Today’s consumer is relying on the internet for almost everything, from searching about their personal care needs to purchasing high-value products. With the progressing change in how today’s consumer is perceiving the beauty and personal care segments, brands are now keen on catering their products and services on digital buying channels.
With the onset of the pandemic, it has become more apparent for beauty brands to hold a strong digital presence, especially in commerce operations. The scenario presented beauty brands with a chance to reach their online audiences with seamless digital experiences by adopting D2C and marketplace models. One of such brands is The Bella Vita Organic which started just 3 years ago and has clocked revenue of Rs 100 crore.
Aakash Anand, Founder & CEO, Bella Vita Organic while speaking at a webinar #EmpoweringD2C in collaboration with Shipway states, “My mother and sister were a salon chain in Gurugram by the name Bella Vita Organic and instead of using branded products, they focused on using brewing their own formulas in their kitchens. The customers were impressed by these products and started asking for these products to take home. That's when they got hold of a manufacturer in Hyderabad and started getting these products made. In late 2018, I realized that with the D2C coming in and becoming a global phenomenon, it's a great move for us to now enter the market with our own brand and that's how Bella Vita Organic actually started.”
Before launching the D2C channel, Anand first listed the brand on Amazon with just 4-5 products and since then there has been no looking back.
“Every entrepreneur going the D2C route should focus on the quickest way to reach a consumer. Your path to success is catalyzing the process of reaching the consumer, either through listing yourself on marketplaces, playing with keywords, getting your visibility sorted, or getting your ads sorted or even collaborating with a bigger brand through a freebie,” he asserts.
At present, Bella Vita Organic clocks 60 percent of its revenue from D2C and the rest 40 percent.
Just like other brands, Bella Vita Organic also faced many challenges initially. And one of the biggest challenges was that when you are listed on the marketplace, you do not have control over your consumers. You don't know who is buying, you don't know whom to target.
“So initially, it was very hard for us to understand where we run our ads? How do we run our ads? How do we target the right consumers on Amazon, or on Flipkart, or Nykaa? So, that took us a couple of months to figure out,” he asserts.
“And the second challenge was that we were using packaging that was not very consumer-friendly at that time. Obviously, the packaging got a lot of backlashes, a lot of negative reviews on marketplaces. You have to be sure about your product, in terms of packaging, in terms of aesthetics, in terms of how it will reach the consumer, whether it will break before you actually launch them. So, that's very important,” he adds.
Initially, for Bella Vita Organic the target audience was Tier II and Tier III cities as consumers in Tier II and beyond have fewer options to explore.
Explaining it further, Anand states, “People in Tier-I cities have a lot of options whereas people in Tier II and Tier III cities have fewer options. Unfortunately, the products you see in Tier II and Tier III cities are not quality products. We consciously took a call to get into Tier II and Tier III, giving them quality products at the price point of products they were already using.”
Ensuring Quality Products at the Right Price
Striking the right balance between delivering quality products at the right price is very important for the success of any brand. Bella Vita Organic believes in offering quality products at very competitive prices.
“What we realized early in the journey was that we have to be equivalent or at par with the luxurious brands while being affordable. Hence we decided to never compromise on quality. We as a brand make far lesser margins than our competitors do but we are happy doing so because our repeat rates are flourishing and our marketing budgets for repeat rates have gone fairly down,” he explains.
With a team of approx 250 individuals, Bella Vita Organic aims to grow as a Rs 500 crore annual revenue brand within the next 2 financial years.
Having run Bella Vita Organic profitably and bootstrapped for the last 2.5 years, the founding team has recently raised $10 million from Ananta Capital and with the funding, the brand is looking to up-scale the brand marketing, R&D plus manufacturing, set-up, and product offerings.
“In the next three months, we are planning to launch our new nutraceutical range along with makeup range. We want to give our consumers quality products at affordable prices. That's our entire strategy,” he concludes.