Simone Tata

Topics: Retailing, Tata Group, Trent Pages: 11 (3288 words) Published: September 14, 2010
Simone Tata



1. Personal and working life…………………3

2. Struggle…………………………………….5

3. Achievements……………………………….7

4. Future plans………………………………....8

5. Reference………………………………….....10

1. Personal and working life

| |Simone Tata, Chairperson, Trent | | |Reticent, shy, soft are the words that come to your mind when you meet Simone Tata, the 72-year-old chairperson of Trent — one of the | | |fastest growing retail chains in the country. | | |Behind this soft cover is a stoic woman, who has been a pioneer of sorts, a trend-setter and the key driver of fashion and beauty in the | | |country. Simone Tata has several firsts to her name – the first businesswoman to introduce cosmetics to Indian consumers, the first | | |businesswoman to start the practice of beauty salons in the country, the first to introduce a 100 per cent private label store in the | | |country. And all these achievements have been the outcome of a very clear and deep understanding of the consumer. | | |Says an ex-employee of Trent (formerly Lakme), "Nobody can ever make out from her knowledge of the consumers that she is not an Indian. It| | |is only her style and the way she conducts herself, that makes you realise her foreign upbringing". | | |Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Simone’s early childhood was deeply influenced by the events of World War II, which created hardships and | | |insecurity in this small country. This is perhaps the genesis of the kind heart and loving personality that her employees and people who | | |come in contact with her claim are her biggest assets. | | |Her association with India started when she was working for Air-India and developed a keen interest in the country. Her marriage to Naval | | |Tata in 1955 further fortified this association. | | |French to the core in her love for the perfectly made-up look, Simone Tata started India’s first indigenous beauty company, Lakmé, in | | |1962, which went on to become synonymous with high quality, affordable products that were international in appeal, yet oh-so Indian. | | |She honed her entrepreneurial skills on Lakmé, and was appointed as its first MD in 1964 and also assumed its Chairmanship in 1982. | | |Simone is credited with the introduction of several product categories, which were unheard of in India, like pencil kajal, hair removing | | |lotion, winter care and sunscreen lotions. | | |Over the years, Lakme became India’s premier cosmetic company with the highest brand recall amongst women. The company also developed | | |powerful export markets in Russia and Eastern Europe. | | |Despite such acclaim, Simone has always taken care to see that her customers get the best quality at the right price – and under no | | |circumstances has quality been compromised upon. Adds another ex-employee, "If it was a choice between cost and quality, she would go for | | |quality at any cost". | | |It is due to this undeterred devotion that Lakme grew in leaps and bounds. From a turnover of about Rs 11 crore in 1981, in 1996 when the | | |company was sold to HLL, Lakme managed a turnover of close to Rs 150 crore in a difficult market like India. | | |For industry...
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