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Touch of World Beauty: Pilgrim

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Founded in 2019, the D2C brand currently can service more than 20000
pin codes across India

Bengaluru: The beauty, wellness and personal care industry in India is estimated at Rs 80,000 crores and is growing rapidly. Around Rs 12,000 crores of this are online and are further expected to grow to Rs 18,000 crores by 2025. Pilgrim aims to capture a 5% market share of the online market and have an annualized run rate of Rs 1000 crores by December 2025 (monthly run rate of over 100 crores).

Getting the trend on-point

Pilgrim came as an answer to the consumer behaviour and lifestyle transformations in India, in the beauty segment. Riding on the massive exposure of the consumer to the international skincare ingredients and trends (such as Korean beauty) the seeds of Pilgrim were sown in 2019 with one question- Why can’t consumers have access to world-class options in skincare, without burning a hole in their pocket?

Pilgrim’s brand tagline is “World’s Beauty For You”. With exotic ingredients ranging from Volcanic Lava Ash from Jeju Islands, Korea, to Red Vine from Bordeaux, France, the brand brings consumers beauty ingredients and rituals from faraway places. All products are made keeping the Pilgrim Code in mind – they are vegan from inception (Pilgrim is PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free). Derma-tested and free of toxins, like parabens, sulfates, and mineral oils. The brand is also proudly plastic positive – it recycles more plastic than it consumes.

“Being a digital-first brand allows for direct engagement with consumers at a much higher cost-efficiency than a traditional brick-and-mortar company. Most importantly, we can control and enhance the entire customer experience at all the major touch points. Being a direct-to-consumer brand helps cut down a few costs and saves time which can be used to focus our efforts on R&D and Quality Control for our products,” Anurag Kedia, co-founder, Pilgrim points out. From beauty secrets from Korea, France, Spain, and Australia, Pilgrim is bringing exotic and powerful ingredients all the way home to Indian consumers.

Growing with power

“Now, as we scale our operations at Pilgrim, our biggest challenge remains to maintain the culture of Pilgrim and get the right kind of people on board who are equally passionate about building world- class products,” Anurag adds.

“The most exciting thing about being a D2C beauty brand is that at Pilgrim, we co-create with our customers. For instance, many of our product launches are driven by social media feedback and consumer conversations. It’s like having the live pulse of the  audience. So just before we launched our sunscreens, people were asking us about sunscreens. Our latest exciting lip care range was created after receiving feedback from consumers that they wanted lip care products from Pilgrim,” Gangandeep Makker, co-founder, Pilgrim comments.

During sales, the brand also drives consumer conversations through live sessions on Instagram where the team guides them through offers and product offerings. They also try to go deeper and gauge what their customer needs and wants through the comments and constantly work towards solving them. At Pilgrim, the entire marketing journey is technology-enabled – right from product discovery to when the customer places an order. They have been extremely focused on talking to more and more consumers through different digital touchpoints, be it feedback or social media.

Taking the big leap

Currently, the brand can service more than 20000 pin codes across India and can deliver products usually within 24 to 72 hours of placing an order on our website. With growth on its mind, the brand keeps R&D and innovation at its heart. Heavily technology backed, they have recently migrated from Magento to Shopify as it offers a better UI/UX experience for customers.

Going forward, they want to offer a seamless shopping experience through user-friendly and feature-rich AI-powered conversational chatbot solutions. Today the brand has over 2 million users as of August 2022. Pilgrim plans to achieve an ARR of Rs 400 crore by December 2023 with an NPS of over 50 across all ranges. We also have plans to launch in the US and Europe by 2023 through Amazon. By December 2025, we are aiming at achieving an ARR of Rs 1000 crores.

Brownie Points

  • May 2020: The brand officially launched its website, discover pilgrim.com, and started D2C sales. They listed their products on Amazon and Flipkart, and Nykaa at around the same time.
  • June 2021: They raised Rs 13 crore in a Series A funding round led by Fireside Ventures, Rukam Capital, and the founding teams of Boat, NoBroker, and the founder and chief executive officer of Bewakoof.com
  • Oct-Nov 2021: The brand’s lean team of 5 grew to a team of over 30 and we shifted to a new office. It was also a time for many ‘firsts’ – the brand flagged its first celebrity collaboration with leading TV actress Shivangi Joshi hit 2.5 million views. And their very first Black Friday 4-day sale was a massive hit.
  • June 2022: They raised Rs 35.47 crore in a Series A CCD round led by Fireside Ventures, along with 4 institutional investors. By Aug, hit Gross Sale ARR of 120 crores, a 5x jump in a 12-month time frame.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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