A Caffeinated Idea

The brand currently has 4 major categories - Face Care, Hair Care, Body Care, and Lip Care

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Around 2015 Indian consumer markets were going through a watershed moment. The 2 most critical aspect of building a consumer brand is Discovery & Distribution. Social Media & Influencer led Discovery along with Amazon, Nykaa, and Flipkart led Distribution was making it easy for challenger brands to reach out to their target audience. Along with these infrastructural movements India was also witnessing the rise of a new type of consumer that is - millennials. Armed with the philosophy of "research trumps regret", Tarun Sharma and Vikas began their extensive research into why caffeine has such a gripping effect on its audience, why is it often considered the elixir capable of divine inspiration (in some cases), and as a bond of modern kinship (amongst so many others).

mCaffeine
Tarun Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, mCaffeine

But why coffee and build an entire brand philosophy around one ingredient? Sharing the story behind the brand, Sharma says, "Way back in 2015 a minor accident caused my left eye to swell up so one of my roommates suggested that I put a teabag over it to reduce the inflammation, unknowingly sparking my incurably curious appetite. No doubt, a Eureka moment that led to the caffeine idea. I started reading up on the benefits of caffeine and realized that most global brands use it in their skincare products."

When asked about the challenges in an overly competitive market of personal care, Sharma says, "One of the biggest challenges we face as founders is how to be sane in such a hyper environment. There is a lot of communication happening at a time, so the biggest challenge is how to stay sane and stay true to the brand because the brand can be diluted easily for two possible reasons, and at no time can one destroy the brand at a faster speed than building it. So keeping our blinders on as founders is something we have faced as a challenge too. So keeping the blinders on is one big challenge when you have suggestions/feedback rolling in and out. Second, focusing on the long-term goal of marking a global presence for your brand and making it a place as an iconic brand representing India in the global market requires a tremendous amount of perseverance and, hence, is also the biggest challenge for the founder in nature. We have always focused on R&D. Building an R&D ecosystem for product development is something we spent a lot of time on. Thanks to that effort, we are able to create differentiated products that are effective. We continue to explore ways to enhance our R&D capability."

The brand currently has 4 major categories - Face Care, Hair Care, Body Care, and Lip Care. The brand is now eyeing offline expansion along with global expansion. At present, they are present at 45 marketplaces and 1,000 offline touchpoints. "We are looking to reach 10,000 touchpoints in India in the next 6 months. As far as international presence is concerned, we have already entered Nepal and Maldives. We are planning to launch in the GCC market in the next 2 weeks. The plan is to launch the brand in 20 countries like UAE, Saudi Arab, Kuwait, Oman, US, UK, Canada, and Egypt in the next 6 months," concludes Sharma.

FACTSHEET

  • Bestseller: Coffee Body Scrub
  • Total SKUs: 55 products
  • Team size: 600 (on & off payroll)
  • Repeat customer ratio: 50%
  • Online platform resulting in maximum revenue: own website
  • Turnover for FY 2021-22: 250 Cr ARR
  • Split between offline and online sales: 10% offline, 90% online