Mamaearth offers toxin-free and natural products in skin care, hair care and baby care. This fast-growing Indian personal care brand, founded by Ghazal & Varun Alagh in 2016, is trusted by consumers across the country. For the co-founders, the growth of their brand is proof that Indian consumers will not shy away from trying a brand if it solves their problems
When husband-wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh had their first child, they started looking for chemical-free products for their baby. “But we could not find options that were easily available in India. We mostly ended up importing baby care products or asking friends travelling overseas
to bring or carry them for us, which was both expensive and time-consuming. When we spoke about our troubles with other millennial parents, we realised that they too were struggling with
the same,” says Ghazal. Identifying this gap, the duo decided to start their brand ‘Mamaearth’ and venture into toxin-free baby care products. “While we started as a brand for baby care products, we soon realised that most millennials were looking for safe and toxin-free products for themselves too. Hence, we diversified into personal care products for adults as well,” adds Ghazal. The first high point for the brand was getting a certification from Made Safe (America’s first non-toxic seal for everyday products) that its products are made with safe ingredients not known to harm human health. Over the years, Mamaearth has grown
well, thereby proving that Indian consumers will not shy away from trying a brand if it solves their problem. “The personal care segment had always been dominated by BPC [beauty and personal care] giants with legacies spanning over multiple decades. Most of the global players with deep pockets were bringing global innovation with minimal customisation to the region. We saw a massive gap which we filled with Mamaearth’s distinctive proposition,” explains Varun.
Along the way
Data-driven innovation is at the core of Mamaearth. Staying connected with consumers helps the brand innovate based on the changing consumer demands. “Our product development cycle is driven by changing consumer demands; we innovate to solve problems of consumers
and serve them better. Our team of talented millennials conducts consumer research, analyses trends, keeps an eye on what consumers are
looking for and uses this information to launch new brands that cater to the ever-evolving consumer demands,” explains Ghazal. For Mamaearth, innovation entails product formulation as well as primary packaging, in terms of the ingredients and consistencies to ensure product stability
and efficacy are intact. “For example, there are age-old hacks for the skin and hair, but these are extremely cumbersome to make at home. So, we have created these in easy-to-use formulations that give effective results,” shares Ghazal.
What has helped Mamaearth create an edge over the competition is its consumer-centric approach. “When we launched Mamaearth in 2016, we were trying to solve a problem, so we wanted to target a niche audience while communicating our proposition. We chose the digital-first route so that we could reach out to our target audience in a focused manner,” explains Varun. Mamaearth thus became one of the pioneering brands to go the D2C route. “Since we were directly connected with our consumers, we would get real-time feedback on our products as well as inputs on products that they would like us to create,” says Varun.
Looking to the future
Every start-up needs to raise funds to support scalability, but Mamaearth has been very cautious about its funding strategy. “We build our scale-
up plans and basis these, evaluate the funding required. We have always raised funds to support our 18–24-month plans and that has helped us
to mindfully spend and scale the business,” says Varun.
In the future, the husband-wife duo is looking to build Mamaearth’s colour care range as a proposition. “We are committed to carving our space in the colour cosmetics category with an element of care,” adds Varun. The idea is also to deploy the playbook created with Mamaearth, to build the new brands launched. Efforts are also ongoing to build a strong offline network to support expansion.
Varun and Ghazal Alagh have shaped Honasa Consumer (parent company of Mamaearth) into a high- performing inspirational workplace with over 400 employees. The company has won the ‘Great Place to Work’ certification two times in a row.
To date, over 160+ products have been launched under the Mamaearth label.
Mamaearth was featured in ‘Top Breakthrough Innovation Winners in India for 2020’, a list released by Nielsen BASES
Compiled by -Anurima Das