Pegged at Rs 3,000 crore, as per the latest Euromonitor 2015 report, fragrance is expected to increase at a CAGR of 12 per cent at constant 2014 prices during the forecast period 2014-2019.
With an elaborate 16 years of experience, Rajiv Sheth, CEO & Creative Director, Just Scents Private Ltd, has bagged ‘The International Young Perfumer Creator Award’ in Paris in 2000 for his ultimate creation in fragrances. Member of the ‘The French Society of Perfumers - Société Française des Parfumeurs.
With an aim to offer range of ultimate fragrances to Indian consumers, Ahmedabad-based perfume manufacturer has started an online platform offering unexplored fragrances.
In an exclusive conversation with Sheth, WI Bureau finds out his business model, future plans and much more:
Elaborate on your product brand? What made you conceptualize it?
ALL GOOD SCENTS is a new, stylish and contemporary perfume brand launched in India. The fragrances are created and made in France. Our motto is to ensure highest quality of affordable luxury perfumes to our customers. With All Good Scents, we are addressing the modern trend of distribution via our e-commerce site www.allgoodscents.com along with a nationwide delivery.
French perfumes have always fascinated me. I learned perfumery from ISIPCA, a specialized school in Versailles, France and later, stayed on in Paris for 16 years creating fragrances. I wanted to bring the prestige French style perfumery to India. Also a thought provoking question I had when I returned back to India after the global meltdown was, ‘Why there are no recognised brand of perfumes in India?’ This was motivation enough for me to come out on my own to build a fragrance brand in India. A brand with premium quality fragrances, in the ‘affordable luxury’ segments for the new, contemporary and young Indians. This is how All Good Scents was born.
What changes do you see in the perfumes products category in Indian market with the presence of Ayurvedic or herbal products and essential oils?
Perfumery products like Eau de Toilette & Eau de Parfums, Ayurvedic, herbal products and essential oils, all these product categories are on the rise in the Indian market. Consumers are growing in awareness about all these categories and are venturing out to try them. Traditional cosmetics like attars, talcum powders, etc. are slowly being replaced by these categories. I see a strong demand in all these categories in the coming years.
What challenges do you face in entering into a vastly developed products category, dominated by number of high-end brands and products?
The biggest challenge we face is the visibility & reach of our brand. Being a start-up, we do not have budgets to advertise like the other brands present in this aspirational category. Another challenge for selling perfumes online is for our consumers to smell our fragrances. This we have largely overcome with our Scentbox, which lets a person test our fragrances from home. We have other sampling programs too, which help us overcome this challenge which most of the other high-end brands don’t face being present offline. Lastly, there is a little mindset challenge too, where a few people don’t believe a homegrown domestic brand can have equivalent quality as foreign brands. However this perception is quickly changing with the rise in the number of domestic brands in various categories.
What is your strategy to create a niche for your brand in Indian market? What is the USP of your product on which you are betting high?
With a few of the challenges described above, our strategy is to first create an awareness & discovery of our brand via online channel.
Few opportunities in going online were – E-commerce was fast catching up in India and was poised to grow at a very rapid speed. US and China were far ahead and it is expected that India will not only scale up fast but also go ahead with its m-commerce model.
As perfumery is a subject, which is quiet niche, it was best explored going online with us sharing our knowledge with the online community and our buyers.
All Good Scents is a modern, contemporary brand. Going online was almost mandatory in keeping sync with our values. We get a chance to be very creative at low costs online
Our USP is offering international quality fragrances at pocket friendly prices, i.e. affordable luxury. Another USP is our expertise in perfumery and sharing this knowledge is very much a part of our strategy.
How is your product format is differ from the existing products available in the category in wellness space? How are you planning to take this format to the other untouched markets?
For the wellness space category we have recently introduced our scented candles. Here too the fragrance is the key. Apart from these we have EDT’s & EDP’s, which are available in 30ml, 50ml, 75ml & 100ml sizes. Smaller sizes are designed as travel friendly packs.
We are working on a few export markets too for our brand.
Elaborate over the online retail presence of your brand. How much money you’ve invested in creating your online presence of your brand?
Being an online brand, we are mostly doing Digital Marketing activities. We are actively present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Apart from engaging with our fans, we also run contests from time to time. Very recently we have launched our blog, with a fictional series call All Good, which is based on 6 friendly characters, which have been inspired by our 6 perfumes. It is a first of its kind and season 1 has just got over. Season 2 will be starting from September.
For valentine day earlier this year, we have also run a contest for 60 days called Miss You, with Air France and French tourist office – Atout France as the main sponsors. For the same we have also produced a music video – Tum aao na with the band Raahie.
Sampling activities are also a major part of all our marketing activities. Being online, we need to try and get maximum people to smell our fragrances. Hence for sampling we do a lot of tie-ups with offline and online brands.
Apart from selling via our own portal, we are also present on all major online retail portals.
Are you planning to create offline presence of your brand as well? Do you have plans to franchise your business or have any other format in mind to explore, to improve your brand presence in India? Kindly elaborate.
For now we have not planned taking the product offline. If any interesting opportunity comes up in the future we will surely explore it for going offline.
Define your target consumers (age, gender or income level wise)? What would be your strategy to tap the biggest lion’s share in the already existing perfume’s market in India?
Our target consumers are youth and young adults, married and unmarried. They are working people for whom grooming and social acceptance are very important & people who are looking for affordable luxury products.
Strategy is to introduce new products offerings across various fragrance categories. Education is also an important part of our strategy. We plan to start perfumery training workshops soon.
In which area do you face challenges while establishing your venture in untouched market; HR, Finance, PR or Marketing? What procedures do you take to overcome these challenges and smooth functioning of your business?
Being a start-up operation, challenges invariably come from all sides! However we try to anticipate these in advance and re-align ourselves quickly to over come them.
How did you bring standardization in your business in terms of:
- Brands and products
- Tech & software installation
- Furniture & equipment
For almost 15-18 months before we started selling our products, extensive work was done in searching the right partners to work with for creating our branding, fragrance R&D and production, website developers, manufacturing processes, logistics partners for last mile delivery, creative agencies & engage a small team in house of dedicated people to manage all this. Hence standardization was something we aimed for even before a single perfume bottle was sold!
What is the scope and future of perfumes in India? Are you planning any merger/acquisition or tie-up to improve your brand presence?
Fragrances in India registered strong growth in 2014. The fragrance industry is estimated at Rs. 3000 crores. This was driven by the increased use of fragrances by both men and women. The usage of fragrances was previously limited, and was used only occasionally. However, this changed over the review period, especially during 2014, as more consumers started to use fragrances on a regular basis. New brands were available at affordable prices, which made it easier for consumers to incorporate such products in their daily grooming.