The Covid-19 pandemic was a historic event that changed the course of many brands. In the wellness area, brands with natural and Ayurveda-based products have made a big comeback. Consumers adopt healthy and sustainable practices. Brands with a range of herbal products and innovations are in demand. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online Dr. Himanshu Gandhi, Co-Founder and CEO of MOTHER SPARSH spoke about the effects of Covid-19, the trend of increasing consumption of natural products and their success story. Excerpts:
How has covid-19 affected consumer prospects for Ayurveda-related wellness products?
Wellness is at the top of the consumer list today because nobody wants additional skin or body problems in the prevailing scenario. The outbreak and ongoing effects of Covid-19 have had a phenomenal impact on the outlook. According to pre-pandemic estimates, the Ayurveda market in India should grow at an annual rate of over 16% to Rs 710 billion by 2024. With the shift in people’s preferences, the number is expected to continue to grow significantly.
At Mother Sparsh, we’ve grown fivefold over the past year. The need of the hour is to bring the power of Ayurveda, ancient herbs and plants into a form that is conducive to modern lifestyles, especially for babies and millennial mothers. Our ethos is geared towards all the healing and pampering needs of our little ones and their mothers. The fact remains that there is no better wellness solution today than our own and ancient Ayurveda – a powerful way to boost immunity by strengthening and repairing our bodies.
How can Ayurveda offer an alternative to wellness-based wellness products, and do you see a change in it since the pandemic?
We need to understand that chemical loaded products can provide instant results, but they have their own dangers and side effects. They can cause redness, rashes, or irritation, but herbal formulations and Ayurvedic herbs derived from our Vedic culture pamper and heal soft skin. This also applies to all hair or wellness conditions. Ayurveda, the oldest healing science known to mankind, is still an answer to the most important needs of babies and mothers.
While chemicals, artificial fragrances, alcohol, etc. cause various skin or hair problems, Ayurvedic or natural ingredients lead to holistic wellbeing. For example, gotu kola or brahmi offer excellent restorative benefits and promote collagen production to reduce scars and stretch marks, while turmeric has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Similar are the benefits of other Ayurvedic ingredients such as saffron, sandalwood, lavender oil, Indian gooseberry, etc.
Please inform us about Mother Sparsh’s trip
Mother Sparsh’s co-founders, my wife Rishu Gandhi, and I come from different backgrounds. She was a Java developer at Infosys when I was a government official. After the marriage we discovered our common desire to identify and close the gap in the baby care segment. As we identified the gaps, we learned the behavior of the consumer, which enabled us to work on a needs-based offer. It was an informed decision on our part to offer nature-based, plant-driven and Ayurvedic solutions for the needs of babies and millennial mothers. This has been our driving force, even when we recently diversified our product portfolio across skin, hair and health segments for babies and mothers by almost 25%. We are currently one of the fastest growing domestic brands in all of India and in 23 states in the premium baby care segment.
How did Mother Sparsh manage to stay relevant in the market at a time when companies were hit hard by the pandemic?
The pandemic dealt a massive blow to the supply chain and the mechanism for sourcing raw materials, as the disruption resulted in a disruption in logistical supplies. The salvation for us in these difficult times was our omni-channel approach in conjunction with our initial digital strategy. As the online retail channels expanded and strengthened, we continued to go through aggregated business partners and retail stores. As mentioned earlier, we have grown fivefold over the past 12 months and are currently running at 50 to 60 rupees.
How was the brand’s year-over-year growth and how did Covid affect it?
Mother Sparsh has grown 100% year over year every year. Covid pushed for the need for solutions that had no side effects and did not contain harmful chemicals. In the baby care sector, our natural products with herbal ingredients grew fivefold. Mother Sparsh achieved a turnover of 22 billion rupees in the past fiscal year.
Has the pandemic changed the branding approach in the past 1 years? And what are your unique value propositions and what does your company solve?
Mother Sparsh has focused on an omni-channel approach since its inception. So it was more about realigning our key strategies than changing the approach. We have certainly further strengthened our online presence, but that in addition to our geographical offline expansion.
The answer to what we solve lies in our unique value proposition, which brings the power of nature and Ayurveda into its pristine form for the most sensitive skin. The biggest advantage here is that the products or ingredients themselves are non-toxic, which leads to a better chance of success. Remember, Ayurveda can cure not only minor lifestyle problems but also chronic problems. Instead of supplying ingredients, we offer premium finished products.
What are your future plans / share your roadmap with the 100 Crore Club?
The plan to join the Elite 100 Crore Club as a brand is already in place. Last year we diversified our product portfolio in the premium baby & mother care segment by 25%. We are currently working on new product launches and a comprehensive retail strategy that would enable both geographic and higher sales channels. At the same time, we focus on raising awareness of the holistic brand that offers unique solutions that are beneficial to health and environmentally friendly.
We are working on joining the 100 Crore Club by fiscal 23rd.
As with the 99% water-based wipes, more innovative product launches can be expected in the near future
We will expand our product portfolio in all segments of baby and mother care. One of Mother Sparsh’s latest offerings is the Turmeric Remedial Range in the Early Signs of Aging Areas, which would provide a complete solution to various personal care problems. In addition, we will shortly be launching innovative healing products in the areas of anti-aging and skin tightening for collagen strengthening. Mama Sparsh will also offer unique solutions for hair and scalp problems, blemishes and dark spots.
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