Unilever-backed Plum eyes ₹100 crore turnover in 5 years
Plum currently derives 25% of its sales from offline retail and aims to grow it to 60% in another three to four years
New Delhi: Unilever Venture Capital backed skincare startup Pureplay Skin Sciences (India) Pvt. Ltd, which sells skin and hair care products under brands Plum and Phy, is aiming to achieve ₹100 crore turnover in next five years.
The company distinguishes its brands as mid-premium vegan with an average product price of ₹500. It offers 45 stock keeping units (SKUs) across skin and hair care solutions such as moisturisers, sunscreen lotions and shampoo. Growing at 35% rate every quarter, the company said it currently serves more than 80,000 customers per month, across online and offline retail channels. “We want to achieve Rs 100 crore turnover in the next five years,” said Shankar Prasad, founder and director at Plum.
An IIT-ISB Hyderabad graduate, Prasad founded Pureplay Skin Sciences (India) Pvt. Ltd in 2013 after working with fast moving consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever (HUL) as well as market research firms Everstone and McKinsey & Co.
Bootstrapped until now, the company has recently raised undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Unilever Venture Capital (VC). The company will leverage the funding in brand-building, taking the brand to more consumers apart from investing in research for product development.
Plum was born out of the need for India to have a brand with a conscience which brings together cruelty-free, vegan ingredients in its products which are free from chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate SLS), parabens and phylates.
“People need brands that can simplify science for them, give them trusted solutions and have a conscience. Our formulation philosophy is simple: we use the goodness of science combining effective synthetic ingredients with the natural ones. All our products are made of well researched ingredients which are declared on the packs. Often, we receive safety of ingredient and we respond with studies. Today, brand has to have dialogue with the customer. One sub-part of the goodness movement is herbal and natural, I think parallel current is of safe, trusted and non-damaging brands,” Prasad said.
Plum targets women between mid-20s to early 30s who are beauty enthusiasts and seek a brand that is safe, responsible and cruelty-free. The company has also recently launched men’s range of products including face washes; shampoo and beard wash under a brand called Phy. Started as an online-only brand, the company branched into offline retailing last year selling its products across multi-brand outlets (Lifestyle and Shopper’s Stop), modern trade retail (Health & Glow), general trade stores and pharmacies in Chennai and Benglauru.
“We are also selling through small to mid-size standalone beauty stores across cities. We have around 100 Plum assisted shops which will grow to 700-800 shops over the next three years. Currently, 25% of our sales come from offline retail this will go up to 60% in another three to four years,” Prasad said.
Apart from setting growth targets, the company is positioning itself as a brand with a conscience. Recently, it started taking back empty bottles from as many as 15, 000 PIN codes across the country and sends them to a certified recycler.
“We are also giving ₹50 coupon as a reward for being a responsible consumer. The conscious customer has arrived pushing brands like us to be more responsible,” Prasad added.
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