Looking Forward to Completing Our Skincare Portfolio, Before Expanding Product Categories Yadav looking at offline channels and overseas expansion in FY 2022-23

By Deepa Vaidya

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Minimalist
Mohit Yadav, co-founder and CEO, Minimalist

Mohit Yadav, CEO and co-founder, Minimalist, launched Minimalist in October 2020 when the lockdown restrictions were comparatively relaxed. On starting a D2C brand he says, "It's the ease of building a business, which only comes with a digital-first brand. With the current internet accessibility and smartphone penetration, most consumers are now online as compared to earlier when retail was the only available channel. Digital has become the go-to platform for all brands that want to connect with their consumers directly. Ours was a similar reason – we wanted to know what consumers had to say about the products and how we could do better, understand which category works best in the market, and utilise those insights to grow the brand."

Yadav talks about the evolution of the market and their TAM. "While we differentiate ourselves as a completely science-based brand, we are competing with, and are a part of the overall beauty & personal care space. We are also a masstige brand with affordable products. "Actives/Science-based' is not a separate segment but simply one part of the larger beauty industry, which is close to a USD $20 billion market in India."

On building a D2C brand in India and their challenges he says, "This is actually a pretty good time to build a D2C brand in India because people are well-informed, and are looking for transparent brands and efficient products."

"The challenge is that beauty & personal care is still way too small a market in India, as compared to other countries – the per capita spend on skincare in the US is ~ $ 65, as against ~$ 1 in India. However, this also offers a huge opportunity to build a consumer brand. We are very bullish on the Indian consumption story and the numbers will only grow from here."

On their business's performance in the last two years, Yadav says, "It's been very encouraging to see both the business growth as well as the response that people have had towards the brand, which is not even two years old yet! Our product innovation team used to be just about 3-4 people, and within the last few months, we doubled down on our infrastructure and team. Currently we have a team of 20+ people in the function who work on product innovations, research & development."

Clearly, customers are loving the offerings despite Minimalist's claim of the use of chemicals being inevitable in their products. Says Yadav, "Consumers are increasingly choosing efficacy-driven products over marketing-driven products. They demand to know what goes into their product and only want to invest in products that deliver what they claim. True to our brand tagline – Hide Nothing – we are transparent in telling people about the product ingredients and their benefits, with scientific data and test reports to support it."

"Our USP is that we are single-mindedly focussed on creating the best blends and formulations based on advances in R&D, while always keeping in mind the customers' feedback and needs," he adds.

They are taking their vision and mission a notch higher with Minimalist 2.0. "Minimalist 2.0 is a holistic upgrade to enhance the product efficacy, bring in newer actives in the formula to offer comprehensive solutions, and to be more transparent and simple in communicating product ingredients, benefits and usage. As part of Minimalist 2.0, we are launching new products and have also reformulated some of our bestselling serums, based on the feedback and suggestions of over 50,000 Minimalist users, says Yadav"

About the role of investors he says, "External investment has helped us follow our growth plans and enablers, and invest in R&D and people, in particular. We set up a new manufacturing unit with the last round of fund-raisng.

On their plans for 2022-23, he says, "We are looking forward to completing our skincare portfolio, before expanding our product categories, and getting into offline channels of sale. We are also looking at expanding overseas as the products we create are market agnostic."

FACTSHEET

● Best seller: Some of our bestselling serums include Vitamin C 10%, Niacinamide 10% & Hyaluronic + PGA 2%. Our SPF 50 is a star performer in the sunscreen category. And our Sepicalm 3% moisturizer is a go-to product for those with sensitive-skin.

● Total SKUs: 28

● Team size: We'll be a team of more than 300 people by the end of 2022.

● Repeat customer ratio: We have more than 50% returning customers.

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