The grooming and personal care industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by technological innovations and a growing emphasis on consumer needs and satisfaction. In the midst of this evolving landscape, Winston has emerged as a shining star. From its inception to its recent appearance on Shark Tank India Season 2, Winston's journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.
"Winston has achieved significant milestones. Our profit since inception stands as a remarkable accomplishment. Customer feedback, reflecting love for our products, is our proudest achievement. Recently, we featured on Shark Tank India Season 2, earning the trust of sharks Anupam Mittal and Vineeta Singh," says Himanshu Adlakha, Co-founder of Winston.
Adlakha reflects on the challenges the brand faced, stating that inspired by lessons from his and Nikita's past experience, Winston as a brand navigated the obstacle of justifying its prices in a competitive grooming market. The 3S (Smart, Sturdy, and Super Easy) strategy resonated, highlighted by innovative features like 360° rolling head and 3D cutting technology; premium aesthetics set it apart, garnering customer acclaim and reviews.
Innovating for Consumer Satisfaction
The research and development process at Winston is a testament to its commitment to excellence. Adlakha shares, "From battery input, platings, cutting and smoothing technologies to outer body material, color, finishing, and logo; everything is decided by the Winston team even though these products are made in PRC." This meticulous approach ensures that every Winston product is designed to meet and exceed consumer expectations.
Furthermore, the brand is not content with its current offerings. Adlakha reveals, "We are planning to bring up new categories, not so many but a few. For instance, we have already introduced an oral care range, and we are coming with a men's category soon too."
Moreover, All of Winston's products come with a 1-year doorstep replacement warranty, providing consumers with peace of mind.
Leveraging Technology for Success
Technology and innovation are at the heart of Winston's success. Adlakha proudly states, "Winston, a technology-driven personal care brand, brings you advancements like LED Mask & LED Comb, and will keep doing so in the realm of beauty for rapid fixes and cutting-edge remedies.”
The brand has so far introduced high-tech hair and skin care solutions, addressing personal-care issues with such cutting-edge solutions, and planning to introduce more of these distinctive versions to the Indian market that are either not yet available here or are present at the moment in a disorganized manner.
Standing Out in a Competitive Market
In a highly competitive market, Winston has managed to stand out. Adlakha attributes this to the brand's customer-centric approach. "Winston is a brand which is based on customer feedback only. Consequently, it comes with top-notch technology and a sturdy design with user-friendly features. Even in a very short span of launching the brand, customers also realized the same and started sharing good reviews and explaining how they like our products over others."
The brand has made a strategic decision to venture into offline retail by opening shop-in-shops. Adlakha elaborates on the reasoning behind this move, stating they have plans to open offline stores, but not anytime soon. First, the founders want to establish Winston in the online sector, and then jump into the offline sector.
Adlakha emphasizes the brand's goal to become an omni-channel brand, stating, "We basically want to make Winston an omni-channel brand while covering every aspect of business. Once the online brand has gained substantial recognition and trust, extending that reputation to physical locations can attract customers who prefer in-person shopping.”
Strategies for Impressive Performance
Winston's year-on-year growth has been nothing short of spectacular. Adlakha reflects, "Winston has reached the sky-rocketing phase with bootstrapping, and nothing can be more achievable than being a founder of a successfully growing brand with our own investment. Other than this, most people now know us as a Shark Tank brand, so this investment got a section added through this recognition with the trust of two great Sharks Anupam Mittal & Vineeta Singh (raised Rs 1 crore of investment for 10 percent equity)."
The impressive financial performance of Winston in FY 21-22, FY 22-23, and the first half of FY 23-24 can be attributed to several factors. Winston is a brand that focuses on customer feedback precisely, and accordingly, it is working on its launches, product technologies, and presenting what is actually needed by the customers, which is automatically playing a crucial role in Winston's substantial growth. Apart from this, Winston is focused on multiple online marketing activities, including but not limited to Performance Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, etc.
The D2C Way Out
The decision to operate through a D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) channel has been a pivotal one for Winston. Himanshu adds, "Nikita was already into a D2C brand named Milagro Beauty while also owning a reselling page by the name of Royalicious, and I come from a family that values achievement and has a history of taking on diverse businesses like LG and Luminous.”
It was his desire to own a D2C brand where he could directly relate with the customers, which led to the inception of Winston. As Winston looks ahead to the year 2022-23, its primary focus remains on its core products. Adlakha states, "Our primary focus will be on these goods while keeping in mind our other ones since we have recently entered the oral care sector and will shortly introduce a men's range as well."
A Bold Vision for the Future
With a target of reaching Rs 100 crore in the next three years, Winston has ambitious growth plans. Adlakha shares, "We are aware that the figures given in the previous response are not trivial to anticipate or commit to, but as Nikita said in our Shark Tank episode, 'Darna kaisa, brand banaa rahe hein,' we are confident that, with teamwork, we will be able to reach this height while conquering all obstacles.”
Thus, Winston is not just a brand; it's a commitment to providing consumers with high-quality grooming products that cater to their specific needs. As it continues to innovate, expand, and adapt to the dynamic market landscape, consumers can expect more ground-breaking products, cutting-edge technology, and a brand that truly cares about their well-being.
Winston's Co-founder Himanshu Adlakha sums it up perfectly, "Winston promotes a smarter way to care, so here, we take pride in creating high-quality grooming products. We will also be releasing a men's line very soon that will mix innovation and functionality to bring out the finest once more."