Beauty trends stagnated - Nirosha
By Menaka Indrakumar
Nineteen years ago Nirosha Jagodaarachchi embarked on a journey of beauty, today her successful cosmetic venture has grown immensely in the arena. She is one of the most recognized faces and the face behind British Cosmetics empire, introducing some of the top beauty brands to the country such as CCUK and Prevense skin care.
Nirosha, together with her husband has taken the brand to great heights. Known for her innovative business skills and passion to reach greater heights in the field of beauty, she talks to Glamour about British Cosmetics, the beauty industry in Sri Lanka and upcoming ventures for the brand.
What made Dimuth and you start British Cosmetics?
Until marriage I was engaged in the corporate sector. Soon after marriage I took a break, aiming to be a good housewife. Unfortunately my destiny has designed me as a career woman, making me one lousy person in domestic management. However, deep down I've always wanted to be empowered and independent. During this time we got to know our UK principals through a common friend, with the professional qualifications that I possessed, we both decided that I should test my talents in that business.
Dimuth's leadership and strong financial vision made the company grow smoothly. When we got the franchise to distribute CCUK in Sri Lanka, we did not even imagine, in our wildest dreams that this brand would grow to this extent. However, the success is not entirely on me. We are both humble and proud that we have built a cosmetics empire together which is now 19 years old.
What do you think of the current beauty trends in Sri Lanka?
There is a significant gap between us and the international trends and it is my greatest passion to bridge this gap to suite our market. However, unfortunately I see that beauty trends in Sri Lanka are stagnant and limited to one geographical point. Everything is easily accessible in Colombo. There is a great deal of work left for cosmetic companies like us to do, taking the latest trends and technologies to the suburbs. Implementing regional awareness campaigns and regional beauty advisors have supported us tremendously on up-scaling rural consumers. However, local authorities should also take responsibility to implement systematic strategies to streamline safe usage of products that are introduced to the market.
What is the best product of BC and why?
Very clearly the Prevense skin care range and then followed by the CCUK. Both of those brands are mid and upper stream best sellers. All of these products are unique and are trendy and innovative. All of our products are true to what they claim.
Is product distribution something you always wanted to do?
There was no such intention or dream I had that one day I would be this or that. Soon after acquiring the franchise from UK and as I was already a qualified beautician with my preliminary qualification here and further qualifications in UK, Germany and USA which gave me the confidence to develop the brand to the next level. Research and developments for CCUK & Prevense has given me the greatest opportunity to associate leading R & D houses in Europe. The experience and knowledge I have gained is overwhelming.
BC has distributed some of the best skin and beauty care products, what is the next product to be launched?
Our experience in the field associating with the most prominent fashion houses and brands has given us a wealth of knowledge in what we should do next. State-of-the-art technologies combining unique products are in the pipe line for next year. So, 2018 is geared to be quite interesting for all our brands. There will be extraordinary products across nails, makeup, skin care and hair. The current introduction Lash extension by Lash Perfect from UK is one such unique project. The most significant thing about me is I do not just introduce products. The brand, people, technique and what is unique, excites me to take it on board. It is a whole new phase of work and this is why we are different and successful.
What made you start BC nail studio?
As I come from a professional beautician's background itself, I am forever seeking to introduce novel products or services to the local industry. In 2004, when I introduced nail extension technology it took the industry by storm. It was extraordinary, exciting and successful.
What was one main thing that made BC this successful?
Commitment to offer quality and innovative products across all brands. Also we are passionate in what we do and sincere to our clients. We consider sustainable beauty to be timeless. I love being excited and that reflects in what I introduce. As any women, a brand should 'wow' me. When I meet people here and overseas when I talk about our company and what it offers, I see what I felt through them. This way I know that I have not failed.
Has the brand been expanding outside Sri Lanka?
Yes, British Cosmetics has definite potential to expand globally, and we are in preparation for this by next year.
Where do you see the company in five years?
Things are changing rapidly. What is popular today is nowhere tomorrow. We need to stay with the trends and introduce quality and exciting products to sustain the market. As long as we keep up with this, we can sustain and grow. The toughest was the first 15 years. If a company can survive this, the next 5 years will just go by very smoothly, which is the growing phase.
Do you think Sri Lanka is still behind in the beauty industry?
Fashion trends and beauty are two industries that compliment each other. As of now, the fashion industry is booming and so is economic growth. Rapid increase of tourism and upcoming residential developments are positive attributes to the fashion industry. As a result, the beauty industry will also develop simultaneously. Also, major cosmetic brands should enter the industry setting up international benchmarks. In order to compete with those international brands, the local industry will consequently upscale their standards. We need to step out of cheap Chinese products that have bombarded the market which will have severe consequences on consumer health in the very near future.
What is your greatest achievement?
My life up to now has never been the prototype perfect woman. I have had my ups and downs. There has been days that I am lost and baffled. But I have managed all of them to the best of my ability. And my greatest achievement is my strength to face challenges without fear, raising two great kids, and finding the perfect partner in crime and success. These are the foundation pillars to my character, without achieving them I wouldn't have been the person who I am today. I have never taken anything for granted, for I believe in Karma.
Pic by Anuruddha Medawattagedara
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