StartupTalky presents Recap'22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
The makeup industry refers to the production, distribution, and sales of cosmetic products for personal grooming and enhancement of physical appearance. It includes a wide range of products such as foundations, concealers, powders, lipsticks, mascaras, eye shadows, blushes, and many others.
The online makeup industry in India has seen significant growth in recent years, with increasing numbers of consumers turning to e-commerce platforms to purchase cosmetics. The rise of social media, influencer marketing, and the convenience of online shopping have all contributed to this growth. In addition, the increasing purchasing power of Indian consumers, as well as a greater awareness of and interest in personal grooming, has also played a role.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the makeup industry in India is expected to be around 15-20% from 2021 to 2026. This growth can be attributed to factors such as increasing disposable incomes, rising awareness of personal grooming and beauty, and the growing popularity of e-commerce.
For this Interview, we invited Shobana and Navaneet, Founders of BlushBee, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the industry.
StartupTalky: Shobana & Navaneet, what products does Blushbee sells? What was the motivation/ vision with which you started?
Shobana: There were a lot of players in the skincare space, but negligible options in the cosmetics line when it came to conscious ingredients. We wanted to fill this void and provide something that's not easily available. We started by creating new organic alternatives and formulations.
Our first product was lipstick. It said that women on average consume nearly 2 kg of lipstick in their lifetime. So, we wanted to build an all-edible but chic formulation. We achieved that. Following this, we started to build products focusing on daily essentials.
StartupTalky: What new products have you added in the past year? What is/are the USP/s of your products?
Navaneet: We began the year with just three products and have since expanded to 10 categories with 64 unique SKUs. We started from scratch this year and have seen massive organic growth in our customer base.
Our edge is that we have a consumer-first attitude. I was first a consumer and I wanted something like BlushBee. So, we as a brand have a consumer lens. BlushBee as a cosmetics line is a product of careful decisions in choosing what we want and in steering clear of what we didn't want for ourselves as cosmetics consumers.
The other advantage is that we are a beauty brand first, but with the huge advantage of being clean and green. This is an important factor in the value proposition. In addition to this is the affordable pricing. This was to align with our aim to make it effortless for people to switch from chemical-based to organic cosmetics.
StartupTalky: How has the cosmetics industry changed in recent years and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Shobana: Going green. Going organic.
It is a viscerally growing trend. People are more conscious about what they put into and on themselves. They are reading the labels, the fine print, now more than ever. So brands have a very important pivot—move into clean, green beauty. I think it's already happening with the demand. BlushBees' growth is a testament to that.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your industry?
Navaneet: More conversations with fellow industry mates and lots of data analysis keep us in pace with the industry.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?
Navaneet: We use key data from our customers in terms of feedback, to keep improvising and growing, and also various sale-level pivots help us grow.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?
Navaneet: The value of inclusion cannot be taken for granted. Collaborations in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Other Technologies Consumers place a premium on individualized service and Beauty subscriptions.
StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with another d2c founder?
Navaneet: Be conscious. Be aware. Your consumers are going to be, most solutions are close to where you are: so go local, go indigenous. People expect to interact with conscious products so be the ones. On top of everything, add value.
We thank Shobana and Navaneet for spending their valuable time and sharing their learnings with all of us.