Henkel doubles down on India as hair care market at an inflection point – to evaluate laundry segment later

Henkel doubles down on India as hair care market at an inflection point  – to evaluate laundry segment later
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  • German consumer major enters Rs 5000 crore home coloration market with Schwarzkopf At Home.
  • Launches 18 men’s grooming products under Taft brand in the masstige segment.
  • To evaluate re-entry into the home and laundry segment at a later date after exiting the space by divesting to partner Jyothy Labs.
German consumer goods major Henkel is doubling down on India like many other global companies. Even though it divested its India homecare business to Jyothy Laboratories more than a decade ago, Henkel is now training guns on the hair colour and hair care market in India. The company, which already enjoys equity in the professional hair colour market through Schwarzkopf Professional products, is now entering the home colouration market. The hair dye market in India is roughly estimated to be Rs 5000 crore and henkel is eyeing 25% market share over the next few years.

Explains Kartik Kaushik, Country Head Henkel Consumer Brands India, “We have launched home coloration products called Schwarzkopf At Home. We have taken the equity in the professional space to the home segment. We have launched two products in this space called Colour Specialist and Simply Colour. We are now looking at launching all our global brands in India.”

Globally, Henkel has a large number of brands across categories – hair colouration, hair care, skin care and home care (including laundry and kitchen cleaning brands). Globally, Henkel merged all its consumer divisions last December to create one mega consumer brands company. It is now looking at leveraging the global portfolio after carefully evaluating consumer demand and market size.

Like the hair coloration market, the men’s grooming market is also at an inflection point and slated to grow at 8% CAGR over 2023-2028 to $3 billion, according to estimates. Henkel has launched its portfolio of hair care range under the Taft brand. This brand is in the ‘masstige’ segment, which is the fastest growing (segment between mass and luxury).

Adds Kaushik, “We have always been interested in India. Now India is the toast of the world. We are now looking at launching all our global brands in India. We have 18 SKUs in hair styling for different kinds of products that include mousse, gels and waxes. We have a vegan formula for our products which connects well with GenZ.”


After divesting its laundry business to Jyothy Labs over ten years ago, the German consumer goods major has also evaluated picking up a stake in the Indian company a few years ago. But the deal never happened. With the merger of its laundry and personal care business globally, Henkel is also open to launching brands in the home care segment.

Currently, Henkel has licensed some of its home care brands to Jyothy Labs. When asked if Henkel will re-enter the competitive home care segment, Kaushik says: “As the time comes, we will be taking a call. Currently we will focus on hair as it is our strength in India. We have given some of our brands to Jyothy. For the moment, our focus is on hair with all our strengths. We are playing on the innovation part. As the time comes, we will take a call. In India you have to be clear and for us it is important to grow the market right. We are the fastest growing hair colouration market. We will focus on that for now.”

Growing with GenZ

The company is keen to grow its portfolio of hair care products as there are several white spaces in this market. Henkel’s long-term plan is to stay invested in India and launch products that resonate with the consumers. Going forward it also plans to test products here too as it does in its laboratory in Japan after it acquired Shiseido’s professional business.

It has adopted a two-pronged strategy to tap the market in India. While it has tied up with premium retail touchpoints in key metros and Tier I cities, Henkel has tied up with big online retailers to reach maximum number of pincodes. Explains Kaushik, “For us to succeed in India, we had to build a good distribution network. We are tapping the online and quick commerce players to target a higher number of pincodes. We have gotten in the 10 min delivery slots thanks to quick commerce and that has helped us reach really small cities.”