The owner of MAC and Deciem has teamed up with Nykaa to create beauty brand incubator for the subcontinent
Brand owners have until September to enter the incubator programme by Nykaa and ELC
Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is betting on India's beauty start-up scene with the launch of a brand incubator for the subcontinent.
The initiative, called Beauty & You, was developed in partnership with local retailer Nykaa to discover the next big premium cosmetics brand.
"With its incredibly vibrant economy and cutting-edge start-up community, India represents an exciting opportunity for beauty creators and innovators," said Shana Randhava, Vice President, New Incubation Ventures of ELC.
"Our vision is for Beauty & You to harness the entrepreneurial energy in India to advance next-generation beauty brands by presenting opportunities that help put brands on a long-term, sustainable growth path."
The owner of MAC and Deciem has been strengthening its position in the country for the past decade.
ELC acquired a minority stake in luxury Ayurvedic specialists Forest Essentials in 2013.
The US beauty giant has also previously partnered with Nykaa to expand MAC and Bobbi Brown into India in 2016 and 2017.
Winners of the new incubator programme by ELC and Nykaa will receive mentorship along with distribution and media support.
Approximately US$500,000 (INR 4Cr) is being offered across the brands.
A panel of expert industry judges will decide the winners, including Bollywood star and Kay Beauty owner Katrina Kaif, Deciem co-founder Nicola Kilner and YouTube's Head of Beauty Derek Blasberg.
Nykaa E-Commerce's CEO and fellow judge, Anchit Nayar, said the incubator is a chance for the retailer to "give back" to the industry.
"Nykaa's emergence as a leading consumer technology platform over the past several years is an outcome of an incredibly vibrant digital India that has spurred innovation and created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is best in class globally," he added.
Brand founders have until 30 September to enter and businesses can span all categories from make-up to home fragrance.