The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Passion over profit

I do things that I have a passion for. Money is just a by-product.” That’s 38-year-old Samir Modi for you. Clearly it’s passion over profit for the managing director of Modi Enterprises, part of the K.K. Modi Group. Passion that includes borrowing lipstick from unsuspecting people because Colorbar, his make-up company, might like to have a similar shade. Passion that includes trying out every product — including nail polish but excluding lipstick. Passion that includes sneaking a peek into every woman’s make-up kit! His excuse: “How else do you know what she might need?”

A t2 chat...

Why make-up?

I think I’m trapped in the wrong body! Make-up, fashion, designing… I love creating. But for the record, I would like to say that I am 100 per cent heterosexual! But seriously, I believe that being born in a business family doesn’t make business my DNA. I also believe that whatever you want to do, give it 100 per cent. Otherwise don’t do it.

Make-up was an idea to create a brand that was fun and effective. So Colorbar was born. Initially I was like a kid in a candy store having so much fun! Make-up is fun and colourful. Then there are so many innovations you can do. It’s literally like a bare canvas.

Recently I have also learnt that make-up is recession-proof. It is a small cost to feel good. It is an inexpensive pick-me-up. Economic slump or boom, people will not stop buying lipstick.

How is Colorbar positioned in the market now that there is so much more competition from MAC and other international brands?

Colorbar’s competition is Maybelline but its benchmark is MAC, Bobbi Brown and Chanel. Our prices range between Rs 40 and Rs 850 but our products are acquired from top class Italian and French manufacturers. We do thorough colour research and testing of formulations. All our cosmetics are made abroad and packaged in India but we score over MAC and others because our range is suited more to India — both in terms of colours and climate.

What’s next from Colorbar?

This year will be eventful. We will launch a Swiss-made skincare range called Skinbar. There will also be a range of men’s products. Colorbar will soon launch its new website that will offer virtual makeovers to people when they upload their pictures. We are also working towards customisation of make-up. Colorbar aims to ensure that no woman needs to mix two shades of lipstick to get the perfect colour! You will be able to choose your colours and blend it and also name it whatever you want. We will print the label provided it fits the space! And once the retail rents come down, you will definitely see more of the brand.

And what’s next from Samir Modi?

Watch out for a book by me. It will be a step-by-step guide on how to apply make-up — from ordinary to fantabulous in less than five minutes. Girls don’t like to ask other girls for any make-up advice and technique. My book will tell you everything. For that I will be leaving for an intense make-up application course in New York soon. We own the franchise for luxury brand Shanghai Tang and I want to launch my luxury label. It will be cool and trendy, very hip-hop. The design process has begun and I dream to see it on the global catwalk some day…

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