While many people would describe Dubai as the ‘City of Gold’, Faizal Changampally, founder and chairman of V Perfumes, says that he likes to call Dubai the ‘City of Fragrances’.
“Dubai, and the UAE, are the birthplace of several notable perfume companies that today have a presence on the international stage,” he said. “Looking back at my own experience, I would say that the UAE is one of the best places in the world to start a business. You have visionary leaders, laws that support businesses, and a welcoming environment for innovative new ideas.”
Innovation, he pointed out, is very important in a market like the UAE, especially when it comes to the perfume industry.
“Trends in the perfume industry can change very fast. In addition to that, different people have different preferences. Operating as a perfumer in a market like the UAE is also very challenging because you have very discerning customers. Emirati customers are very knowledgeable and they don’t like to purchase perfumes and fragrances that are not unique to them.”
Asked to elaborate on the current trends in the market, he noted that there has been a shift towards niche designer brands.
“A lot of Emirati shoppers don’t want perfumes from commercialised collections that everyone can purchase in a store; they are looking at signature perfumes that are totally unique to them. This has created a shift towards luxury niche perfumes that come in limited stocks.”
This shift has also resulted in the success of V Perfumes’ own exclusive perfume brands, he revealed. Today, the company has almost 20 exclusive perfume brands.
Creating a new perfume for one of these brands is a lengthy process that involves a lot of research, Changampally said.
“My background in sales really helps me when creating new perfumes. Looking at which perfumes are popular at the moment gives me an idea for the foundation of a new perfume. Once I am able to identify a trend about which notes are in demand, we start experimenting with different additions and build up the formula.”
In addition, every step of the process gets the same attention to detail that is reserved for the perfume. “We look at everything from the design and shape of the bottle to the printing and packaging; the overall look of the product is very important when you are trying to make and leave an impression on your consumers. I am blessed to have a very strong team that supports me at every stage of the process and ensures that we come out with a memorable product.”
One thing that Changampally stresses on is the importance of continuously learning about the market and what is new in terms of products.
“The day you stop learning is that day that you become stagnant and your business begins to suffer. There is always something new that is going to arrive in the market and you need to see how you can adopt that for your consumers. In line with this, we have also branched out in different segments such as hair perfumes and car accessories that are proving to be popular with our shoppers.”
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