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Interview 2016-08-19

Open to extend physical presence through premium salons & spas: Beauty Source

Indian consumers who value convenience are 73%, of which the most likely ones are women consumers belonging to 35+ age group bracket, backed with a higher income and are 55% inclined towards their favourite brands.

Open to extend physical presence through premium salons & spas: Beauty Source

Natural remedies have always inspired Ragini Mehra, Founder of Beauty Source India, the online retail shop for globally renowned premium beauty products and make-up brushes. The inception story of Beauty Source is the life saga of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)-trained designer by profession Mehra who has also partnered with Silhouette Hair & Beauty. She is the founder of Silhouette Retail, wherein some of India’s premier natural cosmetic labels were launched. Backed with a strong experience in beauty industry for over 12 years, Mehra set up The Kirana Shop, an organic and natural products store, in the heart of national capital, in 2013.

With Beauty Source, she gets her twin passions, beauty and healthy living, married, all while bringing to it her special brand of luxury and aesthetics. In an exclusive interaction with WI Bureau, Mehra shared some undisclosed facts about Beauty Source along with her future plans with the brand.

What was your inspiration behind Beauty Source brand?

Taking medication was always a last resort for common ailments like colds, minor stomach issues, coughs etc. Natural remedies were always the first option. Simple remedies like applying haldi (turmeric) to a sprain and taking ajwain (carom seeds) for nausea worked instantly. This inspired me to look for natural ingredient based products for skin care and hair care. I found that whenever I used pure natural ingredients for any beauty concern the results were great. For instance, I had oily skin as a teenager and I used ingredients like Neem and Chandan to improve the quality of my skin. Seeing how well they worked for me and for many people around, I thought of sourcing cosmetics from diverse brands all across the globe that use wonder ingredients and combine them with the effectiveness of scientific formulations. It has not been easy. Ayurvedic formulations with organic ingredients are particularly hard to source. However, today Beauty Source has ensured the availability of many such brands under one roof which are free from harmful chemicals, and provide a sound solution to every beauty need.

Share the categories of your products and range. Which category brings you high revenue?

We have a wide range of products spanning skin care, bath and body care apart from hair care products and make-up brushes. We have several products in these categories including some cult products like the Hollywood favourite Egyptian Magic multi-purpose cream, Sans (ceuticals) Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil and the Purearth Himalayan Salt Body Polish and Mandarin Body Butter etc. Revenue wise each one of these categories is significant because the products on offer are a part of one's essential daily routine and are almost equally high in demand.

What changes do you see in personal care products market with the growing demand of organic and herbal products?

It is great that people in India are becoming increasingly aware of the need to use the right products with good ingredients instead of products that are full of toxins, leading to harm your body over a period of time. This movement towards organic/natural/toxin-free personal care products will only gather greater momentum with time. Perhaps not immediately but eventually even the big players in this market will have to invest in developing safer products using natural ingredients to maintain their market value and position. Meanwhile, the focus on indigenous systems especially Ayurveda will grow as many people are discovering the brilliance behind the proven system that has stood the test of time and provides very effective natural solutions to all wellness problems.

How is your format different from the other existing herbal product brands in the Indian wellness industry?

Beauty Source is a multi-brand retail venture that is bringing the best brands in the natural/toxin-free personal care space to India. Beauty Source is not a manufacturer of products. Yet, that is something we will definitely consider in the future.

How are you planning to take this format to the other markets? What challenges do you face in positioning your brand in Indian personal care products market?

Our strategy is to focus on sales through our website and other online affiliates. We will maintain a brick and mortar presence through very selective partners including a few premium spas and salons.

Is it a boot strapped company or you raised funds? Elaborate on the funding rounds.

It is a bootstrapped company as of now.

What are your growth plans and investments you are looking to make in your current business?

The plan is to introduce more brands under the Beauty Source banner in our existing categories as well as new categories like makeup and accessories. We are a dynamic company and we will always endeavour to bring the best of natural personal care from any corner of the world to the Indian market.

Which are the new markets you are looking at (may answer city/state/country wise)? What kind of business opportunities did you witness in these places?

Currently we are looking at establishing our presence pan-India.

What does your revenue model look like? Any plans to foray into the market with any new product?

Like all retailers, our revenue model is margin based. We have many plans for new products and we'll keep you updated as they develop.

How much year-on-year growth is the brand seeing in the Indian beauty and wellness industry?

The rate at which the Indian beauty and wellness industry is growing, we are confident of seeing a 50-60 per cent growth in sales year-on-year.

Which is the biggest distribution market for your brand's product out of North, South, East and Western region in India and with how much percentage of growth annually?

North India is our biggest distribution market yet followed by West and South India. We are interested in East India and are looking at strategies to develop the market there. Perhaps we can share percentage growth figures after a year because we are a new company and a lot of our distribution work is still underway.

Elaborate the retail presence of your brand. Why don't you expand the reach of your products in the untouched regions? How are you planning to grow your business otherwise?

Our retail presence is online at www.beautysource.in and in Silhouette Hair and Beauty, New Delhi and Mumbai. Our products are accessible anywhere in India through our website.

What are your future expansion plans?

Beauty Source is dedicated to being India's one stop shop for the best of the best in natural and scientific beauty and wellness and you can expect more fantastic brands, more great products and more ways to get them to customers.

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