Being environmentally-friendly is at the core of our business values: Manish Chowdhary, WOW Skin Science
How WOW Skin Science is working towards making itself more eco-friendly
The brand is aiming to achieve a revenue of Rs 800 crore this financial year
brands

Being environmentally-friendly is at the core of our business values: Manish Chowdhary, WOW Skin Science

The brand is aiming to achieve a revenue of Rs 800 crore this financial year
  • Ahead of World Environment Day, we speak to Manish Chowdhary, Co-founder, WOW Skin Science who tells us how the brand constantly reflects on its ecological footprint, and ensures that its innovations help the planet.
  • He also talks to us about its growth strategy and how it aims to achieve its target of Rs 800 crore in revenues this year.
In the last few years, there has been a gradual shift in consumer preferences towards brands that use natural ingredients in its products and make a case for sustainability. The pandemic has also given an impetus to direct-to-consumer brands in the last 14 months.

Bengaluru-based personal care brand WOW Skin Science is one such brand that has not only been successfully wooing consumers, it also been able to impress private equity firms. Recently, the startup raised around $50 million from India-focused private equity firm ChrysCapital, in exchange for a significant minority stake.

Founded in 2014 by Manish and Karan Chowdhary, the brand has witnessed impressive growth. This year, the brand aims to achieve revenues of around Rs 800 crore. Some of their best performing offerings include Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, Onion Black Seed Hair Oil, Brightening Vitamin C Foaming Facewash and Apple Cider Vinegar Foaming Facewash. A lot of the brand’s growth has come from word-of-mouth. However, the brand has also been investing on Digital to reach out to a targeted set of audiences while also using influencers to talk about their products.

While the brand has been focussing on innovating on its offerings, it is also working towards making itself more eco-friendly. Ahead of World Environment Day on June 5, we speak to Manish Chowdhary, Co Founder, WOW Skin Science who not just walks us through the brand’s journey so far but also gives us a sneak peek into how it is working towards substantially reducing its carbon footprint.

Excerpts:

Q. Walk us through the journey of WOW Skin Science. How has it been so far the brand?
WOW Skin Science was born with the objective of offering natural, safe and affordable beauty products that delivered visible results and kept customers at the heart of everything we do. We dedicated a lot of time and resources into formulating nature-inspired, science-backed and safety-tested products, sourcing the best ingredients to create high-quality and effective products. We have worked with the idea that our products should not only bring a feel good factor but also truly benefit the users. We are overwhelmed by the love and positive response that our customers have shown our brand over the years. It’s been a fulfilling journey so far, but we have a long way to go.

Q. The last year has been difficult for businesses, big and small. How has the year been for you in terms of business? With an increase in demand for more natural products, did you see any increase in your demand this last year?

Yes, last year proved to be quite challenging for businesses in every domain. Fortunately for us, we experienced unprecedented growth throughout. Multiple factors contributed to that – we saw a greater preference for natural plant-based products, there was a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour in the personal care category and people showed increased interest in self care,

Q. Tell us how WOW Skin Science has improved its ecological footprint. What kind of changes are you bringing about to make your business more environmentally friendly, and why was this important?

Being environmentally friendly is at the core of our business values. We are very conscious of the responsibility we carry as a brand in all aspects from our packaging to the ingredients we source and use. We are constantly reflecting on our ecological footprint and innovating on best practices for better sustainability. In a bid to go eco-friendly, we started curating our packages with 30% post-consumer recycled packaging. We are also moving towards our goal of 100% PCR packaging made from ocean waste for reduced carbon footprint. We believe that it is our collective responsibility to safeguard the environment and do our utmost for it.

Q. You currently have refill packs for your face washes but you have many more offerings. Are you planning to introduce more such refill packs for your other products too?

Yes, as of now our refill packs are only available for face wash range. We are evaluating and planning to introduce this for other products as well in the future.

Q. Millennials and GenZs today are much more conscious of the brands they choose. Their choice usually depends on how much of an effort a brand is making towards helping people, helping the environment. Who is your target audience?

Yes, that is true. Millennials and GenZs definitely form a huge chunk of our customers. Their notion of being conscious has helped us pave the way in building a brand that speaks the language of the millennial generation. But we feel personal care is not restricted to this demographic alone. We have a diverse range of products which are safe for everyone to use. All age groups could benefit from the natural goodness that our products have and the affordable luxury we offer.

Q. How have you been reaching out to your consumers? Has word-of-mouth worked well for you so far?

So far, we have employed a digital-first strategy to reach out to the maximum number of consumers and have succeeded to a great extent. Beyond word-of-mouth, being bestsellers on Amazon, social media outreach and influencer marketing initiatives has worked well for us. We did several ATL and BTL activities to engage a larger set of audiences. Last year, we also on-boarded Disha Patani and Bhumi Pednekar as our brand ambassadors and in the current year we engaged with a lot of OTT influencers such as Pratik Gandhi, Jasmin and Aly Goni to amplify our brand and push it in the right direction. Having said that, we had collaborated with a dermatologist with a firm belief of leading a very strong message of education and awareness of skin and hair care for the discerning consumers. With the right balance of these elements, we have reached the right consumer in this ever evolving world of digital media.

Q. Going ahead, what will your broader marketing strategy be?

We aim to be present at numerous customer touchpoints and propel the user through the buying cycle. We are adopting a more aggressive approach on ATL & BTL campaigns, performance marketing and establishing more strategic partnerships to grow the brand. We are also focusing on stronger content to play on our brand’s strengths.

Q. Where do you want to see WOW Skin Science in the next few years?

We want WOW Skin Science to be present in every household in the country. We hope to be the go-to personal care brand for every Indian.

Q) You are competing with brands that have been a part of the ecosystem much longer. What do you think are the factors that will help you win in this otherwise competitive segment?

We have never tried to replicate what other companies are doing. We pride ourselves on standing out from the crowd and remain focused on our ethos of being nature-inspired, customer-centric and agile. Our innovative formulations are inspired by traditional ayurvedic secrets to deliver the finest of health and beauty essentials. In terms of packaging, we have innovated with built-in brushes and applicators keeping our customers’ convenience in mind.

Q) What kind of growth has the brand seen and what kind of revenues are you aiming at this year?

We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past year and we hope to accelerate further. Our Onion Hair Kit, Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Face Wash, Vitamin C Skincare range have become bestsellers in the market and we are aiming to achieve a revenue of Rs 800 crore this financial year.