Tell us about Biotique’s Journey, when you joined in and what were the initial challenges that you had to face and how you mitigated them?
After my stint with Private Equity I saw a tremendous opportunity in the family business and joined Biotique in 2013. However Indian family businesses come with their own set of complexities and challenges. The next step was to gain the family trust, to make large impacting decisions. Already familiar with the brand’s essence, I started working on digitally transforming the company. The struggle of digitally transforming a traditional organization is more internal. Unlike the millennial, Gen-Y employees are not as accustomed to emerging trends, this restricts them from accepting the change. This constraint has carved ways for creation of new positions within the organization.
In the first two years of me joining in, we had to hire over 500 people. For organizational growth and transformation, we needed to create a completely new structure of an organogram, which was agreed to by the current organization.
I have always believed in “profitable growth” for the company and have succeeded in achieving that from day one. With the growth rate increasing exponentially the bottom line has increased by over 30% making it to be an industry wide leader in its profitability margins.
Tell us about your retail strategy? How important is retail to you in contrast to institutional sales?
Retail sales is extremely important for us, given the nature of business we are in. Our retail strategy comprises the Omni channel route. Biotique has a huge retail presence both online & offline.
We have always been strong on the retail front and selling at all major chains/ supermarkets/hypermarkets/ outlets/stores/chemists etc. We presently have more than 2000 stores- in- stores (Pan-India) and are selling at more than 100,000 multi-brand outlets. We plan to double this number by 2020-21. We are covering top 75 cities of India with deep penetration in Tier-II Tier-III cities.
What percentage of your business comes from online & offline retail respectively?
E-commerce is a very important aspect for our business. Biotique is currently the no. 1 selling personal care brand amongst all platforms in India digitally. Online business comprises a significant part of our growth.
Tell us about the market segment you operate in? What percentage of market share you have in it?
Biotique is a well established brand and has been at the forefront in the Ayurveda personal care segment for more than 25 years. There has been an Ayurveda boom in the recent years; Biotique is well positioned and established in this segment.
Tell us about your offshore expansions?
Biotique has been present across global markets from years now. We have worked on establishing and expanding Biotique in international markets like South Korea, Russia, USA, China in the online as well as brick and mortar.
We are aiming to expand our international presence further over the next few years. We have a strong consumer base in the Middle East and aim to take over other regions as well. Biotique is expanding its presence in international markets and with the key focus being the USA, UK, Europe and South Korea. Our products are selling in key retail outlets and at the same time have presence through e-commerce as well. This is a multi-fold approach for every market in different stages of implementation.
Any plans to open your exclusive brand outlet?
Biotique has exclusive outlets pan-India.
Tell us about your e-commerce biz?
Biotique is retailing online through its own e-commerce website and also retails on several popular online platforms like Nykaa, Amazon.in, Flipkart to name a few. Biotique’s digital business is growing by over 120 per cent Y-o-Y.
How many pincodes you are operating in via your e-com biz and which all markets are your best performing for you?
We are delivering to all major and smaller cities pan-India.We are operating in more than 1 lac pincodes pan-India via our own website. We are also shipping orders globally through our website.Our best performing markets are Tier 1 cities followed by Tier 2.
Tell us about your marketing strategy?
Biotique is one of the only brands in India or globally that has built without any advertising; which is a great testament to the brand and to the product.
In the digital media space, we have recently ventured into a lot of influencer marketing campaigns along with viral content and have worked with some leading influencers and content creators in the market. With a clear focus on the USP of the products- Ayurveda, we have worked on creating credible content there by increasing our digital footprint and boosting our sales. We reallocate spends across platforms, but never at the cost of just one platform. We are also actively spending on social media marketing.
What is the way forward for the brand?
We have just forayed into color cosmetics and launched an entire range of Natural Makeup which is 100% vegan. We have also launched the ultra premium range- The Biotoque ROYAL Allure collection based on the ancient science of Rajveda. In 2020 as well we expect to venture into many new categories within personal care, beauty & wellness.