Business Wire India
Millennials are different and they are making their voice heard. While the consumer goods industry is waking up to this fact, some start-ups have already started capitalizing on it. mCaffeine was launched in late 2016 by Tarun Sharma and Vikas Lachhwani as a personal care brand for the millennials. mCaffeine focused on caffeine as a key element for skin and hair care, and the millennial way of life. The market response is nothing short of amazing. Within a short span, mCaffeine has risen up to a twelve crores ARR. mCaffeine launched their coffee range of skin care products in early December only to hang sold out signs after fourteen days of launch despite piling up inventories potentially worth three months of sales. The sales velocity turned out to be five times faster than they had anticipated. Nonetheless, a good problem to have for a startup to have. The launch of the range also saw a 10 fold surge in traffic on their own website. Also notable is that mCaffeine does not use any mass media for advertising and product launch. Most of its buzz comes from independent beauty critiques and influencers.
Coffee has had a long documented history. However, more and more of its benefits are being discovered. It’s the most popular form in which caffeine is consumed globally. It was but natural for mCaffeine to launch a coffee range of products. The natural oils and antioxidants contained in coffee make it a suitable choice for skin care. Moreover, it's de-stressing properties make it a desirable choice for today's fast and busy lifestyle. The Coffee range has been named ‘Naked and Raw’, which alludes to their product and market strategy. Going after raw and unaltered ingredients for their products and going beyond the conventional norms of color as an indicator of beauty have been two goals that they seem to be chasing diligently. Perhaps, the time has come for simple and direct as the key drivers of personal care.
Caffeine has had a mercurial rise on the global personal care scene. Researches have shown that caffeine supports hair follicles and prevents hair fall. Moreover, caffeine is also shown to have strong antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. mCaffeine was the first to bring India on the global caffeine map for personal care. “We wanted to show that research can be the way to lead the personal care market. Caffeine for us was a way to bring latest research to the Indian markets. Even for the coffee range, it took us two years of research before we could make it a reality,” says Tarun. Focusing on millennials with caffeine has really paid off as a strategy for mCaffeine.
“Personal care must always be seen in a context and for us that context is lifestyle. Millennials have a very evolved way-of-life that has two poles. On one hand, its action-oriented and on the other it has a very high level of social sensitization. We wanted to make sure that our brand supports it and stands for it,” says Vikas. mCaffeine was always envisaged as a unisex brand with ecological and social conscientious as a philosophy.
The company is charting its next phase of growth. They revamped their branding with the launch of the coffee range. The new branding is purportedly to get greater millennial mindshare. Looking at the early response to the range, it appears that it has indeed hit its mark. They are looking to launch additional 12 products over the next year for skin care as well as hair care. “We have a strong research pipeline and we will keep launching new products. Customer feedback is very close to our heart and that perhaps is the secret ingredient in our products,” says Tarun.
It’s refreshing to see homegrown start-ups challenging international companies in a sector they have dominated forever. Hopefully, the millennial consumption in India would lead to innovation within the country.