Organic India started its pioneering journey almost 20 years ago with a mission to promote healthy, conscious living and true wellness. Since then the brand has grown multifold and is available across 40 countries now.
“The brand’s retail journey began in 1999 with general stores and modern trade distribution, which to date remains the primary channel of distribution. In the early 2000s, the brand was retailed through Fabindia stores and in 2005 entered the e-commerce space to reach to larger customer base. Subsequently in 2018, the brand retailed through its own stores to provide a better brand experience for the wellness consumer,” says Subrata Dutta, Group Managing Director, Organic India.
“To be a complete holistic solution provider, the brand’s retail strategy includes providing consultation as well,” he adds.
Any individual leading a hectic stressful lifestyle and understands the need to supplement their health with solutions that keep them active in mind, body, and spirit is the brand's target audience. Apart from this, the brand is also targeting a health-conscious person who is also aware of the need to leave behind a safer planet.
“Our products are made in India and reach millions of consumers worldwide with a message of interconnectedness and oneness with nature. With a far-sighted vision, the brand started its march towards building the organic movement in India and globally, to provide solutions for health-conscious living. The thought was also to encourage organic farming in India, a concept still new at that time, to protect the soil and mother nature for the future. We engaged with local communities to build an ecosystem,” states Dutta.
With the introduction of Tulsi in the form of infusions and teas, the brand brought back a herb renowned in Ayurveda as a powerful adaptogen and for its stress-relieving benefits, back to the forefront.
“We packaged the goodness which Indian Ayurveda had to offer and provide it with a scientific backing through products like teas and supplements. With the launch of Tulsi Tea, as a wellness infusion, in 2003, our mission to recover traditional agriculture wisdom and rediscover holistic ayurvedic formulation was further strengthened. Today the brand provides a large portfolio comprising of teas and infusions, herbal supplements, and packaged food,” he shares.
The products of the brand are focused on providing a holistic wellness solution to consumers, hence it is imperative that the brand communicates in simple language the benefits and thereby encourage ‘Healthy Conscious Living’.
“The idea is to make the products accessible to the consumer at every touch-point and educate and inform them about the virtue of organic products and their health benefits. The age-old established adage that ‘Prevention Is Better than Cure’ is at the core of what we do and with the same in mind we provide condition-specific solutions leveraging herbal formulations,” he says.
Omnichannel not only helps to increase the business of online space but also of offline space.
“Since the brand is in the space of health and wellness, the omnichannel addresses the consumer's different needs and lifestyle requirements. We are present across 25,000 mom-and-pop stores, around 300 dedicated points of sale, and on e-commerce platforms together with a presence in all significant online retail portals,” he states.
“We are in the process of linking up our online presence with offline through a seamless solution to allow consumers the benefit of an endless aisle experience and easy browsing with the option of ordering online and picking up offline,” he further adds.
Accelerated by Covid-19, online adoption amongst consumers has grown drastically. Supported by payment infrastructure and the internet, online spending in India is expected to grow at CAGR 35 percent and reach $ 200 bn over the next 5 years. With this, the focus towards the D2C category has increased for brands.
“The D2C provides us with the opportunity to update the consumer and address their queries on health and wellness much better in line with our ethos to focus on solutions rather than individual products,” he shares.
“Catering to this particular segment we have also launched specific products like the CLEAN program which is a 7 days/ 21 days detox kit. We are also planning to further leverage this channel to enhance our brand experience for the customers,” he further adds.
Impact of Pandemic
The need for health-conscious living is highlighted due to the pandemic, leading to more involvement and engagement of Organic India consumer base with the category. Today the consumer understands and is looking to adopt the principle of prevention being better than cure.
“The segment has seen an upward growth as organic and Ayurveda products are being a staple in diets and the major reason for this is the growing understanding of how right nutrition is at the core of health. While there had been a gradual shift being witnessed towards natural and chemical-free food, the pandemic has surely given it a boost.
Understanding the current need of customers and the shift, our stores have adapted a delivery mechanism to ensure immunity-building products are available to the consumers in need. Furthermore, the e-commerce channel has taken on a bigger role in ensuring consumer access to the brand,” he shares.
The pandemic has impacted every segment and the economy equally. While Organic India faced certain losses in select channels, the brand continued with the work, as some of these channels were able to provide the much-needed solutions to the consumers during the pandemic.
“In this fight against the pandemic, the businesses have realized the importance of being nimble and agile to survive the changing scenarios. In my view, businesses with the ability to make strong and bold moves as a response to market transformation are going to be successful,” he asserts.
“The pandemic has also reiterated the importance of safeguarding the health and well-being of employees as well as customers. Hence, we also focussed on protecting the health of the staff and frontline workers, associates, and consumers as a top priority while ensuring continuity of distribution,” he further adds.
The vast brand portfolio comprises teas and infusions, herbal supplements, and packaged food, including fats and oils, sweeteners, and superfoods like quinoa, moringa, and wheatgrass.
“To become a one-stop ‘organic’ solution for the consumer looking for health and wellness products we are constantly looking to expand our portfolio. To this extent, the brand has recently launched personal care and staples in select channels,” he shares.
“We have a significant presence in India and the USA with a factory in Lucknow and offices in Lucknow, Delhi, and Boulder (Colorado, USA). The focus will be on the rest of the world with an eye on further consolidation of the business in India and the USA,” he adds.
According to research by Meticulous Research, the global organic food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 272.18 billion by 2027. The Indian market is also consistently growing in this segment and Organic India expects to grow faster than the market.
“With the increasing penetration of e-commerce channels, we are looking at further disruptive growth. With an eye on current and future growth, we have recently set up a state-of-the-art LEED platinum-certified manufacturing base in Lucknow to support our growth plans,” he concludes.