Being a young, enthusiastic, and passionate entrepreneur, Karan Gupta is spearheading the grooming and personal care industry in India with natural, organic, and scientifically researched products. In 2017, Karan started ‘QraaMen’- an organic men’s grooming product company – under the ambit of R G Biocosmetics.
Let’s see what this entrepreneur has to share, whose company’s Gross Merchant Value (GMV) presently is INR 50 crores.
How did you come up with Qraamen? What do you have to say about the emergence of skincare startups with the Growing Demand for Beauty Products in India?
Karan Gupta: The idea of QraaMen came to me a few years back, when I was on the lookout for curating a skin, beard, and personal care kit for myself. I found that there were almost no options meant specifically for the requirements of men, especially those made with natural and organic ingredients.
Most men’s care brands worked on the premise of using harsh chemicals for the so-called ‘harsh’ skin of men. That is when I realized that more men should have access to purely herbal skin and beard care without having to expose themselves to dubious ingredients. Since my father has been an entrepreneur in the beauty and skincare industry for long, he helped me refine my idea and give ‘QraaMen’ a concrete shape.
The emergence of skincare startups is in harmony with the industry, which is set to grow exponentially in the coming years. While many are still on the old and forgotten path, a few are slowly rising up to the opportunity by using herbal ingredients. Even the startups in the skincare domain are having to adjust to the paradigm shifts in the industry, where natural products and personal care is being emphasized over chemical products and cosmetics.
What kind of challenges have you and your brand faced in a span of 3 years. How did you overcome them?
Karan Gupta: In the span of 3 years, I have faced numerous challenges in keeping my brand profitable. Two major problems that QraaMen faced are the stereotypes against men’s grooming and product differentiation from the competitors. India still has a long way to go as far as stereotyping is concerned. Men who take care of themselves are considered ‘unmanly’. We also faced substantial roadblocks in putting our products at a different level from our competitors.
To address these issues, we knew that we must break stereotypes and create brand awareness at the same time. We channeled the power of influencer marketing to overcome these challenges. We roped in various noted celebrities and influencers to differentiate our natural products and break stereotypes.
What is the geographical reach of your brand? Where do you plan to expand?
Karan Gupta: Our manufacturing unit is located in our home state, Delhi. When we started with QraaMen, we used to source natural ingredients for our once limited line of products from organic farms located in Delhi and nearby states. At first, we used to receive orders only from the national capital and a few nearby states. Gradually, we expanded our product line and reach. We started getting plants and herbs for our products from across India.
Our social media channels and e-commerce website progressively began gaining attention, and we started receiving orders from various parts of the country. In the near future, we plan to get our receive orders from the entire country. We would also expand to nearby countries gradually as per the demand we get for our products. As of now, the demand is overwhelming, and we have hope that our expansion plans will come to fruition soon. We cannot be happier!
In the current scenario, where everything is digitalized, what is the role of E-commerce in reshaping the growth of The Beauty Industry?
Karan Gupta: Digitalization has played a significant role in reshaping the growth of the beauty industry. Earlier, only companies with the big bucks to advertise had a chance in the market. Smaller players with a limited budget were forgotten in a blink. But, with the power of e-commerce, social media, digital marketing, and influencer marketing, even the startups have a fighting chance to level up the field in the beauty industry.
Many newcomers to the industry are carving a unique image for themselves using social media marketing and attracting attention to their e-commerce website.
So if a company in the beauty industry does a well-enough job of convincing its target audience about the quality and worth of their products, they are fully capable of making a sale. Brands in the skincare and beauty industry no longer need to have a high-profile advertising budget to get noticed, the combined strength of digital marketing, e-commerce, and social media are enough.
What more do you see yourself doing in the beauty and grooming industry?
Karan Gupta: I aim to take the men’s care segment of the beauty and grooming industry a long way in India. Through QraaMen, I want to take steps towards shunning stereotypes so that men would stop considering it unmanly to take care of themselves. I want to steer my brand towards awareness so that men everywhere are conscious of their particular skin, beard, or hair problems and understand that they need a product that addresses their unique issues.
It intends to help them ditch products meant for women or worse, synthetic products marketed as ‘men’s grooming’. My brand is continuously striving to bring a selection of high-quality, natural, and cruelty-free products for men in an affordable range.