Cosmetics have become an ever-increasing part of the day-to-day lifestyle for many people and professions, as a result, some of the most frequently asked questions are about the safety and effects of the chemicals in those products. Are they safe? Will they cause adverse reactions? What kind of chemicals are used and is it cruelty-free? With people becoming more and more conscious of their health, especially in the wake of the pandemic, it becomes clear that there are not many options out there that offer these natural, organic products for those of us who want to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. This is where Juicy Chemistry comes to the rescue.
What Is Juicy Chemistry About?
Since the uptick in the demand for organic, wholesome and natural products, especially in the cosmetics industry, Juicy Chemistry, which was founded in 2014 by the husband-and-wife duo, Megha and Pritesh Asher, aims to hone in on that demand with its line of certified organic cosmetic care products.
As they put it, they are “Drawing inspiration from nature, and understanding the power of its rich flora, we help create the perfect chemistry between you & nature.”
The company uses nature-based organic materials and essential oils to form their range of skincare products that are cruelty-free, non-synthetic, free of preservatives and additives and maintain zero artificial fragrances. All of this has begun to demystify the world of organic cosmetics and pull the veil back on the potential it has to become more mainstream as opposed to what we use now. Even though a lot of products these days claim to be organic, most if not all, have some form of chemical additives or are petroleum-based to extend shelf-life.
The Indian Cosmetics industry has plenty of natural options but only Juicy Chemistry has the proof to back that claim.
How It All Began: Juicy Chemistry’s Origins
They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, if anything Juicy Chemistry is the embodiment of that age-old adage as it was birthed for one very specific reason; to provide a natural alternative in a market where healthier, safer options are few and far between. This all began when Megha was on the prowl for a better option as she had sensitive and acne-prone skin. Despite medications and treatments, one has to realise that at the end of the day you are using chemicals to fight off chemicals and that is futile at best.
So, to find a long-term and safe alternative she and her husband Pritesh moved their attention to natural products, but even those maintain some level of synthetic add-ons and chemical boosters that helped extend the shelf-life. Fair to say there was a severe gap in the Indian cosmetics market.
With this revelation in hand, they moved to do something about it to try and change that by providing customers with a simplified skin-care solution among other products. With Pritesh’s background in business management and knowledge of manufacturing techniques, they got to work by testing out the waters. After conducting some in-depth research in regards to customer feedback, social media analytics and online reach, Juicy Chemistry set foot into the manufacturing space.
Initially, Juicy Chemistry began manufacturing in a small kitchen and two employees in early 2015. However, the company has received such positive feedback that they have managed to rapidly expand and in 2020 it stood at a valuation of $ 2.5 Million and currently has a 10,000 square foot headquarters in Coimbatore.
Their line of products falls under the ambit of face, body, hair care, aromatherapy, and juniors which is for young children in order to encourage better practices of skin and body care from a young age in a safe manner. Juicy Chemistry also provides consumers with options regarding specific accessories or care-routines that include packages to build and maintain a daily routine.
The Juicy Chemistry Business Model
The company mainly runs on a D2C business model with the majority of its revenue streaming in through the online platforms it maintains. The company has a primary website as well as an app on AppStore and Google Play for on-the-go purchases. Aside from its own channels, the company also pushes the brand name and retail efforts on third-party platforms such as Myntra, Amazon and Nykaa.
The online efforts aside Juicy Chemistry also has a brick-and-mortar location in Coimbatore that acts as the flagship store at the moment.
Though they have such a wide-spread reach now, for a company that just started in 2014, the beginnings were not easy by any means. In order to get the brand name out into the public sphere, they started with word-of-mouth and eventually moved into participating in trade shows to gain a stronger presence in the market and reach new customer pockets. This did two things; it gave them a wider reach and it provided valuable insight into the minds of the customer.
With many positive responses from the customer demographic, Juicy Chemistry made a very smart move and instead of trying its very best to outshine the competition, it chose to start cross-promotions.
Cross-promotion is a very underrated method of marketing as the common conception is that one has to shadow everyone else in order to be the best. Yes, peacocking your brand benefits has its fair share of uses and definitely is a tried-and-true way of going about advertising, but so does cross-promotion. When cross-promoting, the company gets painted in a light that shows its collaborative side, instilling a feeling of warmth and a sense of it being down-to-earth. Juicy Chemistry recognised this potential and seized the opportunity by going into business with brands that have similar ideologies and application (not necessarily cosmetics).
