A look into BCPL – One of India's largest distributor of imported fragrances

From left to right - Ms. Babita Nandra, Mr. Rajiv Bahety, Ms. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Mr. Patrizio Stella, Ms. Sujata Dhamija, Ms. Seema Bahety, Mr. Tony Chin

Kolkata based Beauty Concepts Pvt Ltd is a name to reckon with when it comes to premium and luxury fragrances in India. If you would have purchased a perfume bottle be it online or from a store in all probability it was from Beauty Concepts Pvt Ltd (BCPL). After all, they have an immensely diverse portfolio and represent some of the best names in the fragrance industry. Fragrances from brands like Bvlgari, Ferragamo, Chopard, Hermes, Aqua Di Parma, Guerlain and many more all come under the umbrella of BCPL. And the company is just warming up, they now have two dedicated stores in the heart of Mumbai and New Delhi that would be showcasing and selling luxury fragrances for well-heeled aficionados.

We sat down with Mr. Tony Chin a veteran of the industry who brings with him three decades of experience in the beauty industry. A graduate from the prestigious National University of Singapore, his many stints include working for L'Oreals’ luxury division and as a country manager in Luxasia which is one of Asia’s largest beauty distributors. Fluent in Mandarin and English, Mr. Tony has a strong grip on the pulse of India and has been managing BCPL as a CEO since the past 15 years now.

Luxury launches - What has been the journey of BCPL?

Mr. Tony Chin - We have come a long way from when we first started out as a distributor for imported fragrances in India. Those early days, we were simply supplying to 7 Shoppers Stop doors and now have a retail platform of >200+ dept store POS, covering Pan-India with all major dept store chains in India including Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Central as well as Pantaloons. In addition, we have expand significantly into a multi-channel distributor with dominance in e-commerce platforms, corporate gifting markets as well as many other non-traditional sales channels. More than that, we have also embarked on an ambitious retail project to bring high-end, luxury & artisanal fragrance to the Indian consumer with the opening of 2 Maison Des Parfum concept shops in 2018 with plans to expand this retail network to more doors and locations. Many of our brand partners are working with BCPL for more than 10 years and it clearly shows our commitment and credibility in being able to understand and market luxury brands in India.

BCPL at Vogue Wedding Show

LL - How has BCPL come to be one of the most prominent players of luxury fragrance distribution?

Mr. Tony - We have a distribution portfolio of some of the top luxury brands including Hermes, Bvlgari, Ferragamo, Chopard as well as the best high-end luxury fragrances like MEMO, Amouage, Bond No.9 etc. for many years and have grown them to a significant presence in the Indian market. Our channels expansion has been very successful with dominance in e-commerce in this category and are continuing to explore new, non-traditional channels to develop our business further. All channel partners, especially in the primary retail sector (dept stores), have looked upon BCPL as a trust-worthy and long-term partner. Our foray into having our own retail platform have also been very fruitful, having a JV with L’Occitane as well as opening our own retail concept stores for high-end luxury fragrances.

Bulgari Omnia Pasticceria outpost at Select City Walk mall, Delhi.

LL- What is the vision behind Maison Des Parfums?

Mr. Tony - We want to bring fragrance appreciation to the next level as consumers in India are becoming more sophisticated, well-travelled and more discerning. No longer are they contented with mainstream popular brands that is being advertised relentlessly and whose scents are commercially similar to many others. The brands that are featured in MDP are unique works of art with specific ingredients that you cannot find with mainstream brands. We plan to expand our MDP footprint in more locations while maintaining the exclusivity associated with such high-priced luxury products. Our next step wld be to also explore the possibility of making the products available to consumers who desire the products but are far away from the physical POS.

BCPL

LL - What are your thoughts on the Indian fragrance industry

Mr. Tony - The e-commerce intrusion has changed the market place and provoke many aggressive actions by many brands. Discounting & promotion offers are rampant, creating new buying behaviors where consumers are looking for even more value. As such investment in the brands is escalating and we have to be even more creative in reaching out the consumers and enticing them to convert their interest into sales.

BCPL

LL - I reckon BCPL does more than fragrances, can you talk more about the other business as well?

Mr. Tony – Yes, we have more businesses in retail as well as distribution including travel accessories (luggage), fashion watches etc. These are complementary to our entire infrastructure as they share some similar channels. We can give more details if required.

LL - What is the future of BCPL?

Mr. Tony - We are an Indian company with Indian owner while relying on local & foreign professionals to drive the business. The Indian economy is growing and with it the consumer retail market will grow in tandem. We see great potential for us to expand and diversify our business interest both in product categories as well as distribution depth not only in India but across the whole Indian sub-continent with surrounding markets.