Since 2009, US cosmetics giant Estée Lauder Companies has widened its presence in sub-Saharan Africa, entering new markets and expanding its product portfolio. In the last five years the company has made forays into Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire.
After decades of doing business in South Africa and its neighbouring countries, the company now operates in a total of 14 markets on the continent.
“For many years our Southern African footprint has been strong. We have a very broad portfolio of our products in South Africa, for instance, and all of them are performing extremely well. We have slowly been building our presence in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa because we see it as a growth opportunity,” says Sue Fox, managing director for Estée Lauder in the sub-Saharan region.
Changing dynamics in Africa
Fox points to the “changing dynamics of Africa” such as economic growth in many countries, a rising middle class with an appetite for branded products, and a large population of young people.
“There has been a big shift in the last few years. There is more consumer awareness. More people travel outside of Africa and see brands abroad they want to buy in their own markets. We are entering these markets because we see the region as having sustainable, long-term growth. The future is really positive,” she explains.
Source: How we made it in Africa
Image: Estee Lauder