Founded by husband and wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh, Mamaearth is a Madesafe certified brand that offers 100% toxin-free & natural baby and mama care products. The idea of founding Mamaearth came from the duo’s personal need of finding chemical-free products. With Mamaearth’s innovative product line, Varun and Ghazal have solved a common Indian parenting problem. In an exclusive conversation Ghazal Alagh talks about the growth strategy of the company.
How did Mama Earth started, and journey so far?
When Varun and I become parents, one of the biggest challenges we faced while caring for our new-born was the non-availability of toxin free products in India. Like all parents, we only wanted to use the best products for our baby. But we were faced with the harsh reality that most of the baby care products available in India consisted of a lot of harmful chemicals and hence we had to order products from abroad. We also could not find products which were meant for Indian problems like mosquito bites etc. This pushed us into thinking about the idea of launching a toxin free brandand that’s how MamaEarth was born. MamaEarth became Asia's 1st MadeSafe Certified brand which is toxin free and is loaded with natural goodness that our babies deserve. We are on a mission to reduce the parental stress & are constantly improving and innovating to make the world a safer place for both the babies and their parents.
Kindly shed light on your entrepreneurial journey. What were the initial challenges while lunching Mamaearth and how did you counter the same?
At a time when consumers are led by fancy names and packaging, rebuilding customers trust in the age-old organic recipes was an issue we faced as a newcomer in the business. There are 8000 known toxins in the market which are widely being used by leading brands without any hesitation. Our biggest challenge was to find the best and natural ingredients that were equally effective so that we could offer non-toxic and 100% safe products to our consumers at affordable and best prices. And then, apart from the general problems like making a presence in the market led by giant players, finding good talent, getting genuine vendors, convincing customers etc.
By now we have overcome the challenges and have attained validation for our products from over 300K Indian parents. By delivering happiness and reducing parental stress, we have become the fastest growing personal care brands in India.
Kindly tell us about the current distribution in the online as well as offline space. Going forward, what are the plans to scale up the distribution? Which retail channel you are betting big on?
Besides selling from our own website and on all popular e-commerce portals, we have a presence in more than 500 stores across the country. We intend to continue scaling up in the online platform and build strong offline presence over the next few years. E-commerce in the rural markets has witnessed a steep growth. Currently, over 50% of sales for MamaEarth come from outside of the top-10 cities. Eventually, we plan to expand our presence in Tier II and Tier III cities.
what is your assessment about baby care market in India. According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?
Baby care market is growing at 17% CAGR and will continue this strong growth since penetration is still very low. And in the segment, natural products are less than 5% of the market today but it is rapidly gaining ground.
In today’s age, parents are becoming a lot more conscious about the kind of products they are using for their babies. With easy access to the internet, parents are becoming more aware of the harmful chemicals present in most of the popular baby care products and are realizing the importance of organic products. With the growing awareness, there is a rise in negativity against industry giants, and the organic baby product segment is emerging as a niche market in India.
According to you, what are the biggest challenges as far as baby care retailing is concerned?
Building brand awareness and visibility in the cluttered offline spaceis the biggest challenge in baby care retailing. Apart from existing investors, Mamaearth has recently raised funds from Sequoia.
How do you plan to utilize those funds. Also, going forward what are the plans to raise more funds?
Product R&D, Marketing and team building are the three focused areas of utilizing the funds.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
We will continue to spread the word around our story and Mamaearth by strong focus on influencer marketing and targeted digital funnels. We have a million consumers all over India which we intend to take to 10 million in the next 5 years. We will also expand our presence in Tier II and Tier III cities.