How this female entrepreneur’s first vegan skincare brand survived the pandemic

The Indian skincare market seems to be the pie that everyone – from the housewife with little upfront investment to well-funded startups and global brands – wants a piece of.

According to MarketResearch, India Skin Care Market was valued at INR 129.76 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach INR 191.09 Billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of 8. 22% between 2021 and 2025. So what would be the best way to enter the crowded market?

Ravina Jain, Founder & CEO, The Skin Story with Product Line

Entrepreneur Ravina Jain spotted a gap to carve her way into the skincare space.

“Most products aren’t very effective, and the few clinically researched products that help with specific issues like pigmentation or acne are usually very expensive,” she explains. His history.

In 2019, Ravina decided to launch The Skin Story with a line of vegan, affordable, FDA-approved skincare products.

The trip

The Skin Story is not Ravina’s first encounter with entrepreneurship. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, she pursued an MBA in Marketing from the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

In 2015, she co-founded Streethopper, a fashion accessories brand that became profitable in its third month in business. After her marriage, she launched a wellness and nutrition brand BodyFirst, with her husband Pranay Jain in 2018. Ravina left the companies and both brands are now run by her co-founders.

With a keen interest in the skincare industry, Ravina decided to create her own brand D2C The history of the skin and a sister brand, The Beard Story, for men’s grooming products.

“Men are becoming more aware of buying personal care products and demand is growing. The Beard Story gives us an edge as a brand that makes products exclusively for men,” says Ravina.

With around 45 SKUs for The Skin Story right now, Ravina says her company offers a line of cleansing products like daily-use shampoo and face wash. These are formulated by the in-house R&D team and priced between Rs 149 and Rs 225.

The Skin Story also offers an expert skincare range with results-driven products such as pimple and acne correcting gel, under eye gel for dark circles and puffy eyes, anti-aging serum, mist blue light protection face, among others, from a starting price. of Rs 649.

The products are now available offline and online on its website and marketplaces like Amazon, Nykaa, Cred, Pharmeasy and NedMeds, in addition to its own website. The Skin Story was initially launched offline and is present in around 2,000 stores in Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Delhi, Noida and Uttarakhand (the offline market contributes 75% of its sales).

The brand is also available in Dubai and Nepal, and is now looking to list on Amazon US.

COVID-19 and other challenges

COVID-19 posed a major challenge for a skincare brand that relied heavily on traditional retail strategy for growth, and Ravina made sure to tap into the e-commerce space quickly.

The skincare startup claims to have fulfilled more than five lakh orders so far.

In the peak year of the pandemic (2020-21), it recorded revenue of Rs 1.2 crore, which rose to Rs 4 crore in 2021-22. The entrepreneur says revenue continues to grow at a good pace. The total revenue of The Skin Story in April and May was Rs 55 lakh and Rs 70 lakh, respectively.

Ravina says building a brand – whether through the retail market or an online D2C strategy – comes with specific challenges. While the past two years have been full of learning and the entrepreneur hopes to continue to grow her brand’s online presence, she maintains that offline retail is the space to be.

The founder is now focused on combating the rising cost of raw materials due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Import raw materials such as butter, creams, essential oils and other ingredients from France, Italy, USA, Indonesia, Switzerland and Japan and source packaging solutions in China remains a challenge, says Ravina.

About Sally Dominguez

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