Members of the South African business community, who attended the In-cosmetic Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, have welcomed the opportunities emanating from the three-day show.
The founder and chief executive officer of Prim-U, Thuli Hlongwane, said an impressive number of agents and distributors who visited her stand showed genuine interest in her products and ingredients.
“Our main engagements with potential clients were mainly on key issues of certification and quality of our products. They were also interested in the logistics of getting samples to them for their formulation tests. We positively scanned approximately 100 hot leads that we will be following up with in the coming weeks,” Hlongwane said.
Prim-U is South Africa’s first online booking hub that connects world‑class beauty entrepreneurs in the industry to customers and hundreds of salons, spas, hotels and guests houses countrywide. This was Hlongwane’s first international exhibition but she said her key take-home from the experience was a better understanding of the company’s target market, as she got direct feedback from potential clients.
“Participating in the exhibition helped us to identify the need to work with distributors in order to establish some presence in countries that we plan to expand to,” she said.
The representative of Empire Salon Specialist, Magdelen Govender, said exhibiting at In-cosmetics was an immense privilege because it has opened so many doors for the company.
Govender said she managed to connect with both large and small companies that are willing to work with her company. “I have communicated with many companies from different countries. I have collected so much information that is going to assist me in the business going forward,” Govender said.
Empire Salon Specialist has a variety of beauty and hair brands. It also supplies organic oils, butters, powders, product bases and a range of uncommon active ingredients.
SA's first official participation
The South African representative of the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO), Anna Reyneke, said South Africa’s first official participation at In-cosmetics in Spain successfully show-cased the diversity of the country’s natural ingredients and its biodiversity on the leading global stage for this sector.
“It also highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of South African businesses and their high-quality products. Also, keen interest was shown by high quality and targeted international visitors to the South African booth. In addition, there was high demand for sustainable ingredients with great emphasis on upcycled products, as well as impactful social and environmental aspects was shown,” Reyneke said.
She said that a continued and increasing presence of South Africa as a thriving place of origin of natural ingredients at In-cosmetics global trade shows was important to build on the momentum created as a capable supplier to export markets.
The participation of Team SA at In-cosmetics Exhibition was supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.