Launched in August 2015, Ustara’s sales crossed Rs 10 crore till April 2016 and the company is now aiming to make it a Rs 500 crore brand in the next five years, according to Founder, Rajat Tuli.
“Ustara has been received quite well by our target audience and it has already become a sizeable online business for us today. We are very soon going to expand its reach by putting the products into general and modern trade to gain wider visibility and reach,” Tuli told Indiaretailing Bureau in an exclusive interview.
The company, which in July this year got an infusion of Rs 5 crore from Info Edge (India) Ltd – that runs hiring portal Naukri.com and real estate website 99acres.com – has primarily used the sum to push Ustara’s growth. The plans are also afoot to raise an additional amount of fund and getting investors on board to usher the brand’s growth.
While Tuli strikes off the options of opening stand-alone Ustara stores in the near future, he said they might open few experience stores or the products could be available in few high-end salons but not in the immediate future. The brand is currently retailed through Happily Unmarried’s 14 offline store and online website.
“Grooming and hygiene have definitely emerged as the big category for us. We currently sell personal products for men such as face wash, beared oils, colognes, among others, and are now looking at expanding this range to include other products such as shampoo, anti hair fall serum etc.,” Tuli said.
“In an existence of a mere 1.5 years, the brand has grown over 200 per cent month-on-month. So, yes the opportunity is huge,” he added.
Even some of the growth projections seem to testify the market potential.
According to Euromonitor, the Indian men’s grooming market is projected to touch sales of Rs 14,200 crore by 2020, up from Rs 3,000 crore in 2010 and Rs 7,500 crore in 2015. Rising consumer lifestyle expectations, increasing disposable incomes in urban areas and growing image and appearance awareness among men is driving this growth, the Euromonitor report said.
Happily Unmarried’s journey
The company, which started retailing through an offline store in 2003 is known for its fun, quirky and out-of-the-box products designs- that take a witty stand on daily lives. What started as home accessories, souvenirs, office stuff, stationary or merchandise which has desi touch has now included categories such as apparel, accessories and grooming range (Ustara) in its portfolio.
“As the business and demand grew, we realized that we have to make and design categories that have scale and demand. When you do souvenirs you reach to a limited set of people but as you add T-shirts you immediately increase your consumers base,” noted Tuli.
But the company has not set any big revenue plans for itself, neither there are any immediate plans to add more categories.
“While Happily Unmarried is growing at a steady rate of 20-30 per cent year-on-year we can’t expect big revenues as it is an edgy brand and can’t have a mass appeal,” Tuli said.
It currently generates 50 per cent of its revenue from the online channels, and the plans are afoot to grow offline presence via franchisee route.
“We are not looking at opening many company-owned stores, we prefer going through franchisee route. It’s a work in progress, we are gradually expanding and are constantly reinventing the formats to reach the right consumer base,” concluded Tuli.
Other competitors in this space include Chumbak, Quirk Box, and Shoptosurprise.
(Interview conducted by Mehak Sharma for Indiaretailing Bureau)