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“We Hope Union Budget 2018 Will Be Progressive And Fuel India’s Growth”: Rakesh Patni

In an exclusive conversion with Rakesh Patni, Co-founder Naturma sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: SME, Naturma, Nykaa.com, Flipkart.com, Amazon.in,

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  January 30, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Rakesh Patni

How did Naturma get started? What was the rationale behind launching an organic brand?

Naturma was created from a simple inspiration: skincare products should be made with all natural ingredients, with zero compromises.  No harsh chemicals, no artificial ingredients, no sulfates. We believe that Nature offers us everything we could possibly need, from the food we consume daily to the beauty products we apply to keep us looking young and healthy. So we set out to source the finest, purest ingredients and make them accessible, easy to use and easy to understand for our consumers. At Naturma, we are driven to engineer products that don’t compromise on quality or efficacy.

Why do you think organic has become a huge thing in this country suddenly?  According to you what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?

Consumers are now more conscious that organic and healthy living is a necessity rather than a luxury. Consumers are more self-aware and look for brands that reflect this - the drivers to purchase come from the aspiration to live a holistic lifestyle that is not only healthier but also more socially and environmentally responsible.

How do you see the future of organic product retailing in the price sensitive market like India? Also, shed light on your pricing strategy?

Our research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for products that are authentic and deliver both in terms of high-quality ingredients – i.e. Naturma largely uses organic certified ingredients – and efficacy. Brands need to be transparent with consumers in terms of the ingredients being used.

Kindly shed light on your business model? What kind of distribution the brand has in the online and offline channel? 

Naturma is largely an online retail business.  We are available on all the major online marketplaces such as Nykaa.com, Amazon.in and Flipkart.com. We also have a retail outlet at Vama Department Store on Pedder Road, South Mumbai.

Kindly shed light on your product range? Which is your best selling range? 

We have a wide range of products including Body Lotions, Body Butters, Creams, Face Cleansers, Body Washes, Shampoos, Hand Washes, Handmade Soaps, Aloe Vera Gels, Oils and Baby Products. We will also be launching a few new products in 2018. Our best selling products are the Aloe Vera Gels.

How do you educate customers on the good quality of your products?

Indian consumers are quite savvy and know good quality products when they see them.  We communicate with our consumers largely through our website, our blog and email. Our focus now is to ensure that there is a clear distinction between our brand that uses organic certified ingredients and pseudo-natural brands that aren’t what they seem to be.

 Are you working on third-party seller model or self –own warehouse model?

We use both fulfillment models at this point in time.

What are return ratio and home delivery challenges since this product is very delicate in nature? Also, shed light on current customer base and pin code(s) covered by your website?

We have strong logistics partners that deliver to over 12000 pin codes and our return ration is relatively low. As we are a skincare brand we cannot accept returns from consumers once the product has been opened, for obvious reasons.  However, we do accept cancellations if made in time.  

Have you raised any sorts of funds so far or plan to?

Naturma is currently funded by the Co-Founders (Rakesh Patni & Shivani Shah).  However, we have begun having conversations with various investors to the possibility of raising funds in the medium term.

At last, kindly shed light your expansion plans?

In the short term, we feel that India has a large enough population to achieve substantial growth and scale and our focus will be on increasing our reach in Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Union Budget 2018 is around the corner. What are your expectations from the upcoming budget?

We hope that the Union Budget will be progressive and fuel India’s growth over the coming years by supporting early-stage and SME businesses to grow through tax breaks and incentives.  De-regulation and the streamlining of GST filing and compliance will go a long way to ease the administrative burden on small businesses. 

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