A lot has gone behind building the reputation of O3+ as a top professional skincare brand. It’s one of the few homegrown Indian brands that picked up pace from as early as the early 1960s. Today, they enjoy the coveted generational loyalty as a premium brand, whose salon facial experience is used as an industry benchmark. Third-generation businessman Vidur Kapur, Director, O3+ Professional Skincare, discusses the milestones of a brand, which is flourishing for decades solely on the might of its offerings, devoid of any form of discounting.
The Black-and-White Era
Although Vineet Kapur founded 03+ Skincare in 2004, the brand has a glorious 60 years heritage with Vidur’s grandfather launching a state-of-the-art salon in Delhi in the year 1963. Garnering the rising Bollywood black-and-white glamor, which had ripple effects in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Maharashtra, the salon offered premium facial and hair care services.
“We had a lot of international exposure. Most of the basic product supply was imported from abroad as black-and-white movies started coming in and we sensed a strong demand for salon services. We began to bring in international beauty brands in the salon segment, such as AINHOA in the late 1980s, and also distributed haircare brands in those days,” says Vidur Kapur, taking pride in the fact that families have styled themselves at 03+ for generations, and have always found their services ahead of the times.
Today, the highest turnover comes from the salon side for O3+. New platforms in the salon space always respect O3+ for its legacy and ceaseless value addition to every service they offer with technological advancement.
While chalking out the blueprint for 2030, Kapur shared a sneak-peek of the initiatives undertaken to enforce sustainability in the brand fabric. According to him, O3+ attained its sustainability goals percentage by percentage, year on year. “We started by using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified boards. About 50-55 percent of our manufactured products use these boards. We are looking at replenishing the inventory with all FSC-certified products. The packaging also retains the FSC stamp for customer trust,” he added.
The brand is also on its way to replace plastic packaging with thermo-foamed laminated structures and recycled pulp trays. The products with the recycled pulp trays have been in the market since 2021, and been well received by the consumers. An important factor behind high acceptance level of such transitions is the feedback received from close to 300-400 consumer surveys via call centres. Even after receiving sufficiently positive feedbacks, the brand took four months to replace plastic trays with recyclable counterparts.
In the coming year, Kapur plans to focus on making O3+ products available via 100 percent recyclable packaging. In that direction, he is supervising the use of recycled hexy-cut wraps, which will soon replace bubble wraps and EPE foam. Cost isn’t a huge barrier for O3+ because of its premium clientele who understand that any form of eco-friendly innovation comes at an added price.
R&D on Patented Tech
The trump card of O3+ is its adoption to latest technology and becoming first movers in the salon space. “Hyaluronic and lactic acids were used by us in the late 1980s and 90s. However, hyaluronic acid became popular in India after the pandemic,” states Kapur, who also stressed on the exclusive salon gizmos by O3+, designed and developed to cater to Indian preferences.
A lot of research and development goes into understanding the Indian consumer and therefore, the brand manufactures machines in-house. Devices such as the ultrasonic machines add a world of difference to skin solutions by O3+, and this helps them dominate the market.
Diversifying with Evolving Demands
The pandemic prompted O3+ to explore general and modern trade wings as customers started demanding the in-salon skincare services at home. There was a demand to use O3+ products regularly, as opposed to during an occasional salon visit. “Each of these developments were propelled by existing consumer demand. So, we diversified from a salon-first brand to a larger consumer base for facial, skin solution, and retail,” Kapur added.
Currently, male grooming has assumed prominence. Tapping that demand, O3+ upped the ante with the O3+ Alpha Men range. “It is a complete D2C product wherein we priced it keeping in mind the spending capacity of men who want to get into the skincare and beauty game. We are widely distributing it to over 5,000 stores across India. The first launch has been so successful that this vertical of O3+ will grow independently,” maintained Kapur.
Riding high on the impressive gratification level of skincare solutions, O3+ also ventured into a complete hair care vertical named Biozoma in the last two years. The aim was to create a niche space in the hair category for salon with nutritional products such as quinoa, vitamin C, and amino acids that protect hair from harmful treatments.