How Mensa Brands was able to touch a net revenue run rate of Rs 1500 crore in 12 months of operations

In a conversation with YourStory, Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO of Mensa Brands, spoke about the startup's growth and its plans ahead.
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Roll-up ecommerce startup Mensa Brands on Tuesday said it is now profitable, with a net revenue run rate of Rs 1,500 crore in the first twelve months of operations.

Mensa works with 20 brands, including five breakout category leaders. The startup says it has built a sustainable business model supported by a technology platform and has served over five million customers.

More than half of its brands are available outside India across the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Singapore, and UAE. The startup now plans on expanding its workforce.

In a conversation with YourStory, Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Mensa Brands talks about the startup's growth.

Edited excerpts of the interaction

YourStory (YS): What are the steps you took to achieve this revenue run rate?

Ananth Narayanan (AN): The revenue run rate is bolstered by tech-driven growth hacking, investments in category, pricing, and product. Steps we took included improving the product, placement, and profitability, while adding SKUs all based on trends predicted using a tech and data-driven approach.

YS: What is the path to profitability, and what are the different business levers you had to tweak for the same?

AN: Structurally, our model is a profitable one. We have been very careful about how we grow, without using subsidies and making sure the brands are all individually profitable. Our central system is tech-driven, meaning that we don't have to linearly increase the number of people with an increase in the brands. We have been able to set up central operations of warehousing, supply chain, and logistics, which help in reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Mensa’s indigenous tech-based playbook for scaling digital-first D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands is paying huge dividends. The various aspects/components of the playbook include optimisation of logistics, warehousing, personalisation in marketing, dynamic pricing, product enhancement based on consumer feedback, etc.

Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Mensa Brands

YS: How has Mensa integrated all the other brands? And how are they all working together?

AN: From day one, the finance, people, operations front, central warehouses, and supply chain gets integrated. We also invest in performance marketing, to strategise on how we spend our budget on Amazon, Flipkart, and other platforms.

What remains brand-specific post-acquisition is the sourcing, design, and persona, so each brand has an individual persona/identity and the product development is in-line with the same.

YS: How do you deal with challenges?

AN: Building a house of brands needs two main focus areas, tech, and execution. So, having a very experienced and ecommerce savvy team, to solve these two points day-in and day-out is the key.

YS: What are your future plans and milestones?

AN: We would love to hit a Rs 3,000 crore revenue run-rate in the next 12 months while partnering with another 20 founders and brands. Mensa currently has 700 employees across three central offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Gurugram and has built a strong values-driven culture, we want to continue this hiring run and add around 700 more people in the coming year. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti