We aim to reach 20,000 households by March 2019: Manisha Agarwal

In an exclusive conversation with Manisha Agarwal, Founder- Director, Kolan sheds light on growth strategy of her start-up venture
“We aim to reach 20,000 households by March 2019”: Manisha Agarwal

Tell us about the brand KOLAN.

 KOLAN as a brand signifies a move towards responsible consumption in personal and household hygiene and cleaning. The products under the brand will improve the quality of your life while being socially and environmentally responsible. Efficiency, safety, hygiene, responsibility and convenience are the guiding ideas for the brand.

How do you see the market of eco friendly products is evolving in India? Also what are the purchasing trends in this segment?

The market for true eco friendly products is already germinating and we see huge upside in the coming times. For products to be successful in this segment they need to be truly useful and the customer needs to get something extra apart from the feel good factor of buying a green product. Gimmicks will no longer work and the products will need to be innovative as well. Sure they may be a little expensive but if the customer gets added value and quality along with the eco friendly nature then I am sure they will gravitate towards the products.

Kindly shed light on your product categories and price points. Also what is your current distribution and going forward what would the strategies to scale up the distribution? Do you have your exclusive retail store or plan to?

As of now Kolan has two categories as of now including Wipes (bath, baby and pet), Organic enzymatic household cleaning (floor, kitchen, bathroom, toilet, glass, all purpose and leather).

The price points are in the 200-300 range and are targeted towards the working corporate and educated class. Currently we are focusing on the leading 'A' category outlets across ncr and the leading metropolitan cities in the first phase. We will be present in 200 shops by end of month. Going forward we will be positioning the kolan.

 Organic cleaning range in all leading general trade and modern retail stores including chain stores across the country. Targeted stores till March 4. 2019 are 800.  We have no specific plan for an exclusive retail store as we don’t feel that it is needed and also with the advent of online marketplaces we have enough opportunity to showcase our brand and concept on the digital space.

What are the prevailing challenges in your retail category? And, what would your strategy to address those?

Kolan multi enzyme organic household cleaning is a one of its kind product in the country and thus we are getting a great response from the knowledgeable and responsible retailers across the country. Shelf space may not be a challenge for us owing to very warm acceptance by the retail stores. We will make sure that we can provide good service and regular supply with high fill rate to all our valued customers. The challenge is to get the message across and make the customer try our product. The method of use is a little different for Kolan cleaning products as instead of spray and wipe, the customers need to develop a habit of spray, WAIT and wipe. The enzymes in the product need some time (30-45 seconds) to work their magic and hence the need to wait.

Who do you see as your competition within the same space?

Currently we stand alone and have no real competition in the eco friendly, organic, harmful chemical free home cleaner space. there are many brands which may do a few of the things well but no other brand gives a comprehensive home cleaning solution with long term benefits and true hygiene to the customers.

Is your startup backed by any VC? Also going forward do you have any plans to raise funds?

We are not backed by any VC. All the investment is being put in by the promoters themselves.  We are open to raise funds when the right time comes. In phase 2 (once we get to 20000 households) we will need funding and we will approach the right people at that time.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

The first step is to get to 20,000 households by March end. That will be the signal for phase 2 when we will invest heavily into the concept and branding and our phase 2 target is to reach 200,000 households by end of year 2019.


Manisha Agarwal