In the world of personal care, where claims of 'natural' often come with a cocktail of chemicals, Nat Habit stands out as a beacon of authenticity and purity. Swagatika Das, Co-Founder of Nat Habit, recently shared the brand's fascinating journey, shedding light on its inception, core values, technological innovations, growth trajectory, and future vision.
The genesis of Nat Habit in 2019 was fueled by a vision to provide personal care products that were truly 100 percent natural. Swagatika expressed her concern about the prevalent trend where even established brands, whether luxury or mass market, relied on similar formulations laden with chemicals. This realization led Nat Habit to delve into Ayurveda, seeking inspiration from ancient practices to create products that were genuinely natural.
"We stuck to a hundred percent natural offering. Every SKU, every product is a hundred percent natural. We take ashwagandha whole root, Bala root, process it to ensure no adulteration, maximizing nutrition," says Swagatika Das.
Nat Habit's journey aligns with values of honesty, selflessness, care, and innovation. The commitment to staying honest with customers, even if it means managing a just-in-time supply chain for shorter shelf lives, sets Nat Habit apart. Innovation is crucial, and their R&D team works tirelessly on proprietary formulations, some even patented, ensuring a perfect blend of natural solutions and modern consumer needs.
"Our values have always been about honesty, selflessness, care, and innovation. We stay honest, even if it means managing a supply chain that is just in time," adds Swagatika.
Swagatika emphasized the pivotal role of technology in Nat Habit's operations. From R&D innovation to manufacturing, technology is the backbone. The company has developed its own ERP system to manage the complexities of a vast supply chain, utilizing AI for personalized communication with customers. This tech-driven approach enables Nat Habit to offer fresh products with superior sensorials and stability.
"Technology is a very big lever for us. We use AI to generate personalized hand notes for every customer," explains Swagatika.
Understanding the Target Audience
Nat Habit caters to a specific demographic, primarily targeting 25 to 30-year-old women. This age group represents individuals who are becoming more conscious of their health and well-being, especially in terms of skincare and overall body care. As this audience matures, Nat Habit sees an increase in spending capacity, allowing for more sustainable and conscious living choices.
"Our target audience is the 25 to 30 age group, while the consumption audience spans from 20 to 40 years," reveals Swagatika.
Exponential Growth and Customer Loyalty
The growth trajectory of Nat Habit is nothing short of remarkable. In the fiscal year 2022, the brand achieved an annualized revenue of Rs 24 crore, which skyrocketed to Rs 50 crore in 2023. As of the current month, Nat Habit has reached Rs 92 crore in revenue, with projections to close at Rs 110 crore by March 2024. What sets them apart is an extraordinary customer loyalty rate of 52 percent, well above industry averages.
"In FY 24, we'll be ending at about Rs 110 crore of annualized revenue, with a repeat rate of 52 percent—a testament to our customer love," states Swagatika.
Navigating the Funding Landscape
Nat Habit's funding journey began with a seed round from angels, followed by institutional investments from Whiteboard Capital, Sequoia Surge, Fireside, Bertelsmann, and Amazon in subsequent rounds. Initially perceived as a niche category, Nat Habit has proven skeptics wrong by evolving into a full-fledged personal care brand.
"In the early days, people saw us as a niche category. Now, investors believe in our innovative DNA and our ability to find solutions," says Swagatika.
Strategic Allocation of Funds
With recent funds acquired in December, Nat Habit has outlined three key areas for strategic allocation. Research and development take precedence to continue innovating and expanding the product portfolio. Significant investments are earmarked for branding initiatives to elevate the brand's visibility through larger campaigns. Lastly, expanding the leadership team is a critical focus, with plans to onboard a Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Retail Officer.
"We're focusing on R&D, branding, and expanding our leadership team. These funds will support our growth and innovation," Swagatika asserts.
Diversifying the Product Portfolio
Nat Habit's product portfolio spans hair, skin, and more, with an emphasis on hair care, which constitutes 70 percent of the offerings. Swagatika provides a sneak peek into upcoming products, including Malai moisturizers and a patented Ubtan face wash made from real Dals. The brand has also made significant strides in the haircare sector, commanding a 20 percent market share in online henna products. Notably, Nat Habit is gearing up to launch a 100 percent natural hair color, further reinforcing its commitment to authenticity.
"Our focus is on expanding into hair, introducing shampoo, conditioner, and soaps, representing 30 percent of the market," shares Swagatika.
D2C Prowess and Market Dynamics
Nat Habit's direct-to-consumer (D2C) journey has been unique, with 90 percent of the business originating from their own website in the early stages. Swagatika credits the brand's fantastic products and high repeat rates for the success of their D2C model. This approach allowed them to understand consumers, innovate products rapidly, and build a strong foundation before venturing into other channels.
"D2C helped us understand consumers quickly, innovate rapidly, and achieve faster growth in the early stages," explains Swagatika.
Sustainability Initiatives and ESG Roadmap
Acknowledging the importance of sustainability, Nat Habit has implemented several eco-friendly practices. The brand avoids secondary packaging, with almost 40 percent of their packaging made from recyclable materials. They are transitioning towards recyclable or recycled plastics and have embraced solar energy for water heating. Additionally, the brand has invested in waste treatment and composting systems, showcasing a comprehensive ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) roadmap.
"We have a full-fledged ESG roadmap. Sustainability is integral to our brand, from packaging to waste treatment," Swagatika emphasizes.
Future Vision: Natural Living Lifestyle
Looking ahead, Nat Habit envisions becoming synonymous with a natural living lifestyle. The brand's name itself reflects this broader vision, extending beyond personal care to encompass various aspects of daily life. Swagatika shares a three-year business roadmap targeting Rs 300 crore of annualized revenue next year, followed by Rs 550 crore and eventually reaching Rs 1000 crore. This growth trajectory includes expansion into new product categories like wellness, beauty, and even food experimentation.
"Our future vision is to build a natural living lifestyle. We aim to reach Rs 1000 crore in the next three years," outlines Swagatika.
Thus, Nat Habit's story is not just about personal care; it's a narrative of authenticity, innovation, and a commitment to natural living. As the brand continues to grow, its journey is poised to shape the landscape of conscious consumer choices and redefine the standards of purity in the personal care industry.
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