For instance, the company approached a health snack bar line and sent customers a snack bar with the online orders to create a sampled experience and the snack bar brand did the same. This not only provided good exposure beyond the scope of their customer demographic but tapped into customer loyalty by engaging them in a casual manner and building their confidence in the brand.
Growth, Funding and Investors: Making All the Right Moves
In approximately seven years since its inception, the company has gained a lot of clout and weight to the brand name with over 100 individual skincare products, cleansers, moisturisers, toners and oil to name a few.
In 2020, Juicy Chemistry had a valuation of $2.5 Million and was backed by some powerful investors. The company closed its Series A round of funding in March of 2021, with a significant $650,000 from Akya Ventures for a 26 per cent stake in the company and $6.3 Million in funding from Verlinvest. This brings up the total funding raised to $6.9 Million.
All this points to very sound financial practices within the company, a result of the company’s financial advisor, Veda corp, which is helping them in areas such as production assistance, marketing, management, networking and even on the technology front.
It should be noted that despite having raised significant funding through investors the majority of the day-to-day operations and the company itself are funded by internal sources and through the manufacturing and sales itself. It is self-sustaining to a certain degree which is rare for start-ups these days.
The funding aside the company itself has seen much growth, approximately having grown by over 60 per cent since February 2020.
The financials aside, Juicy Chemistry maintains a strong technology-based foundation that helps contribute to that growth. According to BuiltWith the company actively makes use of around 61 analytics and other technologies to boost its website presence and brand engagement. Everything from analytical trackers to widgets, E-Commerce, content delivery networks to payment gateways are covered.
The company is so proficient that it currently hosts 150,051 visitors through its website each month and that number is steadily growing by around 30 per cent each month. 70 Per cent of the existing visitors are of the Indian demographic while the other 30 per cent are from the United States.
With all this going on in the background, the company is gearing up to achieve a sales margin of around $3.5 Million by the end of FY21.
Juicy Chemistry Marks the Largest Series A Raise in D2C Beauty and Personal Care Space.
Juicy Chemistry: Standing Out and Making a Difference
Juicy Chemistry stands out because it is what it claims to be, fully organic and natural. How can you be sure though? A question that the company is constantly faced with and with good reason. The cosmetics industry is known for claiming natural products but more often than not it has some hidden chemicals. This is especially true of the Indian cosmetics industry, fair to say that customers will be sceptical at first.
However, there is proof in the pudding as they say. Juicy Chemistry is the first Indian brand to receive an ECOCERT (France) certification with COSMOS V3 Standard. This certification outlines that a minimum of 95 per cent of the ingredients should be from certified organic sources and the remaining five per cent should be balanced out with natural materials. This means that according to these parameters the brand is 100 per cent organic and natural.
So, while there are industry titans that provide ample competition and heavily saturate the market with mainstream cosmetic-care products, there is no direct competition to Juicy Chemistry in the Indian sector that matches its product line in terms of organic contents. This makes Juicy Chemistry a truly unique beast in the D2C Beauty and Personal Care Space.
Company Mission and Vision
The mission and vision of this company are pretty simple. For one the company claims that everything they do stems from their motto, “Organic by nature”. Despite being a clever play on words, it explains what they have been trying to do.
The mission is to bring a simple solution to organic cosmetics with utmost transparency. Most of the time brands scream ‘natural’ on the front label but on the back of the product, it is a conspiracy of hidden articles and chemicals. People use them anyway because one, there may be a lack of awareness and two there may not be another option. Juicy Chemistry aims to provide both options and awareness as to the benefits of naturally sourced products.
Their vision is to one day see organic products become the predominantly used products as it is just as, if not more effective than what people currently have access to.
About the Founders of Juicy Chemistry and Future Plans
It was not always sunshine and roses for the couple, Megha and Pritesh were childhood friends turned couple. They finished their college education in Australia and upon moving back to India and getting married fell into crippling debt a few years later after Pritesh lost his father.
While Pritesh worked on clearing the debts and paying off loans, Megha became the primary breadwinner in the family and set up her own boutique. She eventually created her own line of clothes and it took off. Slowly digging themselves out of the hole the idea for Juicy Chemistry came out of nowhere and out of necessity as Megha needed a non-reactive alternative to treat her acne-prone skin. The rest, as they say, is history.
Going forward the company is looking to add more natural and organic products to its line in the next five years or so. Parallelly it will also attempt to establish a more sustainable production and development process while maintaining authenticity and transparency with their customers, something the founders did not have before Juicy Chemistry.
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