak volume, the customer support and satisfaction always helps a brand or business grow.
What's your favourite brand to work with? Which brand haven't you worked with that you would like to work with and why?
I really loved working with LVMH. It was just wonderful collaborating with an eager team that had some experienced members. One of the brands that I have not worked with is NARS... I'd love to work with them as they are pretty value-based and customer-oriented. The special care they give to these aspects really shows in their products and services.
If you set up your own beauty brand, what would be your competitive edge?
So I really like good skincare products. My brand's competitive edge would be to cater to the needs of people with sensitive skin — many products are targeted towards them, but only a few actually help. I would create a product line with no fragrances or dyes and use natural ingredients and oils to help keep the skin smooth and replenish moisture. The product line would also be vegan and cruelty-free.
In a perfect world, what new technologies would you like to see implemented to increase the performance of beauty brands?
In a perfect world, I would like to see technology implemented that can provide feedback on what products are not working for my skin type. This way, I would know what products I need to use and what I need to stop using. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you may notice a reaction every time you use a product. This reaction can be anything from my skin breaking out to an allergic reaction. An acne breakout can be worse. It will be nice to see some tech easing out the testing process safely and precisely.
As an innovator in consumer economics and beauty, what trends do you foresee for the future?
I think many companies and brands will make existing procedures around surgery and cosmetics more affordable, so they can be more accessible to people, potentially opening up the market to a more significant number of people drawn by attractive pricing. Another trend is that more and more people will start to use more natural ingredients in their everyday lives and their beauty routines. Thanks to this increasing competition, I think the market's open to both approaches, but there's barely any room for falsification and unimpressive results.
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