India is a wide and growing market for beauty, expanding in every dimension – the categories that people are starting to use the variety of variables of preference, the operating price points, and so on.
Chennai-based Shankar Prasad, 43, an IIT Bombay chemical engineer, worked in manufacturing and product development at HUL for eight years. Shankar was a management consultant for two years with FMCG and financial services clients after completing his MBA from ISB, Hyderabad, with a gold medal. He was also a member of the founding team for FACES Cosmetics in India during this period.
Shankar used to be fascinated during his travels abroad by the range and quality of available consumer brands. He worked out the Plum idea, which incorporates science and sustainability, in 2013. Since, Shankar thought, the beauty market in the country lacked clarity.
Plum targets clients of all age groups and incomes. Plum provides on plumgoodness.com a no-questions-asked free substitution programme. Plum sells on Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart, Myntra, Purplle, and Snapdeal, in addition to its own website, and increases outreach across retail outlets, including metro city Health&Glow stores.
Although there are countless brands in the beauty room, Shankar believes that the distinction of Plum stems from its ideology of cruelty and nasties-free, and from the authenticity and transparency of doing stuff.
The brand was produced like most items designed in the EU in a London design studio. Plum claims to have safe ingredients, with natural extracts to fit different skin types and concerns, as India’s first 100 per cent vegan beauty brand.
In the beauty industry, goods are produced in Maharashtra and abroad, according to Red Seer consultants. They own the supply chain and they take care of the management and processing of materials; distribution is outsourced. Plum now serves about 60,000 clients a month, and in the coming year, it hopes to double that figure.
India is approximately 7 billion in size and double digits of healthy growth. In FY2019, Plum expects the offline company to pick up the pace.
With about 40 SKUs, Plum’s items are in the categories of skincare and kajal. With an average ticket size of Rs 450, they are priced between Rs 350 and Rs 1,175,
Plum is mindful of her company’s environmental impact. Just recyclable packaging is used for the start-up, preventing the use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and SAN (Styrene-acrylonitrile resin). Shankar argues that they resist over-packaging and are actively looking for ways to reduce packaging use.
In 2018, the business that began as a bootstrapped enterprise received Unilever Ventures’ Series A funding. The company also focuses more on the design and packaging of its products.
At a CAGR of 9 per cent, from ~USD 14-15 billion in 2017 to ~USD 22-23 billion in 2022, the Indian Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) market are expected to expand. Growth was helped by growing disposable income, which from 2012-2017 increased by more than 35-45%. With the rising disposable income, demand for better products and the growing desire for the Indian customer to look healthy, the beauty and personal care market in India offers a golden opportunity to expand exponentially.
The online channel holds an overall share of 2-5 percent and is divided into horizontal (Amazon, Flipkart), vertical fashion (Myntra) and super vertical (Nykaa, Purplle) players. In the online channel, fashion vertical players such as Myntra carry up the trail, but as a big revenue driver in the years to come, they concentrate on this segment.