This woman entrepreneur’s organic cosmetic brand is producing makeup for Indian skin tones
India’s grooming needs may date back centuries to the Indus Valley civilisation but the country is now witnessing a boom in the cosmetic industry. Valued at nearly $ 11.16 billion in 2017, the cosmetics market in India is poised to grow at a CAGR of 5.91 percent by 2030, according to the Goldstein Market Intelligence.
More notable is the fact that its annual retail sale has increased by nearly 20 percent in the last few years, indicating India’s domestic market is among one of the fastest-growing across the world.
As the country warms up to the cosmetics market, entrepreneur Tanisha Valralwar became one of the newest entrepreneurs to ride the wave when she founded Tsara Cosmetics in November 2020.
Based in Hyderabad, the organic beauty brand offers natural makeup and cosmetics alternatives for daily use.
Always passionate about makeup, Tanisha started looking into product labels and ingredients while pursuing her chemical engineering degree at BITS Pilani, Dubai.
“I realised that while the younger generation was interested in makeup, there were very few brands providing clean alternatives for colour cosmetics. I wanted to introduce a homegrown and organic cosmetic line to suit all Indian skin tones,” she says.
Tanisha started building the brand two years ago and it took more than 100 trials to arrive at the perfect textures and blends. It launched with a range of 10 liquid lip shades a few months ago. Priced at Rs 1,100, the entrepreneur says several more products are in the research and development phase, to be released by the end of 2021.
Starting off with domestic customers in mind, Tsara Cosmetics has attracted the international audience as well with increasing demand from the US, the UAE and European countries.
Although there are several players in the organic cosmetics segment, Tanisha believes she does not face any competition as the startup has carved a niche with its unique formulations.
Tanisha hopes Tsara becomes a brand that millennials and Gen Z resonate with. “We've seen a lot of organic beauty brands who connect with older consumers. We wanted to be a peppy upbeat brand trying to provide cleaner products to the younger consumers, along with everyone else,” Tanisha adds.
Navigating the market
Influencer marketing has become the holy grail for beauty brands to push their products. It did the trick for Tsara Cosmetics too, as it reached out to social media influencer celebrities like Namrata Soni, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and Niharika Konidella to review its lipstick range. Word-of-mouth has also been crucial in establishing brand presence.
In less than seven months, Tsara has established a loyal customer base of over 500 and has garnered about 10,000 followers on social media. Operating on the B2C model, the products are available on ecommerce platforms like Vanity Wagon and Sublime Life, besides its own website.
Bootstrapped so far, the startup is looking for external investments to boost its R&D efforts and launching new products. Tanisha says the business is breaking even on a monthly basis since inception.
Despite the challenges involved in entrepreneurship, Tanisha says launching amidst the pandemic was an added pressure. “We were worried about how the audience would receive our products but all went well with a positive response not just for our formulation and shades but for the overall brand as well.”
Having started at a young age, she says, “Often when you start young, you are taken for granted at every step. My biggest challenge was fighting this mindset and running this entity with a lean and productive team,”
As an entrepreneur, Tanisha is involved throughout the process and shares that faces gender bias at technical and production levels “because people are not comfortable with women taking charge across different levels of running a business.”
Tanisha believes that in an entrepreneurial pursuit, mindset can make or break a startup.
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan