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Simone Tata

Simone Tata, nee Dunoyer, 83, is an Indian business woman who strived to move
ahead with flying colors, when women like her were busy with their households.
Mrs. Tata was the Chairperson of the Trent Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata
Company, was the first businesswoman to introduce beauty salons, produce
cosmetics for Indian consumers, and thats the reason why she is also known as the
Cosmetic Czarina of India.

Her professional journey

She joined as the Managing Director of Lakme in the year 1961 and hence started a
new phase of entrepreneurship and what came next. Success never made late for
Simone Tata. In the year 1982, she was promoted to the post of Chairperson of
Lakme. And sooner in 1989, she was appointed to the board of the Tata Industries.
Lakme, which was a small subsidiary of the Tata Oil Mills, under the flagship of
Simone Tata, went on to become one of the largest cosmetic manufacturing of India.
Taking the growth of retail industry, she decided to sell off the Lakme and it was
bought by the Hindustan Uniliver and with that capital she started Westside. And what
remarks her achievement is that a single unprofitable retail outlet of Westside is now
operating as many as 14 successful stores. The thorough understanding of the
marketing prospects, sincerity and dedication in standing next to the competitors
helped the Westside gain a firm position in the market and among the consumers.
Stylish clothing, exceptional toys, trendy house wares and hip cosmetics along with
the label of Westside, gave it an edge along with its competitors. Since 1998, it has
been the endeavor of the Tata Company to provide the best shopping experience to the
customers. According to Simone Tata, the chief reasons behind the success of her
venture are the impeccable style, reasonable price and most importantly flawless
Apart from apparels and cosmetics, the Taj Caf is another achievement of hers. It is
one of the favorite spot for ladies for a get together after being stressed from
household work. The place is also an entertainment provider especially during various
Indian festivals. This implies her strong knowledge of the Indian culture and tradition.
As exclaimed by many of her colleagues and subordinates, it is really hard to believe
that she is not from India.

Her tough times

The real obstacle for the Westside was during 1999-2004, when the real estate market
was very expensive. And since the company was in its infant stage it was difficult to
arrange for sufficient capitals for expanding the business prospects. Land cost was
itself proving to be major hindrance. But it didnt take much time to prove the
prowess of the Tata. By the end of the summer 2004, the newly born retail industry
was already operating in 14 different locations of India, owing to the perseverance and
marketing aptitude of none other than Mrs. Simone Tata.

Entrepreneurial traits
Interesting ambience, style quotient and reasonable pricings are the key to her
successful entrepreneurship ventures. Understanding the core concepts of marketing
was the main entrepreneurial trait that enabled Simone Tata to achieve laurels.
According to her the trick to her successful venture was to catch the trend before it
shelves the store. And the most important part is about knowing the particular trend
that will attract the Indian customers categorically. She made regular visits to the
European countries and acquire the latest fashion trends with womens apparels,
household and accessories to bring the same international flavor to local grounds of
India. Her foresight to predict the Indian contemporary urban fashion and her notion
that the dressing sense of the Indian youngsters and women are much contemporary to
those of the European natives is what got Westside stay afloat in times not so good.
These assessments are what made a benchmark in the fashion world with her
brainchild Westside.

Achievements and Laurels

She was honored with the Life Time Achievement Award by the Indore Management
Association (IMA) for her contribution to the Indian retail industry. She has also been
conferred the Visionary of the Year Award by the Images Fashion Awards (IFA) for
Westside, the lifestyle retail brand of the Tata Company. IFAs are considered to be one
of the highest accolades in fashion business. She has also received the Udyog Ratna
Award as the Woman of the Decade.