Ever wondered why all mosquito repellent TV commercials have kids? Children are believed to develop an immediate emotional rapport with the audience because as parents we are conscious of our kids’ safety more than our own. While making purchases for them, we try to not only understand the ingredients of the product but also if the brand would suit our little ones. In this very context, if we try recalling mom and kids brands, very few of them will strike the mind. And while the international brands fail on the affordability and availability fronts, the domestic ones struggle with the safety and emotional quotient.
A few months ago while searching for a baby shower gift for our colleague, we stumbled upon Mamaearth, a personal care brand for mom and kids which stands for honesty, natural products & safety. The website kind of instilled faith in us that Mamaearth uses only natural ingredients and is the first MadeSafe certified brand in Asia, offering a range of products across baby, skin & hair care and mosquito protection.
Curious to know more about the brand, we reached out to Varun (the founder), and were amazed by his consumer insights and brand ethos (which explained his growth trajectory!).
Owing to a shift from unbranded to branded goods, the Indian FMCG market is growing 20% every year, and the next billion customers are making a debut in the market as income levels increase. We believe, that there is a change in the preferences of the middle class Indian from “value for money” to “value for experiences” and all of these factors if combined present a huge brand creation opportunity in India!
Of all the FMCG categories, baby/mom care caught our attention as it is one of those segments where the parents actively research – online and offline – for safe & trustworthy products, aren’t very price sensitive and tend to show very high brand loyalty. Despite this, there is a dearth of brands – only a couple of national brands exist and our research indicated that close to no innovation has emerged in either product range or form factor in the past decade. As a result, consumer resorts to big brands not because of a quality promise but because of limited options.
Moreover, the recent findings of carcinogenic substances, sulfates, mineral oil etc. have lead to a decline in the sales of major babycare brands, creating a void in the market. This presents a huge opportunity and we believe Mamaearth is righly positioned to leverage this gap and build a valuable brand in the process.
It focuses on adapting existing personal care products to suit kids (baby face wash), innovating products based on home recipes (hing tummy roll-on) and providing solutions to India specific problems with a niche product range (safe mosquito repellants). It is an omni-channel brand and the products are available on its own website, on eCommerce portals (Amazon, Flipkart, Nyka, BB etc.) and in offline stores as well. We were particularly impressed with their digital marketing efforts and how they built- a network of moms, digital content around safe products, social media influencers and celebrities – yes, Shilpa Shetty is their brand ambassador.
While the macro reasons like a large market size, lack of good brands, price inelasticity etc. highlight a huge opportunity, the micro reasons around which the brand Mamaearth was built convinced us to back the company. The capability of the team to iterate and learn by launching multiple products, maintain high NPS & word of mouth, tap the right distribution channels, focus on growing the brand organically via influencers & content led programs and take onboard the best celebrities for brand promotion makes it an A team to sponsor.
Besides, Varun and Ghazal, the founder couple, have personally experienced these problems and intend to solve them for other parents. Varun, who worked with HUL, Smirnoff & Coca-Cola in the past, understands the integral function of sales, distribution, marketing and product development of a big FMCG brand. He is nimble and scrapy, has learnt about ecommerce, organic marketing, quick NPD, brand promotion etc. from scratch, and has perfected the art of delivering innovation in a startup budget.
We are super excited to partner with Mamaearth & team in their journey to end woes of a stressful parent by building a safe, honest and trustworthy brand.