When Dhruv Sayani started Ccigmaa Lifestyle Pvt Ltd in 2016, he was no stranger to the personal care industry. At this point, his family had been in the business of haircare for 50 years. Backed by a strong legacy in hair care products and accessories, Dhruv launched Ccigmaa Lifestyle with a vision to create a difference in the hair care industry across India.
Ccigmaa is part of a group company that has been recognised by the Government of India for the last 30 years for highest exports. Having had access to hair care across the globe while growing up, Dhruv is translating his deep-rooted knowledge in this industry into unique products.
The story so far
With his study of the Indian hair care industry, Dhruv realised that a lot of hair challenges were being addressed only by imported haircare products in India. The brand KT Professional was started by him in 2016 to tap quality-conscious users with result-oriented products at the right price. The products in the market then largely catered only to hair moisture, hair volume, and colour protection. The need gap motivated Dhruv to study the market in depth and realised that Indian consumers in both Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 could be provided with high-quality hair care products at the right price with the increased access to digital marketing, information, and the growing demand for chemical-free and safe products.
Hence, KT Professional came together to provide both salons and individual users with keratin protein-focused products with natural ingredients to solve 18 different hair challenges along with the products that were sulphate free, paraben free, sodium chloride free, cruelty-free, and 100% vegan! KT Professional stands for Kehairtherapy Professional. Kehair means Keratin for hair, the single most important protein for human hair. 95% of hair is made up of keratin protein that depletes with time due to water, weather, chemicals, and styling.
The key motivator for the brand’s innovation is the ever-evolving Indian consumer market with unique water and weather conditions every 100 km, making it more interesting for the brand to tap the key problem of every city and state and offer them a long-term solution to their hair challenges.
The major challenges
We reached out to Mr. Dhruv Sayani, Founder – KT Professional, Director, Ccigma Lifestyle Pvt Ltd and Crystal Plastics and Metallizing Pvt Ltd who shared major challenges that he faced while building the brand. “The Indian beauty industry is very scattered. There are various channels through which products are sold – organised wholesale, retail, salon, online, and unorganised wholesale and retail. The first major challenge for KT was to choose the right platform to build the brand. The second and most important challenge was to break the mindset of the salon stylists and owners about new products.”
“Lastly, educating every consumer on quality-driven ingredients and the harm sulphate and parabens (harsh chemicals) in hair products cause to hair”, he added.
KT Professional’s range of hair care products
KT Professional is currently the only Indian homegrown brand with an entire product profile dedicated to Keratin. Most Indian hair care brands have one or two keratin protein-based products and just a hand full of chemical-free aftercare products.
With modern technology and steadfast innovation in the science of hair care, KT has three major verticals- KT Professional which caters to products for salon services, KT Advanced Haircare which is a complete range of retail products from oils, serums, hair masques, best shampoos & conditioners at value pricing and lastly KT Online which is an extensive range of haircare products available across e-commerce platforms.
Since its launch, the brand has expanded its presence across 28 states, 86 cities, 27000 plus salons, 150+ beauty stores, and 18+ e-commerce platforms. It has over 36+ products exclusively for salon use and over 100+ SKUs for retail use, which include shampoos and conditioners such as keratin shampoos for different hair types and hair repair.
Overcoming the pandemic
Covid helped KT Professional build a stronger relationship with its clients and understand the changing requirements in the B2B channel which in turn led to the introduction of some new SKUs in line with salon needs. The impact in 2020 was large across the salon sector, but KT’s D2C presence helped it keep revenues flowing during 2020 and 2021.
The road ahead
Commenting on the future goal of the brand, Sayani said, “The immediate goal for KT Professional this year is to launch its unique hair tools and hair equipment range along with exclusive skincare products. In 2022 & 2023, the plan is to expand sales to over 180+ cities in India.
Over the next five years, the brand is keen to cement its position in 50+ countries where it plans to start exports of KT Professional from this year. The big picture is to create a KT ecosystem amongst the consumer to bring in the first-of-its-kind Indian brand that addresses all haircare and skincare needs both at the salon and home! The price range of KT products ensures that it caters to a very large segment and the brand aims to strengthen its reach, visibility, and supply across all sale channels.”