A personal challenge for Ghazal and Varun Alagh led the husband-wife duo to launch Gurugram-based baby and mother care startup Mamaearth.
Founded in 2016, Mamaearth — backed by Sequoia India, Fireside, Stellaris, Titan Capital, and Bollywood actress and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty — is Asia’s first personal care brand with MadeSafe certified, toxin-free products for mothers and children.
Recent reports reveal that Mamaearth crossed an annualised revenue run rate of Rs 500 crore, and is now looking to double it in the coming years.
In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, the co-founders of MamaEarth talk about how their personal problem led them to launch Mamaearth and their journey to success.
“It started with our personal journey of not being able to find the right kind of products for our son. We were relying on importing a few products from outside of India, which was a pain. We also figured that many other parents were actually facing the same problem,” Ghazal says.
Varun and Ghazal decided to solve this gap themselves in the Indian market rather than waiting for anyone else.
“We thought let’s let’s pick up our research glasses, figure out if we can do it, or if it’s even possible to do the same in India. That is how we launched Mamaearth in December of 2016, with six baby care products,” Ghazal adds.
Before starting up, Varun worked in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry for a decade while Ghazal, an artist, was selling her paintings nationally and internationally.
Doing things right
Varun shares, while starting up, Mamaearth focussed completely on building the right brand construct and story.
“Why does the brand exist, or what should people remember about the brand? And, if they had to tell the story of the brand to others, what is that story that they will tell? And, if crafting that entire piece with packaging, design, and pricing is in line with that story? I think that is one thing that has been a core success factor of what we did right then, and have been continuing to it since,” Varun explains.
The duo says getting constant feedbacks from customers was another factor that helped the personal care brand to succeed.
“Ghazal used to have hundreds of these calls every week with consumers and influencers who were sampling our products to ensure that we are getting the right feedback, which will go into product development. So I think that is something that we had tried, and that has been helping us even today because it almost becomes a part of your DNA,” Varun adds.
Besides, hiring the right people, too, has helped Mamaearth scale up, he adds.
Speaking about the future plans, the co-founder duo added that the company will focus on growing its consumer fraternity. “We are also looking to launch or build more brands that will connect well with our cohort of millennials,” they add.
To know more, listen to the podcast here.
03:13 – The personal experience that led to launching Mamaearth
04:30 – Career before Mamaearth
07:42 – Things to prioritise early on to build a base for a D2C brand
11:28 – Top-seller product categories at Mamaearth
13:36 – Journey and challenges from 0 to $1 million ARR, and beyond
15:34 – Major milestones and fundraises
17:43 – Difference in Mamaearth’s growth strategy versus other D2C brands
21:47 – Future plans with Mamaearth
23:38 – Connecting and understanding with the first few customers (mothers)
26:51 – Identifying vendors for packing, shipping, and production
29:02 – Bringing Shilpa Shetty on board as a Brand Ambassador and Investor
33:11 – Leveraging influencer marketing to propel growth
35:01 – What they admire in each other as co-founders and life partners