Navigating a market slowdown: Examples from India

Bindu Nair

As India's economic growth slows, the spotlight at the 13th CII Marketing Summit – held in Mumbai in late 2013 – was trained on the challenges that face marketers during tough financial times.

Learn from the Lipstick Index

Samrath Bedi, executive director at Forest Essentials – a luxury Ayurveda cosmetics manufacturer in which Estée Lauder holds a minority stake – was of the view that slowdowns are part of a cyclical process. As a marketer, it is therefore imperative not to hit the panic button when confronted by recessionary situations.

In evidence of this, he brought up the Lipstick Index – a term used to describe the phenomenon of rising sales of beauty products in periods of fiscal uncertainty. "Women, in times of a recession, will put off [buying] big-ticket items like handbags and shoes but will always want to look and feel good. So one will always see an uptick in the sales of lipstick and skincare products," Bedi said.