How this decade-old personal care brand is trying to compete in the crowded online marketplace

Started by Deepak Jain in 2011, Lass Naturals is a Delhi-based beauty brand that began its journey as a cosmetics products exporter, but is now making noise in the Indian online market space.
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Over the years, the cosmetics and personal care products market has seen both global and local growth, with increasing shelf space across retail stores, boutiques. The market is both dynamic, with trends changing every four-five years, as well as competitive due to the sheer number of companies vying for consumers’ attention. 

Deepak Jain, Founder and CEO of Lass Natural, a Made-in-India global brand providing personal care products range, says that trends in the beauty segment are fast-paced and that a brand that wants to stay relevant in the business must keep up with these changes.  

“From Ayurveda to herbal, natural, organic and whatnot; the beauty and personal care industry has grown by leaps and bounds and customers are spoilt for choice. Customers now need a safe product and we as a brand are trying to keep up with their expectations,” Deepak says in an interaction with SMBStory

Talking about building Lass Naturals from a completely offline to now an online brand, Deepak sheds light on industry dynamics and reveals how the brand is gearing up to stand out amid the crowded online marketplace. 

The genesis

Deepak’s grandfather owned a cosmetics products business in the 1980s. Despite being from a family that was running a business, Deepak wasn’t forced to take the legacy forward. Instead after completing his studies, he took a corporate road and worked at an office for a few years.

“I didn’t have strong plans of joining the business but coming from a business background, we eat, sleep, and talk business in the family. At that time in the late 90s, the demand for Indian beauty and personal care products in the foreign market was booming and I found it as a good opportunity to tap into,” Deepak tells SMBStory

When Deepak finally ventured into the beauty business, he targeted the European market. According to him, the product line-up had to be improved to match the quality requirements of overseas markets. 

“People in Europe demanded Indian-made products but of global standards. By the early 2000s, we had started in-house manufacturing in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh to trade cosmetics, which is when we started to make global standard products,” Deepak says.

In 2011, Deepak decided to launch a separate brand to cater to both Indian and international and hence Lass Naturals came into existence. 

Vouching for natural products

Most traditional beauty products or makeup contain carcinogenic chemicals, says Deepak. 

“With regular use of chemical-heavy cosmetics or personal; care products can harm the skin. Cosmetic use should not trigger a breakout of acne or any other skin problem. If this does occur, it is likely that you are reacting to an ingredient in the product. By using natural products, you reduce your risk of this kind of reaction,” he adds.

Lass Naturals addresses this problem by bringing natural products for the customers. 

Building on online space

To test the local market, Deepak started selling Lass Natural products in Delhi. Around 2013, the brand got exposure in retail stores around the NCR region. Deepak says he then expanded to West Bengal, North East India and other regions through a distribution network. However, the business still primarily focussed on exports. 

“We were selling to Dubai, Canada, and parts of the US and this was the same time when ecommerce was booming in India but we didn’t pay much attention to it in the early days,” Deepak recalls. 

According to Deepak, even in the early 2010s, it was challenging for a natural cosmetic product line to grow in India due to a lack of awareness among consumers. 

The brand ventured into the online Indian beauty space via Flipkart and Amazon in early 2015. Since then, the brand has been growing significantly with major revenue share coming from the online space.

“Online selling gave us an opportunity to understand the customer better which wasn’t happening much in the offline business. In the online space, we tend to connect with people and educate them on the pros and cons of the product they’d use,” Deepak asserts. 

Today, especially after the COVID-19 hit India, Lass Naturals is garnering more revenue share from the online space. Deepak claims the company makes a turnover of Rs 10 crore now. 

What lies ahead?

Talking about the future plans, Deepak says the primary goal is to build a unique space for the brand.

“Today, customers are spoilt for choice and it is challenging to stand out and make a difference for them. We are gearing up to reach potential customers through our innovative offerings.”

Deepak also says that he is in the experimenting stage of making more beauty products that would adhere to the upcoming trend of customers. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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