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Q. What kind of brand boost are you expecting from this association with Rashmika Mandanna?
This expectation has two dimensions. Firstly, Rashmika who truly believes in the brand and that’s why she is not just a brand ambassador, but also an investor. She brings in an approachability to what the brand is about. So, that will help us reach newer audiences not just in terms of geography, but also in terms of platforms where they consume media. She is seen in more media channels than us, and that will definitely help us. Secondly, our primary target is the people who are avid skincare consumers. But there is a large number of consumers who enquire a lot more about skincare. I think, that messaging will go deeper if we work with someone who believes in the brand. 

Q. As Rashmika is now also an investor, can you please throw some light on the investment part?
It’s an equity transaction, and she has come on board as a shareholder. Currently, we are not in a position to disclose anything beyond that. Ever since we started talking to her, it was clear to us that she did not want to see this only as a brand endorsement deal. She wanted an association which is stronger, longer, and more aligned than a plain vanilla deal. So, we took her on board as an investor. I think, it works very well for both sides. We also like to do things in a stable to way and on a long terms basis instead of taking some flash in the pan approach.

Q. Your current ARR (annual recurring revenue) is Rs 300 crores and you have set a goal of doubling that in the next 12 months. What’s your strategy for the same?
The strategy has three dimensions – brand, product categories and channels. As far as the brand part is concerned, we want the brand ethos (which is clean, and vegan) to resonate through more channels and audiences than what we have today. The brand should be better recognised.

On the category side, we are traditionally strong on skincare. But we are also seeing good traction in body care, hair care, make-up, and in men’s grooming. So, we have unlocked the working internally, so that we don’t have just one pie to be divided into five, but are actually baking five different pies. That’s going to be a big driver of growth. The last but not the least is channels. 60% of our business is online and the remaining 40% is in retail. The 40% in retail is driven by assisted sales counters (which is around 1,000 across 250 cities). In addition to growing there, we are also growing our unassisted sales base which again will flow from point number one – brand. As the brand gets better known, you will see more and more people approaching retail. For online, we are investing in data technology and digital marketing to be able to do an even better job than what we are doing currently.  

Q. What does your marketing mix look like?
Around 80% is Digital. We are pretty much into every Digital platform that you can think of. And the remaining 20% is OTT. At the moment, traditional media is close to zero, but hopefully that mix will evolve. You will start seeing 10-20% traditional media this year that will hopefully jump up in the years to come. There’s a plan to do Television in the second half of this year.

Q. How soon will we see the first campaign with Rashmika Mandanna?
Definitely in July. We have already shot the campaign and now the editing and finalising process is going on. It will be a video, static and media campaign.

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Tags : #Plum #Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan #BAKING #PIES’ #Vegan skincare brand #actor Rashmika Mandanna #investor #brand ambassador #Shankar Prasad