The Indian beauty and personal care industries are witnessing a constant boom. Well, multiple reasons are catering to their growth. Though the dominance of international brands and products continues to haunt these segments, the demand is slowly moving towards domestic and home-grown brands.
The personal care industry is rapidly spanning in India. According to the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Indian beauty and personal care (BPC) industry is most likely to be worth $8 billion. Categorized in five significant sectors, including body care, face care, handcare, haircare, and cosmetics, India’s per capita spend on beauty and personal care is growing per India’s GDP growth.
In this advent, Gorg – India’s exclusive beauty & personal care brand aggregator has emerged, which offers a mixed and unique bag of product choices to the consumers. The startup was founded by Barun Singh, Dr. Davy Jindal and Saurabh Chandra who are playing their parts in transforming the beauty & personal care industry; let’s dig into Gorg’s past and current developments leading to future predictions.
What prompted you to begin ‘Gorg?’
During our college days, we realized the problem of looking for an authentic makeup kit for sister’s marriage, beard oil to get interview-ready and organic anti-dandruff hair oil to prevent hair fall. In reality, this problem led to the genesis and incubation of Gorg.co.in. Operating into both B2B and B2C spaces with a vision to have an Omni channel play, we focused on creating beauty as an experience for our customers.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Please share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
With growing epidermis problems which encompass skin, scalp, hair, and nails, it has been observed that various house brands have been resurfaced in the recent past. Are we providing a secure solution to problems? Perhaps, more pin pointers approach is required to provide a sustainable solution to the problem. Eyeing this persistent issue, Gorg offers multiple solutions to the customers.
Please tell us about the founders and the startup.
Dr. Davy, high bars, MBBS, served the critical care unit of Max hospital for 8 years before incubating Gorg. A resident of Chandigarh, he has an innate ability to deal with ambiguity and invent & simplify solutions. A positive thinker, an astute executioner, his dive-deep abilities continue to remain unmatched, and thinking on the feet is unparalleled. To add to the strengths, he still has the curiosity of the child and could be found on Coursera to learn an entirely new domain and field, if need be.
Barun Singh, the go-getter, NIT engineer, 9 years’ experience, Oil and Gas veteran, is a financial genius. Numbers are his best friend, and it seems as if every number is telling a story to him. Always smiling through with dry humor is his specialty. Besides finance, his natural strength is networking and being known as ‘Mr. Dependable.’ Owner of multiple research papers, and a columnist with The Economic Times, he was the only one in the class to have made it to Harvard Business School.
Saurabh Chandra, media-shy, BITS graduate, with 2 decades of experience with the big brands, especially Flipkart, Myntra, and Amazon, is a tech genius. His core strengths are incubation & transformation. A core startup guy, an author of 2 books, owner of multiple patents and research papers, Saurabh, had already been an entrepreneur in the past. His unique superpowers are technology, strategy, and business model formulation.
What comprises the current offering of Gorg?
We, the three founding members of Gorg hail from starkly different fields – a doctor, a finance expert, and lastly, a technology & e-commerce expert. Being a huge fan of Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos & Mukesh Bansal that we are, our vision is more significant than life yet practical.
Talking about today’s Gorg offering, where can one find authentic and quality beauty products? Tell us one place that boasts of ‘genuineness.’ That place is Gorg.co.in. Intriguing, isn’t it? It is not a marketplace like many other e-commerce players offer. Rather, it is a brand that communicates with the consumer directly. Gorg is the only place where consumers can engage in pre-buying, buying, and post-buying stages. We facilitate them with a multitude of suggestions, recommendations, and product application tips by industry experts, who have created these products.
What is your USP? What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? The uniqueness about your startup.
Being in the industry for quite some time now, our mantra revolves around obsessive execution with clear KPI’s. In other words, we are a mature bunch and would help keep investors’ money in the right channels. We three were a team of friends much before this idea. And, the idea being unique, warmth, and camaraderie is our strength, which is bigger than any cause. That is what drives Gorg rather the other way round. Our secret is ‘social ecommerce.’ We continue to build it and experience growth with it.
We were connected with an extremely enthusiastic and to the point guy – Abhilash N, Global Head to Seller Ecosystem for Gorg to highlight a few of Gorg’s consumer offerings and products, and the seller side advantages.
Abhilash tells us that: Gorg has a significant aggregation of brands on its platform, which have been curated with great detail and research. Each brand boasts a multitude of products. The brands under our umbrella are Dabur, ITC, HRI, The Beard Story, The Skin Story, WOW Skin Science, to name a few. We have some international brands from Germany and Italy, such as Fashion Color & B’ Desire that offer some great makeup kits, lipsticks, and eyeliners, among other beauty essentials. We also have a stronghold of multiple Organic, Ayurvedic, and hand-made brands such as Prakarta, Body Cafe, GemBlue – A Bio Care.
Going forth, we also have an exclusive section for Mom & Baby Care products, which primarily deals with natural and organic brands such as Prakarta and Imbue. The assortment of products varies across skincare, haircare, makeup, and personal hygiene.
We circle back to the founders to raise a critical question: However, for a business to thrive, it’s essential to keep unit economics under check. Where every e-commerce company is bleeding today in terms of profitability, how will Gorg sustain?
Unit economics is the center of this establishment, unlike many other startups. The team has meticulously planned KPI’s, product aggregation and assortment, and brand onboarding. Together as a team, we have kept our platform as a ‘zero discounts’ platform since we genuinely believe the Indian consumer is looking for a variety with authenticity in the beauty space.
This section of the company has the potential to branch out as India’s largest brand consultancy for the domain of beauty products. We have branched out nine different revenue channels in the business, including advertisements and 3rd-degree pricing. We come from a traditional finance school of thought that business is done for stakeholders, profitability, and returns.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Yes, certainly. Currently, we are bootstrapped and trying to adapt to the market scenarios. We are also trying to draw a line between fact and fiction through analyzing data vs. reality. Meanwhile, we have implemented a market-fit model, trying to find realistic ways of leveraging the channel, aligning tech, before we reach out to investors. We want to associate with a strategic investor. Therefore this pre-work can lead the business to have a long term view. Our major win is that we are one of the very few in the world who have got accepted to “MIT Bootcamp” – are invited for an investor meeting which got postponed due to COVID.
Our vision also supports the fact that our investors make good money and a dignified exit for investors if they want to. We are concentrating on creating strategic partnerships and assets, which takes the per equity ROI to a respectable number. In sum, we plan to raise money as it’s a huge opportunity to tap approx. 877 Crore per year of revenue.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
There are no wrong answers, only different perspectives. If you believe that you have an idea – to make it successful, the first step is always to move towards it with conviction. Along the way, there will be lots of learning, and the idea that you began with may not be the idea that makes you successful, but that is the power of doing and learning! Go for it today while you can!