From Uber cabs to uber skin: how Navneet Kaur wants to make your skincare routine ‘Yours’
We’ve all craved that perfect skin, trying out umpteen number of skincare products and following numerous skincare routines – all in our quest for that glowing, unblemished look. But even those of us who’ve never cared too much for a skincare routine have found it a chore to find the right mix of products and routine for our skin. In fact, if there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that, when it comes to skincare, one size does not fit all. Personalised skincare solutions do.
Enter Yours, a personalised skincare solutions startup that gives users a customised skincare regime to follow based on user inputs about their skin on the Yours website. Singapore-based Yours was founded by a former executive at ride-hailing company Uber, Navneet Kaur, who knows only too well the skincare woes many face.
Speaking about the ‘hit and trial’ process most people go through when choosing skincare products, Navneet Kaur says,
“There are millions of brands and products to choose from, but we have a very limited understanding of what our skin actually needs. There are critical factors like lifestyle and environment that we usually miss out on while choosing these products. Sadly, therefore, everyone goes through the same ‘hit and trial’ process before landing on the products that they’re satisfied with.”
Taking the guesswork out of skincare
In fact, Navneet came up with the idea to start Yours while on the quest to find the right products for her husband. At the time, he was facing skin troubles because of hectic travel schedules, lack of sleep, pollution, and stress.
“It took us both some time to connect the dots between his lifestyle and skin troubles. It was the months of research that I went through to eventually land on the products that worked for him. While we were on this quest of finding the ‘right’ products for him, we realised that we were on to something,” she says.
During this time, Navneet was in a regular corporate job as Head of Strategy and Operations for APAC at bicycle-sharing company OFO. But Navneet, who also had four years of experience scaling Uber in Asia, was no stranger to the skincare industry, having spent the early years of her career as a brand manager at ITC. So, skincare had always been at the top of her mind, and she was excited to start up in this direction.
Once Navneet recognised the opportunity for personalised skincare using technology, she decided to work with skin experts to find the best solution. This involved travelling across eight countries for three months and meeting 63 labs/manufacturers to work on product formulations, before finally finding the right partner, all the way over in Switzerland.
“I finally found the right partner lab in Switzerland which shared my vision of innovative product formulations in line with clean beauty and environment sustainability. I worked extensively with skin experts in Switzerland to decode the most critical skin, lifestyle, and environmental factors that impact our skin health,” she says.
All through this time, Navneet received ‘unconditional support’ from her husband and angel investors, who she credits with helping her lay a strong foundation for the company.
“Getting the right investors onboard is critical to the success of a business. I chose to raise money from angels who bring in a wealth of knowledge and experience. Moreover, I have worked with most of my angel investors at some point in my career, and we share a much deeper working relationship than just this venture. It’s their guidance and support that continues to strengthen our vision for this brand,” says Navneet.
Today, Yours offers personalised skincare based on the user’s skin, lifestyle, and environment.
“We take the guesswork out of skincare and simplify it for everyone. The products automatically adjust according to the changing skin needs and the changing weather conditions. So, all you have to do is take an online skin assessment, upload a selfie, and leave the rest to us,” she says.
Straight from the Swiss Alps
Apart from the ‘personalised’ nature of its offering, Navneet says Yours differentiates itself from others in the market with its cutting-edge R&D and technology, pure natural ingredients from the Swiss Alps, stringent quality, safety, and efficacy tests, and transparency of the entire supply chain of ingredients. Navneet even visits the mountains from where the natural ingredients are sourced.
But these differentiators apart, Navneet is setting her sights on turning the direct-to-consumer brand to a subscription-based revenue model, with an expanded range of skincare products such as cleansers, masks, and toners.
In the end, the future of Yours’ offerings will continue to be geared towards providing personalised solutions based on user needs, says Navneet. She adds, “We have identified the pain points from our real customers to understand their evolving needs, and we will work closely with them for product co-creation as we grow.”