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Personal care startup Clensta aims to hit Rs. 1,000 cr in GMV in next 3-yrs

For this fledgling startup, red is the new green as it is set to launch innovative range of products using red aloe vera; it also plans to roll out about 100 products in personal care range

Puneet Gupta, Founder, Clensta International
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Puneet Gupta, Founder, Clensta International

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For this fledgling startup in the personal care space, red is the new green as it is set to launch innovative range of products using red aloe vera, which is about 22 times more powerful than common aloe vera, as it has higher nutrient concentrations. The amino acid content of red aloe vera is double to that of common aloe vera. Clensta International, founded in 2016, is preparing itself to take on the biggies in the personal care segment. With its R&D centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, the company is making a foray with its innovative range of products, developed in a scientific way for their absorption into the skin through a transdermal technology and activation of olfactory lobes. Speaking to Bizz Buzz exclusively, Puneet Gupta, Founder, Clensta International, delves at length on India's personal care industry, its evolution and Clensta's growth plans.

It is true that the beauty and personal care industry has a huge influence from transnationals and the big Indian FMCGs. However we as a brand believe that we shall continue to be relevant in the space. We shall be able to do so by sticking to our core values of customer centricity and offering personalization as per gender, age, region to our unique customers, says Puneet Gupta, Founder, Clensta International

India's beauty and personal care market industry attained a value of Rs 54,558 crore in 2020. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent in the forecast period of 2022-2027. The India beauty and personal care market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.5 per cent during 2022-2027

How big is the overall personal care segment in India? At what rate is it growing?

The skincare market in India has grown significantly as people have started to believe that good skin not only helps in maintaining beauty but also nurtures physical well-being. From sticking to a basic skincare routine to experimenting with specific ingredient-based products, customers are looking to focus on healthy skin. India's beauty and personal care market industry attained a value of Rs 54,558 crore in 2020. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent in the forecast period of 2022-2027. The India beauty and personal care market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.5 per cent during 2022-2027.

Out of this what would be the break-up of skincare and oral care and others?

The category wise break-up of the Indian cosmetic industry includes: Hair care- $3 billion, oral care – $ 1.74 billion, skin care- $ 1.63 billion, fragrance- $ 0.47 billion and cosmetics segment stands at $ 0.16 billion.

Under oral care category, toothpaste segment dominates the oral care market with the market share of 50 per cent along with its various variants. Under skin care category, facial care products share 34 per cent of total skin care market, dominate the market along with its various variants.

Under hair care category, hair oil dominates the market having market share of 57 per cent followed by hair shampoo along with its various variants. Under fragrance category, deodorants dominate the market with the current market size of Rs 25.5 billion while perfume along with its innovations is growing fast.

In 2017, bath and shower had the highest market size in the cosmetic industry amounting to 3.4 billion US dollars. Hair care expected to surpass bath and shower in 2022, with a market size of $ 4.8 billion.

Are you present in all the categories/sub-categories within the personal care segment? If not, do you have plans to do that, going forward?

Presently, we are not offering services in all of the segments of beauty and personal care industry. However, going forward we have plans to offer promising solutions in several categories of the beauty and personal care industry.

This space is increasingly getting dominated by transnationals and large Indian FMCGs. How do you propose to take then on?

It is true that the beauty and personal care industry has a huge influence from transnationals and the big Indian FMCGs. However we as a brand believe that we shall continue to be relevant in the space. We shall be able to do so by sticking to our core values of customer centricity and offering personalization as per gender, age, region to our unique customers. Our innovative product line up has been keenly planned keeping in mind the eccentricity of our customers. The difference is that its evolution is driven by the principles of transparency, self-love, inclusivity, convenience, and sustainability. This truly shall enable us to serve with purpose.

Tell us something about your R&D facilities, thrust on R&D and your association with IIT, Delhi?

Clensta International has a special partnership with the premier Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). We have a trustworthy access to the advanced instrumentation facility at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) without any restriction.

The technical mentorship and technology support from this institute of national importance is a one of our core strengths. Our association is further strengthened by having a strong team headed by Professor Anurag Singh Rathore, Faculty at Chemical Engineering Department, as a scientific advisor and Director to provide quality guidance for the development of innovative products.

How many products do you propose to roll out from your stable over the next 1/2 years and under which category? What is the revenue/turnover, you are looking at two years down the road?

Clensta International plans to roll out about 100 products in personal care range. We aim to offer products in several new categories keeping the needs of our customers in mind. Our goal is to reach a gross merchandising value (GMV) of Rs 1,000 crore in the next 3 years.

How are you positioning your products- premium segment/mid segment/mass market?

We position our range of innovative products in the mass premium segment.

What would be the marketing channels?

We shall be relying on the following range of marketing channels like omnichannel, digital first, general trade, modern trade, departmental stores, pharmacies, international business, direct selling and through our websites.

At this point, let me point out that the beauty and skincare industry is one of the most complex industries with diverse customer tastes and needs. The rise of awareness and ease of accessibility of products through a multichannel approach, including company stores and websites, e-commerce channels and doorstep delivery, etc. are driving the market. This revolution has impacted the beauty industry as well in many ways – whether by creating a greater connection between brands and customers or by reducing entry barriers to innovations by new brands in serving hitherto unfeasible niche customer cohorts. The consumer has started to shift, but not completely move, from cosmetics to skincare even incorporating multi-purpose products which serve both purposes.

How much of your business would come from online sales and how much from physical retailing?

We aim to have 60 to 40 ratio for online sales and physical retailing respectively. We are expecting to grow at a rate of 80 per cent from the online sales and at 20 per cent rate from the physical retailing segment.

Would you be targeting tier-II, tier-III markets as well? How much of your sales might come from these smaller cities and towns?

Yes we shall be offering our services in tier-II, tier-III markets as well. We are expecting a contribution of 20 per cent from these markets segment.

Ritwik Mukherjee
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