L'Oréal promotes Indonesia eCommerce lead to oversee new SAPMENA region

Ankit Porwal, L'Oréal Indonesia's eCommerce director, has been promoted to GM for eCommerce, consumer products division for the newly formed region of South Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa (SAPMENA).

Porwal (pictured) has been in Indonesia for more than a year and was responsible for building an omni-channel go-to market strategy and eCommerce acceleration for L'Oréal, his LinkedIn said. He also led a cross-functional team of sales, marketing, digital media, finance and supply chain operations, his LinkedIn added. Before that, he was Garnier's regional marketing director for India and South Asia based in Singapore, brand GM for L'Oréal Paris based in Indonesia, and category head, hair for L'Oréal Paris based in India. Porwal also worked at Colgate-Palmolive.

Porwal told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that his vision for his new role is to further accelerate L'Oréal's digital transformation while keeping consumers and brands at the heart of the process. While Porwal did not reveal how big his new team is, he said the brand has "large eCommerce teams driving excellence in the countries" and that L'Oréal's regional teams are leaner.

"ECommerce is all about execution and teamwork. As a team in Indonesia, we were able to break functional silos and create a strong culture of agility," Porwal said. According to him, one of the brand's big wins last year was to draw consumers back to the beauty category by creating relevant marketing campaigns such as Back 2 Beauty, Garnier Green Beauty and Beauty Ready. "This was possible thanks to our partnerships with key eCommerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, and Tokopedia," he added.

The company recently tied up with Lazada for a regional Super Brand Parade event in Malaysia. Themed “House of Beauty'', the event hopes to inspire and answer beauty needs in the new normal for consumers in the region. Among the list of brands featured include Maison L’Oréal Paris, House of Maybelline and House of Green Beauty Garnier.

According to Porwal, L'Oréal Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce markets for the company. As such, there are plenty of best practices from the country that can be replicated across SAPMENA. "But the most important thing for me is the culture of cross-functional collaboration and agility which is our mantra of success," he added.

Replacing Porwal as Indonesia's eCommerce director is Amit Tripathi (pictured below) who is currently platform director, eCommerce. He joined the team in 2018 as director, media and digital from his GM role at Wavemaker Indonesia. According to his Linkedin, Tripathi also worked at Mindshare as GM and associate client leader, Maxus as planning head, and Madison World as account director.

amit tripathi loreal

Tripathi will lead a team of key account management, brand planners, supply, finance and performance marketing. "My vision for the team is to make L'Oréal eCommerce the most preferred destination for young talents who want to work in this hyper-growth sector. To aid this, L'Oréal's simplicity agenda is there to guide us and ensure teams become heroes," Tripathi explained.

With digital media and performance marketing being L'Oréal Indonesia' top drivers for growth in eCommerce, Porwal said Tripathi's experience in the media agency scene will be of big advantage to the team. "Digital and media planning involves strong brand and consumer understanding, creative campaigns, strong analytical skills and grooming young talents. All of [Tripathi's past experiences at media agencies] will come in extremely handy," Porwal said.

SAPMENA was formed in April this year with Singapore being designated as the region's headquarters. It is led by president Vismay Sharma who joined the Group in India in 1994, leading both the consumer products and professional products divisions.

Despite SAPMENA being a diverse region, Porwal said one similarity among all the countries is young, mobile-first and highly digital consumers. "That is a powerful growth driver and is the biggest opportunity [for L'Oréal]," he said.

Porwal is also determined to devote attention to developing talent across the various markets and drive strategic projects with its regional eCommerce platforms. At the same time, he has also noted the increasing adoption of livestreaming and video-driven commerce initiatives, adding that early adoption and embedding these into its consumer journey will be imperative for L'Oréal.

L'Oréal witnessed a 62% increase in eCommerce sales across all divisions and regions last year, according to chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon in its 2020 financial statement. Agon added that the company's eCommerce sales reached the record level of 26.6% of the total Group's sales for the year. The consumer products division ended at -4.7% like-for-like with about US$3.62 billion in revenue, L'Oréal said. It added that the division has further accelerated in eCommerce, particularly in the US.

ECommerce has become an even more important channel amidst the pandemic. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards recognises and rewards excellence for brands, marketplaces, and agencies in their eCommerce efforts in the region. Please contact czarinas@marketing-interactive.com for more details.

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