In conversation with Vineet Kapur, Managing Director, O3+, who spoke about the brand's plans to diverse into make-up, body care and pet range products.
With rising awareness about various skin care regiments and growing demand for skin care and beauty products, this industry is set for a huge growth in the times to come. And grabbing a pie of this growth chart and to tap this accelerating demand, O3+ has evolved as Asia’s first skin brand in India to have both pharma and cosmetic license. The company not only deals in professional range of treatments and products, but also gives hands on training and education for the same. Founded by Vineet Kapur who is also the managing director of O3+, the brand is planning to venture into make-up, body care and pet range products in coming years. A graduate from Harvard Business School, Boston along with specialization from Lillian Maund School of Beauty and Cosmetology, London, Kapur has won laurels in India and abroad for his in-depth knowledge of the skin and cosmetics industry. In conversation with the man himself…
Tell us about the brand, its inception and journey so far.
O3+ is the first skin brand in India to have both pharma and cosmetic license. The company is powered by science and backed by technology. The company not only deals in professional range of treatments and products but also gives hands on training and education for the same. The purpose of the company is to offer the best quality of ingredients available in the international market. O3+ has acquired the highest share in the Indian professional skin care industry. O3+ is formulated in Italy by world class dermatologists. The range of products is very thoughtfully designed keeping in mind the various skin concerns faced by different skin types. O3+ is recognized by various European standards for quality to be able to deliver international quality in India. Innovative cutting-edge technology merged with skincare benefits in botanical, natural, organic and scientific ingredients have always been the cornerstone for O3+ award winning products.
What was the concept behind the launch of a brand like O3+? What is its USP?
I have an innate passion and ultimately an in-depth knowledge and experience in the skin care industry, along with a strong family history in the sector. I spend a lot of time in the R&D of skin care and cosmetic products which is when I saw a great demand in the Indian market for specialized Asian skin facial experiences. Year 2001 marked the launch of O3+, which was then formulated in Hong Kong and designed in UK. O3+ was launched with a mission to help people meet their beauty needs with the purest of ingredients clubbed with the latest technology.
The USP of the brand is to provide solution to every skin problem people face; O3+ has always been successful in bringing latest technology driven innovation in beauty industry.
Tell us about the product range offered by O3+ and also about the price bracket of its products.
O3+ doesn't just sell skin care, it is a skin solution brand with a complete range of professional along with 59 home care skin solution products as mentioned below:
The price of the products range from Rs.400 to Rs.4,500.
Who are your target consumers?
O3+ targets mass premium and premium luxury end consumer in the age group of 20 years and above (both men and women). For the professional segment, the brand caters to all the leading salons and also beauty professionals.
Introduce us with your latest launch or offerings or with the new innovations at O3+.
With a mission to provide solution to every skin problem people face, O3+ has always been successful in bringing top technology driven innovation on the table. 2017 has been the most important year for us as O3+, the leading Indian professional skin care brand, revolutionized the traditional methods of facial with its unique and novel intervention – The Fluid Facial, a new skin care experience designed for the first time in Asia. With state-of-art innovation in the skin care system, Fluid Facial is poised to transform the beauty and wellness sector and impact the way facials are being administered in India. The major requirement for every individual is proper intake of essential proteins, vitamins and minerals and through this facial, all the super foods are applied on the derma using oxy-jet spray, keeping any kind of contamination at bay. Fluid Facial is a high impact, instant-effect, super food for the skin. The impacts of the fluid facial are visible from the very first facial. Some of the other new launches by the brand are ‘Sulphur Cooking Mask’ and ‘Multi Masking Kit’.
Tell us about your retail presence.
O3+ sells 52 facials and 250 products. The brand caters to 5,000 clients a day, exceeding to 18 million clients a year and gets serviced by 1,00,000 beauty therapists. We had registered a growth of 20 percent last year. O3+ has a retail presence all across the country including metros and also prides in having presence in 50,000+ salons nationwide. Out of total sales, online sale comprises of 12 percent.
Tell us about your manufacturing units. From where do you source ingredients for your products?
