Raw Nature, the six-month-old brand that dabbles in safe, botanical grooming solutions for men, is planning to build a retail presence in the next two quarters, said Sangita Desai, its co-founder.
â€śWe want to reach out to as many people as we can and therefore we are looking to be in retail in the next two quarters,â€ť Desai said.
The brand is also eyeing the international markets and has already applied for certification. â€śI know this brand will do very well internationally and we are looking to enter market this brand overseas. We have already sent some samples and have applied for certification,â€ť Desai said.
And while the brand sets its sights on the global markets, Desai says India still remains their domain as they see immense potential here.
Currently, the menâ€™s grooming category is estimated to be a Rs5-billion strong market. The segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period, with sales set to reach Rs 105.5 billion in 2021.
But when Raw Nature entered the market in November last year, menâ€™s grooming was still a largely unheard-of concept and was restricted to the metros for the most part.
Desai, who has a strong background in fashion (she worked in the fashion industry from 1991 to around 2006 before joining her father in the essential oils business), decided to launch something in the menâ€™s grooming category because she, along with co-founder Mohit Saxena, saw the need gap in the personal care category.
â€śThe personal care range in the Indian market is dominated by products for women. Raw Nature was born out of a burning fire and a passion to create a brand, which is natural, pure, safe and makes a difference. We wanted to come out with a range that would provide men with an option. We decided to go natural because that is the order of the day right now. We actually started this journey about two years ago where we went into complete research and development with our R&D team. We developed this entire range before going online six months ago,â€ť said Desai.
While Desai agrees that their focus is still predominantly men-centric, she says their products are finding favour among women as well.
â€śRight now, we really are a unisex brand because except for the products that are exclusively for men, like the beard range, our products are well received among women as well,â€ť said Desai.
The brand is therefore looking to make their marketing efforts broader so that it appeals to women as well.
Right now, the brand deploys about 35% of their monies into all marketing activities and digital accounts for almost 70% of that pie.
Elaborating on their marketing and communication strategy, Desai said, â€śWe manage sales through various channels, including B2C and B2B. The marketing budget is largely broken up into two spend verticals. The first being purely acquisition-based using Facebook, Google, Instagram, AMS, etc., and the second being the spend on brand communication with focus on building our positioning in the minds of our consumers.â€ť
Elbow Neuron is the agency that works on their brand communication and messaging.
While the metros remain their dominant markets, Desai is also seeing a surge in demand for their products from tier II cities.
Desai considers Raw Nature to be a bridge to luxury brands.
â€śWe are providing the experience and efficacy of a luxury product but not at luxury prices. Data will show that our audience is predominantly people in metros, mini metros and Tier I & tier II cities, in the age-group 25-45. Having said that, we feel our target audience is better defined by their psychographic profile than their demographics. These are men and women who live an urban, sophisticated, conscious lifestyle â€“ a great mix of aspirants and achievers. They're polished, balanced and make informed purchase decisions about everything ranging from the products they use, the food they eat to their holiday destinations. They care about the environment, animals, their own health and buying products that are safe for their skin and hair.
While Desai acknowledges the presence of brands like Beardo and Bombay Shaving Company, she feels that no brand is functioning in the same space as them.
â€śWhen Bombay Shaving Company launched, I really thought they were someone we would have to watch out for because they had that branding perspective but now we occupy the very space than them. If had to compare Raw Nature with someone I would say we are in the league of names like Kaya,â€ť said Desai.
Currently, apart from their own website, the brand is available on platforms like Amazon, Nykaa and Flipkart among others.