History & Marketing Strategies of Colorbar

Brand Name: Colorbar
Founder: Mr. Samir Modi

Colorbar Cosmetics was founded by Mr. Samir Modi in 2004. It over a decade of its existence, Colorbar has been able to earn a name for itself in the Indian cosmetics market. The company has the complete personal care range for women including specialized products for face, lips, eyes, nails and skin care.

The company also sells professional grade makeup accessories and brushes and offers personalized engraving on their products as gifts and memoirs along with special bridal makeovers.

The Beginning

Samir Modi was born in the month of December 1969 as the youngest scion of Mr. K. K. Modi and Mrs. Bina Modi. As a member of the business family who ran the two billion Dollar Modi Enterprises, founded by his grandfather Mr. Gujarmal Modi and expanded by his father, entrepreneurship came almost naturally to him.

After completion of his schooling in India, Samir Modi ventured overseas to obtain a degree from Harvard Business School and later started his professional career in the USA. Later, he came back to India and joined the family business, holding various responsible positions within the vast conglomerate. 


While he was furthering the family name and business interests, the idea of doing something on his own was always on Samir Modi’s mind. He started the network marketing arm of Modi Enterprises in 1996 with twelve products and three hundred distributors.

He then got his opening when he took over the cosmetics business segment of the family in 2003, when the head of the cosmetics division left his job. He immediately felt that the cosmetics industry of the country had a lot of potential and he can take his business to new heights with innovative ideas and proper product positioning in the market.

To this effect, he launched a new brand of cosmetics in 2004 and named it Colorbar. The idea was to change the buying experience of women who bought beauty products and to tailor his offerings to suit the Indian population while maintaining world-class quality standards.


The Journey to Success

As with any new business venture into a market where there already are deeply entrenched national and international players, Samir Modi’s brand Colorbar also struggled during its initial years. While the products were of international standards, the lack of impetus and difficulty of establishing a new personal care brand among the already popular choices available to the masses was acting as a detriment to the business growth.

Till 2010, there was hardly any growth and the total revenue was only Rupees 30 crore. Samir Modi was aware of the situation, but he had to divide his time between his other business ventures for Modi Enterprises, where he was holding key positions. Still, he took the important decision of getting on board experienced professionals from the cosmetics industry.

One such key person was Reena Chabra, who he appointed CEO of Colorbar, an experienced veteran of the cosmetics business in India with successful stints at Lakme and Kaya Skin Clinic. With the return of zeal and focus, the company got a fresh lease of life and the business results improved drastically. 

By 2013, Colorbar grew into becoming a 100+ crore cosmetics brand and the consumers began to take notice of the company. The brand was positioned to represent prestige for the masses, products that were of international standards yet Indian at its heart with all the characteristics of an internationally acclaimed brand. The focus shifted from just expanding on a linear scale to creating a distinct identity for Colorbar as ‘different’ and ‘exclusive’ from its peer products. 

Marketing Strategies

  • To improve his products, Samir Modi looked towards Europe, the hub of fashion products and ordered materials from the same suppliers who were the source for other established international cosmetics brands and repackaged it in Taiwan and China. While these efforts ate into the product margins and pushed it to around thirty percent against the average of fifteen percent industry average, he was not ready to compromise on quality and banked on customers prioritizing product standards over price
  • Colorbar also ensured that its products were offered to the customers with the same touch of exclusivity associated with the brand. To this effect, Samir Modi actually decreased the number of distributors of his products from the initial number of two thousand to just over a thousand. This move also helped to reduce the distribution overhead costs to a great extent while leading to better management of its outlets.
  • The micro-management of inventory at the retailer level was another step that helped to keep the supply to their discerning customers intact. Reena Chabra ensured that the sales representatives of her company visited the retail points and kept track of the best–selling stocks of Colorbar and ensured its availability. This reduced the return rate of unsold products from the high of thirty percent three years ago to the current low of three percent
  • The brand is quite conscious about environment and usage of ingredients that harm animals and have diligently refrained from using them in its manufacturing process. Almost all of its products are made out of synthetic fibers and the few with natural ones are in the process of being replaced. Also, make up accessories like accessories are free of latex, thus making them ideal for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin. 
  • Colorbar has kept up with its expansion strategy and has added many new and innovative product ranges in its product portfolio. 15ml nail polish bottles, full range of makeup and accessories which includes face brushes, eye brushes, complete manicure/pedicure kits, foundation sponges, eyelash curlers, nail separators and tweezers among others. They have also recently launched their own skincare range and have received heartening response from its customers
  • The brand is positioned as an educator – it aims to teach the Indian women the art of applying makeup properly. Targeting the female age group between 25 to 40 years, Colorbar wants to become the brand of choice for discerning customers who are looking for “something different” in their facial care and make-up products
  • Colorbar Cosmetics has emerged as a major player in the market and set many industry trends. Samir Modi ensures that he checks each of his products before mass market launch. His personal confirmation is necessary for any new products of Colorbar and he also rejects products based on his intuition and experience.
  • As of 2014, Samir Modi’s company had over five percent share in the total cosmetics market valued over Rupees 2,500 crore. Colorbar Cosmetics also registered a net profit of 1.65 Crores in 2012, just eight years after its inception. In terms of market capitalization, the company stands at fifth position currently while registering steady business growth and expansion. 



To sum up, Colorbar Cosmetics has come a long way since its inception as just an extension of the Modi Conglomerate. Samir Modi’s personal involvement along with the inclusion of expert professionals from the industry into the company has made a significant difference to its growth and expansion of the brand as a whole.

The future goals of the company to reach 1000+ crore Rupees turnover in the next three to four years, international expansion especially in the Middle East, African and West Asian Markets and launch of complementary skin care ranges to support its core products, are sure to usher in a brighter future for the Colorbar brand. 


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