a passion for beauty



THE beauty products industry is the fourth most profitable globally with ever increasing sales.

According to the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association of South Africa, the annual turnover of the largest industry players in the field of beauty and cosmetics in South Africa is over R200million.

Estee Lauder group, one of the largest beauty companies in South Africa, is where Mala Govender works as the national sales and education manager.

Govender is responsible for the management of all the counters across the country, ensuring that they meet their business objectives. "From an education perspective, I am responsible for educating staff in terms of product knowledge and selling skills," she said.

Another key responsibility is event management. "We have a lot of events involving our brands, such as launches, where we invite our clients to sample our new products before we put them in the market."

Govender has a diploma in aesthetics, a diploma in public relations and post graduate diploma in business management. She has worked in the industry for 19 years.

"I joined Beauty College after I finished school and I love working in this industry. My passion and competitive nature inspire and motivate me to work, daily," she said.

Prior to her current position she was the account executive at Estee Lauder. She was responsible for the sales performance of the fragrance brands, recruitment of counter personnel, development of key personnel and identifying opportunities for maximizing sales growth.

Govender has also worked as an area manager for Dior fragrance, a cosmetic consultant for various cosmetic houses, and a beauty and physical therapist at a salon.

"You need to have people skills to work in this industry, because our work always involves people not machines," Govender said. "Understanding of the industry is crucial, being one step ahead of the rest and most of all having passion for the industry."

Govender begins her day in the office at 7.30am where she reads and responds to e-mails, analyses figures of the product sales, liaises with retailers and plans the education schedule for the staff.

"My day ends at 5.30pm but I remain available on my cellphone till later in the evening just in case a customer or staff member wants to reach me.

"If you want to remain updated with the industry, spend time in the trade and network widely with the industry players," Govender said. "One can also join the association known as Les Nouvelles Esthetiques - a publication dedicated to the up to date knowledge in the world of spas, well-being and beauty."