Taking a step closer to their vision of becoming the largest Ayurvedic brand globally in the beauty and wellness space, Vedix will soon expand to the United States and the Middle-East.
The company has a revenue of more than Rs 160 crore and aims to touch Rs 500 crore by 2025. The brand presently spends around 30%-40% of its revenue on marketing and is likely to maintain the momentum in the coming years as well. Over 95% of its marketing spends go to digital.
Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com, Jatin Gujrati, Business Head, Vedix, shared the Ayurvedic D2C brand’s vision, expansion plans, growth outlook and marketing strategies.
“There is a significant movement in the western countries towards living a more holistic lifestyle. We want to leverage these changes that are happening at a global scale and launch in markets that are more evolved. So we will launch in the United States in a couple of months, followed by the Middle-East in maybe three or four months. In these markets, we will first launch on e-commerce platforms to test the waters and then follow up with our D2C operations,” he said.
Vedix is actively considering expanding in the Southeast Asia market in the coming months, as the region generates about $48 billion in the beauty and wellness space. These expansion plans are in line with their larger vision of taking Ayurveda to the world.
“It's very important for us to take Ayurveda’s legacy from India to the rest of the world. However, if you see with Yoga, other countries took it and then made it their own. We don't want to let that happen with Ayurveda. We want to establish it as an Indian legacy, as something that originated in India, proudly own it and make sure that we deliver on that. That is the objective for the brand,” he said.
Within India as well, the brand is looking to expand in the e-commerce space. Until recently, their products were available only on their website vedix.com. Recently they launched on Amazon and Purplle, and by next month they will be available on all other platforms as well.
“We have already scaled the business quite a bit with D2C. The brand has been profitable from day one and that is because we have a high retention and repeat rate. But many customers have their first experience of digital commerce on these platforms. We see a lot of our brand search originating on these platforms in the past and when a customer doesn’t find us there they end up going to someone else. So it makes sense for us to be present there to not lose out on that opportunity. The platforms are a way of introducing the customer to the brand,” he said.
However, Gujrati doesn’t expect massive revenues to flow from these platforms. “We have just launched on these platforms and it contributes less than 5% of our monthly revenue. As the business expands, platforms would contribute about 20% of our overall business in the next 12 to 18 months. For other D2C brands, platforms can contribute anywhere between 50% and 70% of their business. But for us, it will definitely quadruple from here, but we don't think it will go that high,” he added.
Overall, the brand expects to double its revenue by the end of this financial year. “Last year we did about Rs 80-90 crore in net revenue. Right now we are already on track for Rs 160 crore by the end of this year. We are aiming to hit Rs 500 crore by 2025,” he said.
Since 95% of the business is digital, most of this goes to social media platforms. Of this less than 5% goes to influencer marketing. Only the remaining goes to platforms. However, Gujrati says they will spend more money on them as they scale the business.
Vedix uses influencer marketing as an educational approach to spread awareness about the brand and the regimen, and not to hard sell. “We believe that a lot of sales have to be done on the merit of the product itself. So for example, almost 60% of our business comes from repeat customers, which does not require influencer activation,” he added.
The brand has an engaging blog on its website that helps users to apply Ayurveda in their daily lives. The content is written by their doctors and edited by their in-house editors.
“Vedix is part of a larger organisation called IncNut Digital, which runs three platforms. We have a team of writers to write for these platforms. So content has been a very strong DNA of the organisation itself and we know how to do content marketing really well. It's a very customer-driven, customer-focused approach,” he said.
Later this year they propose to do a major brand push for Vedix. While most of it will be digital, they plan to test the waters by taking some elements offline. “So far we have not really done any major brand push. All of this has been part of our performance marketing initiatives. The offline activity will be a pilot to test how it impacts our digital revenue because the distribution is still online,” he said.
While the Ayurvedic beauty and wellness category is already overcrowded with big and small brands, Vedix has managed to carve a niche for itself. In the last two-and-a-half years since its launch, they have managed to establish themselves as the only brand that provides customisation in this category.
“We started Vedix with the idea of bringing the power of customisation to help in beauty and wellness problems. And Ayurveda as a concept lends itself beautifully to the idea of customisation. On our website, we first ask the customers a set of questions to understand their body type and their concerns. Based on that, we suggest products that are uniquely suited for them,” he said.
Vedix has planned several product launches this year ranging from body care, baby care and oral care. They are also working on bringing in tech-enabled innovations.
“In the offline environment, doctors currently identify the body type by looking at the patient’s face, nails, tongue, eyes and skin. We will be launching the Vedix app this year with the capability to identify an individual’s body type just through a picture instead of going through the set of questions. This will make it far faster. We are collaborating with researchers to create an app-based AI engine that can help identify the body type with just a picture. It will be a one-of-its-kind innovation,” he said.
The onset of the pandemic had a very disruptive impact on their supply chain. However, it also got many customers to move to online channels to purchase products. Before and after the first wave, they had recorded almost triple their revenue. While they were better prepared for the second wave with regard to the supply chains, many of their delivery partners had to face limited manpower as their staff got infected. Yet in the second wave, between March and July, their business grew by about 30%.
“However we were focused on the beauty personal care space and did not have a ready portfolio of ingestible. That's why we could not capture a lot of that demand,” he said.
The pandemic also took them to tier two and tier three cities. “A lot of our customers moved from metros to their hometowns and started ordering from there. So we have seen an uptick of orders coming in from these non-metro cities,” he said.