After high-end fashion and cosmetic brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Christian Dior, several new global cosmetics players are now tapping India to expand their business but they now face strict scrutiny from the health ministry.
The ministry is planning to have stringent standards for product approvals for cosmetic brands keen to enter India. Most of these companies have already applied for Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.
“We are taking over six months against the average 45 days to clear each application filed for marketing approvals. Moreover, if the ministry is unsatisfied with clinical trial reports, it may conduct separate trials in Indian laboratories irrespective of the time the process will consume,” said a senior health ministry official.
The ministry is clearing products on the basis of safety for Indian skin types because most of these products are tested on foreigners.
“It is mandatory to check the product on at least 25 to 50 Asian subjects while conducting clinical trials. We need to check the efficacy of a product beyond its fragrance, look and feel,” the official said.
Recently, Bottega di LungaVita received marketing approval for 77 products in India. “It takes not less than three to six months to get approval and the process would get delayed further if they have any queries or complications,” said Sanjiv Khurana, director, SCPL (San Pellegrino), which introduced Bottega Di LungaVita to India in a joint venture.
The ministry is seeking details on ingredients and their sources, their benefits and limitations and verification from university clinical trials.