Innovations Have Always Captured My Fascination: Rahul Agarwal
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Born out of the realization of potential harms chemicals can do to your body, particularly cosmetics and skincare products, a Delhi based start-up named Organic Harvest is operating into innovative organic beauty product space. Aimed at serving the chemical free skincare products, the startup was launched in 2013 and has already marked its footprint in the overseas market as well. Thus narrating his start-up journey Rahul Agarwal, Founder and CEO, Organic Harvest spoke to Entrepreneur.com and shares how health is more than just a business to him.
What inspired you to venture into organic beauty space?
Innovations have always captured my fascination and I believe that an idea should be terrific enough to lose sleep over. Thus, after tasting success with my first venture, I decided to take a plunge into the personal care industry. Realizing the amount of potentially harmful chemicals hiding in everyday products, particularly cosmetics and skincare products, I felt the necessity to introduce products that cater to the needs of women who want to look their natural best. Consumers now days are very well informed. We want to cater to these discerning who want to use purely organic products replete with all the goodness of nature. We firmly believe that chemicals are for laundry and not for the skin. With this, I decided to venture into the organic beauty space.
What was the total investment made in Organic Harvest?
Till date we have made a total investment of approximately 5 million dollars. It is boot-strapped and internally funded organization. The group is funding the company out of its earning from the other organizations under the same group.
How has been the market response?
The response from the market has been overwhelming and our customers love our products. Moreover, we are now present across all cities in India so we are able to serve them better. Organic Harvest is India’s leading brand that offers a complete range of organic personal care and beauty products. With its unmatchable quality and competitive pricing of production the beauty industry, Organic Harvest is growing rapidly with repeat and referral customers since its launch in June 2013.
Presently, Organic Harvest is available in more than 600 retail outlets across India, including cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Bareilly and Dehradun. Recently, we also launched our products in UAE and have plans to be available in 463 outlets by the end of 2016. With a strong foothold in the international personal care markets of Bangladesh and Nepal- Organic Harvest will soon enter the other GCC and South East Asian countries.
Some of the best-selling products of Organic Harvest include 3-in-1 Face Wash, Exfoliating Face Scrub, Sunscreen SPF 60 and Anti Pigmentation Cream. The brand has a vast range of Cleansers, Sunscreens, Toners, Shower Gels, Shampoos, Conditioners, Treatment Creams and serums, Lip Balms to name a few.
What was the reaction of the family when you decided to launch your venture?
Initially, they were a bit skeptical about it because I had no prior experience in the personal care industry. I was however determined to explore the space and make a mark in the sector. Looking at my confidence and faith in the concept, my family eventually extended their support to me. Their support always plays a crucial role for me.
What are your expansion plans?
Organic Harvest is currently available in 5,000 outlets and we plan to increase the presence to 50,000 in India within a span of one year. We are exporting our products to 3 countries and in the forthcoming year and gradually want to increase the number to 10. Also, in terms of our exclusive brand outlets, currently we have 11 EBOs and plan to have 25 in a span of one year. Internationally, we have recently debuted in the UAE market. Organic Harvest is already present in Bangladesh and Nepal with its extensive range of organic beauty products. The brand is targeting a tremendous growth and is poised to enter in the GCC countries -the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, Kuwait and Qatar next month followed by Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in the South East by the next quarter.
Overall, how big is the organic beauty sector in India?
According to a report by Transparency Market Research “Organic Personal Care Products Market for Skin Care, Hair Care, Oral Care and Cosmetics – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012–2018,” the global demand for organic personal care products was over $7.6 billion (approxRs 50,000 crore) in 2012 and is expected to reach $13.2 billion (approxRs 80,000 crore) by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 9.6 per cent from 2012 to 2018.
Indian consumers are nowadays quite conscious of the link between beauty and health. It all started with organic food and now organic skincare products. Consequently, there is a growing demand for chemical free skincare products and our brand caters to the needs of this health conscious segment. Consumers have started appreciating the Organic Harvest products and we have been receiving tremendous response from the end consumers with both repeat and referral customers. This clearly shows our potential of growth in near future.
What is your market share in the beauty space?
Organic Harvest is not just a beauty care range, it is a lifestyle. It's about diversifying the way you view beauty and personal care sync with nature. Our motive is to provide nature at the consumer’s doorstep without adversely affecting the environment. Organic Harvest is our initiative to revitalize the beauty industry and provide the customers world over quality product. It is not just a brand but an institution which represents India, globally. A fair share of the consumers has shown a very positive response to this ideology.Wherever our products are available, we are able to convert at least 10% of customers to our products.