This luxury clean beauty brand aims to inspire a ‘conscious lifestyle’ among Indian women

Founded by Asha Jindal Khaitan and Sukriti Jindal Khaitan, luxury clean beauty brand asa beauty was launched earlier this year to inspire a conscious lifestyle among Indian women.
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In June 2019, when Sukriti Jindal Khaitan was looking for clean and conscious luxury cosmetics brands, she didn’t find one that was catering specifically to Indian women.

“It is so difficult to find a luxury makeup brand in India, which does not have any harmful chemicals and also supports the environment at the same time. As people are becoming more mindful about their consumption, we really thought there was a need for a cosmetics range that is not only all-natural but also supports sustainability,” she says. 

Deciding to solve this problem on her own, she joined forces with her mother-in-law Asha Jindal Khaitan and the two launched asa beauty this January.

Sukriti Jindal Khaitan and Asha Jindal Khaitan, Founders of asa beauty

Asa beauty is a Mumbai-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand, which started with a cosmetic range containing lipsticks, mascara, lip-and-cheek tint, concealer, foundations, finishing powder, luminising powder, and correctors. 

The brand claims to be more than 92 percent natural and completely vegan; it uses pure ingredients and is also cruelty-free. “If you would read the ingredients used in our makeup products, you will see that the quantity of oils is very high compared to other brands,” says Sukriti. 

As a digital-first brand, asa beauty was introduced to its target audience through social media and the brand’s website. 

“In addition to educating the audience about the brand and its various benefits, we also work with a lot of influencers and beauty experts, showcasing the product performance and USPs,” she adds. 

Skin and environment-friendly 

Asa beauty is a brand by women for women. It works with a lean team of about eight in-house specialists in product management and branding. 

All its products are Made in India. It works with multiple manufacturers and value chain partners to consciously formulate and design products. All asa beauty products claim to be free of damaging and environmentally pollutant ingredients like mineral oil, ammonia, EDTA, sulphates, paraben, palm, formaldehyde or triclosan, amongst others. 

Products by asa beauty

In fact, asa’s packaging is also created from sustainable elements including aluminium and FSC-certified paper, which are chlorine and heavy metal-free, 100 percent biodegradable, and recyclable. 

Besides, the company has introduced a smart and easy refillable programme. Instead of buying a completely new product each time, a customer just needs to buy a refill. “The cases can essentially stay with the customer for a lifetime,” says Sukriti. 

The duo had to scout at least 20 vendors in Mumbai and Bengaluru before they found the right vendor to manufacture the cases. “The aluminium cases have to be made out of a mould and since these moulds are not regularly used, had to be separately manufactured,” adds Sukriti. 

Number game 

The brand offers more than 42 SKUs, and the prices range from Rs 1,750 to Rs 2,900. The refills range from Rs 1,250 to Rs 2,450. 

With more than 11,000 Instagram followers, the brand clocks anywhere between 250 and 300 orders every month, with an average value of Rs 2,000-4,000.

Sukriti claims asa beauty records Rs 5-8 lakh in sales every month.

Lipstick by asa beauty

But like most young direct-to-consumer beauty brands, the Jindals are working round the clock to increase their order volumes. At the current price point, it doesn’t have very high margins as producing their products is also expensive. 

“With the ingredients that we use in our products, the aluminium casing, and the fact that we cannot produce in high quantities yet, we have decided to keep lower margins for ourselves,” says Sukriti. While she doesn’t reveal exact figures, she says it is quite low compared to an established beauty brand.  

The products also have a lower shelf life, compared with regular drug store brands, due to less use of preservatives. This is why the brand prefers not producing in large quantities as a customer might lose many days when they could have used the products, between manufacturing, ordering, and shipping. “We want our customers to use our products for many days. It should not be that they got the product and six months later, they have to discard it because their lipstick expired,” says Sukriti. 

Also, the new set of lockdowns to curb the second wave of the pandemic is not making it any easier. 

Last year, the nationwide lockdown delayed asa beauty’s launch. “All our processes got delayed. I am thankful we were done with manufacturing our products but the efficacy tests had to be done and we wanted more people to try our products for customer feedback. This could not happen because the lockdowns came in place,” says Sukriti 

At present, the brand is going full steam ahead, selling on marketplaces like Nykaa, Purplle, Tata Cliq, Sublime Life, and clean beauty marketplace Vanity Wagon.

The clean beauty market 

Brands like Tinge, Ruby’s Organics, and Disguise are rapidly growing in the Indian clean beauty space. In fact, established luxury clean beauty brand Forest Essentials recently launched its cosmetics range as well. 

Going ahead, asa beauty plans to expand its existing range, introducing products in categories of cleansers, blushes, and eyeshadows. The brand also plans to continue building ‘The House,’ a platform for like-minded people to share their ideas of sustainability, conscious living, art, music, wellness, and mental health. 

The startup also plans to grow its brand among the Indian female diaspora in other countries including the US, England, and Hong Kong.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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