Our existing plant has facility for R&D, manufacturing, distribution with a reputation for innovation, speed, efficiency and quality. O3+ is recognized by various European standards for quality. Innovative, cutting-edge technology merged with skin care benefits in botanical, natural, organic and scientific ingredients have always been the cornerstone for O3+ award winning products. O3+ strategically sources and develops innovative products with groundbreaking ingredients from all over the world including organic sulphur from 100 year old tree trunks for its purifying properties, minerals from Napa Valley for hydrating properties, rose stem cells to help repair and rejuvenate the appearance of ageing and super-foods C11 patent technology for skin brightening. The in-house experts ensure that all products can be produced efficiently, with a critical focus on quality assurance, regulatory compliance and R&D, adding value to O3+ supply chain and competitive advantage.
Elucidate about the technological integration and advancements at O3+ that sets the brand apart from others in the segment.
We pride in the launch of technological innovation like Oxy Jet Spray, Ultra Sonic in India that enhances the delivery mechanism of the product. Also, with endless recognition in the beauty industry over the years, O3+ is constantly committed to deliver futuristic innovations.
Tell us about your marketing strategies. What percentage of your overall revenue goes into marketing and promotions?
We work with a two pronged marketing strategy – one for salon and the other for end consumers.
For Salon: The emphasis of the brand is to elevate the status of a traditional beautician to a dermal therapist. To make this possible O3+ conducts seminars, workshops and events to educate and enhance the skills of the beauticians and for product launch purposes. Also as a support system for salons, interactive events and workshops are held monthly to create awareness for the need of facials. Product launches are backed by events, in-salon promotions and incentives which help to penetrate the product better in salons. 3D skin analysis is a part of these events and workshops.
For End Consumer: Keeping in mind the international trends and need of end consumer, new products are launched every quarter. Basis seasonality and occasion, focus products are defined and all marketing initiatives are planned accordingly in salon, print and digital space. Recently, we have started giving more thrust on digital platform to create awareness and to directly reach out to end customer.
What are your plans for expansion in terms of retail presence and also product assortment?
In line with the company’s growth and expansion plans, new EBOs will be launched in the years to come. To meet the growing market demand, another production plant of 1,25,000 sq.ft. will also be coming up in 2018 at Noida. We are the only company in India to have cosmetic as well as pharma license. We also have plans to launch derma range of products in 2018.
How would you describe the current status of skin care industry in India? What are the challenges being faced, if any?
The beauty and wellness industry in India contributes largely to the Indian economy. According to a recent report by Research and Markets named “India Cosmetic Market Overview” (November 2016), the country’s cosmetic market was growing with a CAGR of 17.06 percent over a period of five years. However, there is a lot of scope as we are lacking in training, education, skilled manpower and non-compliance of standards. Even the retention of skilled human capital is a big hurdle in India.
Manufacturing or production of many skin care and cosmetic products causes detrimental effects to the environment. How is O3+ fighting against this or how is it working for the better of environment?
We believe that the well-being of the environment is dependent upon the well-being of the people comprising it. As a corporate, we have a responsibility to respect the world for the sustainability and well-being of the future generations. Most products at O3+ are manufactured using the best possible combinations of renewable resources and eco-friendly practices. To support this, O3+ has planted thousands of trees specially sown by its workers’ children around the hills of the Himalayas. We also emphasize on reducing pollution by increasing the efficiency and reducing the wastage. O3+ fully complies with all the norms of the ISO to fulfill the environmental norms. Moreover, O3+ has been using cartons made out of recyclable paper to conserve energy. Moving towards the social side, we have been donating quarterly to the leading old age homes and orphanages for a good cause. We also hold motivating competitions for our labourers’ children and educate them from time to time to create a sense of belongingness. Recently, a ‘Plant a Tree’ contest was held in Himachal Pradesh followed by a ‘Nature Talk’. Infact, we at O3+ are passionate animal lovers and donate generously to the animal NGOs. Not only this, our loving team has adopted orphan dogs to provide them a better home.