Data-driven customised personal care is future of beauty industry

The cosmetics industry in India is poised to reach USD 20 billion by 2025.

Published: 08th December 2019 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2019 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Customised personal care has become a point of discussion in boardrooms of multi-nationals and topic of research in management schools, thanks to the meteoric rise of a clutch of start-ups.

With the use of big data, direct-to-consumer companies such as SkinKraft, Vedix, Freewill and Bare Anatomy have found a way to zero in on what individuals need and want when it comes to hair care as well as skin care.

“At SkinKraft, data is at the core. Consumer insights and artificial intelligence aid us in understanding the skin profiles of individuals better and match it to the right set of products. Data also showed us that a generic product, mass-produced by an FMCG firm cannot be the most effective way to care for your skin,” explains Chaitanya Nallan, co-founder, SkinKraft, one of the earliest movers in the space in India.

Launched in August 2018, the Hyderabad-based company has generated over 1.5 million skin profile records until now and has sells 1.2 lakh units a month.

Rohit Chawla, co-founder, Bare Anatomy — a customised haircare offering — says much has changed in the beauty and personalcare space in terms of product innovation, since the first set of shampoo was developed. “Everyone’s hair is different.

With mass internet adoption aiding us in getting specific consumer insights, AI-enabled understanding of ingredient effectiveness and modern technologies, consumers are looking for a personalised choice and not many Indian brands were catering specifically to their needs,” said Chawla.

Nallan, who is also the co-founder of Vedix — a customised hair care solution provider based on Ayurveda — concurred with Chawla. He says, Vedix was born out of two undeniable truths about the hair care industry.

Firstly, hair texture, hair issues, hair damage levels among several other aspects have to be catered uniquely.and women were open to experimenting even their basic hair care products. Second, domestic brands have a sizeable presence in the mass category with the overall market steadily moving towards ‘premiumisation’, while premium markets are largely dominated by international brands.

“We believe next 5-10 years will see a rapid shift in the consumption pattern in the beauty industry from mass-produced products to customised products across segments like skin, hair colour, etc,” he said, adding he expects to achieve Rs 100 crore in sales by end of next year. The next step is to foray into haircare and Vedix is already working on it, he says.

Chawla further says, beauty enthusiasts are required to fill up a dermatologist-approved questionnaire pertaining to hair type, hair concern and lifestyle choices which has a direct and indirect implication on the health of one’s hair.

Once the responses are recorded, the algorithm evaluates all the parameters and depending on the individual’s current needs, a customised kit is created to include a customised shampoo, conditioner, serum and mask. Chawla first forayed into male grooming with The Man Company before teaming up with Sifat Khurana and Vimal Bhola launch Bare Anatomy in March this year. The company is also exploring opportunities to foray into skin care segment.

According to U.S.-based market research and consulting company, Grand View Research, the skin care industry in India is pegged at $1.6 billion, growing at a CAGR of 12.5 per cent while hair care at $3 billion growing at 14 per cent. The overall cosmetics industry is poised to grow to $20 billion by 2025, constituting nearly five per cent of the $450 billion global market.

Investors are also tapping the space given its growth potential., a consumer-centric venture capital fund has invested $500,000 in Bare Anatomy in August this year, while Freewill has raised $2 million from Sequoia’s Surge in September to augment its R&D and strengthen marketing and technology.

Niche cos heat up competition in beauty space
A host of beauty tech start-ups — like Nykaa, Sugar Cosmetics, MyGlamm, Bombay Shaving Company, The Man Company — are already giving global majors L’Oreal, Unilever and P&G, and Indian biggies like Wipro Godrej, Marico, Dabur and Emami a run for their money. Technologies like machine learning will further change the landscape of the beauty industry in the next three-four years leading to even more personalised choices.


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