Rs 100 Cr in 4 years: What made Mamaearth India's fastest-growing company
Every mother wishes to extend unconditional love and care to her child. She wants to shower all her affection and make sure she can protect her offspring in every way – every day.
When Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh were expecting their baby, they wanted to ensure that could do everything to keep their baby safe. Like any other caring parent, the two browsed the internet, searching for do’s and don’ts for the little one and also what products they can buy to pamper their bundle of joy.
But they were shocked to see the results.
Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh, cofounders, Mamaearth
No product that matched the safety standards was available in the market. Every product they saw contained chemicals harmful to their newborn. The duo was left disappointed.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Varun says,
“We were worried not only for our baby but for all the kids in our friends' circle. We were able to understand the pain of the parents who despite trying hard could not find a good quality product.”
This experience drove the duo to create a brand by a parent for a parent:.
Parents turn entrepreneurs
After Varun and Ghazal became parents, they started ordering products from the US owing to the higher quality standards of the products available there, but that turned out to be a costly and inconvenient arrangement.
The problem was bothering them and they couldn’t resist themselves from researching on baby care products.
“We had sleepless nights for six months. Right from doing research, creating an R&D team, and applying for certification, we were at our wit’s end. But, at last, we were able to find a solution,” Varun tells SMBStory.
In 2016, the couple launched the brand under the parent company Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd, in Gurugram using the best available ingredients – natural, plant-based or manmade, which are both certified safe as well as effective.
The ingredients are procured from the best sources around the world, which are ISO, GMP and Non-GMO compliant, Varun adds.
In just four years, Mamaearth became Asia’s first brand to get the MadeSafe certification for its toxin-free products. The company is aiming at reducing parental stress and is continually improving and innovating to make the world a safer place for both the babies and their parents.
Started with six products in the baby care range, Mamaearth has now diversified into skin and hair care products for men and women across 80 SKUs as well as products designed specially for pregnant women. The company has catered to over 1.5 million consumers in more than 500 cities across India.
Becoming a Rs 100 crore company
Mamaearth is one of India’s fastest-growing brand crossing Rs 100 crore turnover mark in just four years. Talking about this achievement and how the duo made it happen, Varun says it was a strong emotional parent-to-parent connect. He says,
“The brand’s proposition and the dire need for toxin-free products in the baby care segment made us reach where we are today. ‘Jahan chah hai wahan raha hai’ (where there is a will, there is a way). We believed that we will be able to fill the vacuum in the industry and with love and luck we made it happen.”
Mamaearth has also been chosen as ‘One of the Best Brands’ in India at the second edition of The ET Brand Festival held last year.
Mamaearth is one of the few plastic positive brands in India. The company strives to conserve Mother Earth for future generations of babies. With an initiative called ‘Let’s Recycle’, the company recycles more plastic than it ever uses and also spreads awareness by making the customers a part of the programme.
Mamaearth's product range
Shilpa Shetty’s interest in the brand
Varun and Ghazal approached Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra to make her the brand ambassador of Mamaearth.
“When we got a chance to reach out to Shilpa, she told us that she would associate only if she liked our products. We had confidence in our products but when we didn’t hear from Shilpa for over six months, we were disappointed,” Varun tells SMBStory.
However, the couple got a call from Shilpa after eight months and she not only praised the products but also decided to invest in the company
Challenges and competition
One of the biggest challenges Varun says is to stay relevant to the target market. There is a need to innovate and differentiate from competitors constantly.
Since the company is committed to delivering 100 percent non-toxic products in a market flooded by brands from giant FMCG companies, the challenge is to find the best ingredients to deliver the safest products at reasonable prices.
“At a time when big brands are struggling to make their products free from toxins, Mamaearth is already offering natural and non-toxic products to the young, informed millennials.”
The way ahead
Talking about future plans, Varun says Mamaearth will continue to create brand awareness through a strong focus on influencer marketing and targeted digital funnels.
“We have a million consumers all over India which we intend to take to 10 million in the next five years. Our plan is to build Mamaearth into a Rs 500 crore brand,” he adds.
Mamaearth is also planning to expand its presence in Tier-II and III cities and introduce a new range of products.
As far as funding is concerned, the company is in talks with some of the prime investors in the industry and plans to raise more funds in the upcoming months.