“With our D2C platform, we are directly connected with a large set of consumers who keep us posted on their changing demands.”
Ghazal Alagh (Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth)
With an intent to make early parenting stress free and change the skincare & beauty landscape of India in this digital era, a corporate trainer turned artist cum entrepreneur Ghazal Alagh incepted Mamaearth. Started as India’s first toxin-free baby care brand in 2016, today Mamaearth has reached every house. Ghazal Alagh via Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd (Mamaearth) is serving the Indian millennials with products and propositions that they are seeking in the personal care and beauty industry by incessantly innovating.
Alagh completed her schooling in Haryana and later pursued a bachelor’s degree in computer applications from Punjab University in 2010. She is an art lover, therefore she took a summer intensive course in modern art in design and applied arts in 2013. Her passion towards art also made her complete an intensive course in figurative art at the New York Academy of Art in the same year.
Ghazal started her career as a corporate trainer at NIIT Ltd., Chandigarh in 2008 for almost 2.5 years. At NIIT, she trained managers and engineers from various IT companies in SQL, J2ME, and Oracle. She also started a website to help people provide a customized diet plan, based on user’s age, weight, lifestyle, and blood group.
She married Varun Alagh in 2011 and gave birth to a baby boy, Agastya in 2014 who had eczema, a condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin. “Just like every other parent in the world, we wanted the best for our cute bambino. So, Varun and I wore our spyglasses & did all the possible research available. But we were shocked to see how most baby products, be it lotion or shampoo contained toxins which have proven to be dangerous to the little ones,” Ghazal recalls.
The couple’s hunt to find chemical-free products for their child led to the inception of Mamaearth, a toxin-free solution for other babies like Agastya.
Mamaearth products are made using the best available ingredients (natural, plant-based or manmade) which are both certified, safe as well as effective. The products are bought from the best sources around the world which are ISO, GMP & Non-GMO compliant.
Ghazal currently serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of the company and is responsible for product development and community management.
Let’s hear what Ghazal has to say about her journey and the D2C skincare market in India.
Since You Entered The Business, How Has The Skincare And Beauty Market Changed? What Changes Have You Noticed Throughout Your Entrepreneurial Journey?
The Indian consumer is evolving and we are moving from a family consumption pattern to an individual consumption pattern. With an increase in disposable income, it is leading to a significant expansion of personal care. As one of the biggest drivers has been women joining the workforce, which is bringing in increased disposable income per household, this has a very strong impact on the Beauty and Personal Care category.
I was an entrepreneur before Mamaearth too but what I have noticed throughout my journey is more and more women are embarking upon their entrepreneurial journey, and the ecosystem is also becoming more receptive to women entrepreneurs. The future looks promising for women entrepreneurs in India.
What Is Your Leadership Philosophy? What Factors Do You Keep In Mind While Taking Business Decisions?
I strongly believe that to get the best out of people, you need to empower them and entrust them with responsibility and ownership of assignments. I have seen that when people feel ownership of projects, they tend to perform better and display stretch in their capabilities.
While taking business decisions, I always take a step back to disconnect from the situation to have a more objective approach towards the situation.
Shed Light On The Clientele Of Your Company. How Do You Ensure A Successful Client Relationship?
Everyone with access to the internet is our consumer across India and Bharat. Being a digital-first brand, we are directly connected with our consumers through our platform, and we speak to them continuously to understand their requirements and seek feedback on products. This helps us innovate with consumer inputs and upgrade products.
The Beauty Industry Is Fast Pacing. How Do You Keep Up With The Latest Trends To Cater To The Consumer’s Demands?
The Indian beauty and personal care market is at USD 15Bn and is growing at 10%. The figures are expected to double by 2030 with cosmetics and skin care driving this growth. Hence, the future of this market looks promising.
We have a very scientific way of launching products. We listen to our consumers. With our D2C platform, we are directly connected with a large set of consumers who keep us posted on their changing demands and we create products that cater to those demands. That’s how we serve our consumers with top-notch products.
Do You Think The Inclusion Of Women In Leadership Positions Is The Result Of A Changed Mindset In The Business World?
It’s not just that, people are evolving to understand that entrepreneurship is about talent and not gender, so I think that’s really transforming the face of this sector. The future is extremely promising.
People are also understanding that talent-focused leader selection is the best approach for helping more women take leadership roles.
Mention The Awards And Milestones Received By You And Your Company So Far.
Some of the awards that I have won are:
- ET 40 under 40
- BW 40 under 40
- Fortune Impactful Women of the Year
- Women Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur India
- GQ- Young Influential Indians
Some prestigious awards that Mamaearth has been bestowed with are:
- CNBC TV 18 Young Turks Awards
- Nielsen BASES Brands for Innovation 2021
What Would Your Advice Be For Women Who Also Want To Become An Entrepreneur? Share Your Favourite Quote That Keeps You Inspired.
Women need to support each other, that is how we, as a gender, will grow. Women, today, are capable of doing any job, and even better than men. It’s all about giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.
One thing I would like to tell everyone is that if you are passionate about it, go for it. Don’t get bogged down by what people are saying, if you believe it, go achieve it.