Kaya Limited’s annual results for FY 2022 reveals that it had 71 clinics in 22 Indian cities and 23 clinics in nine cities in the Middle East.
In conversation with Medianews4u.com, Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, Vice President and Head of Marketing, Kaya (Kaya Limited), revealed that the brand has started opening new clinics as part of a new expansion strategy focused on Tier 2 and 3 towns.
Kaya launched a clinic after seven years recently, its first in Lucknow. It will open another next month and ‘a lot more’ are in the pipeline in the coming year, according to the spokesperson.
Its current presence represents a good mix of metros and non-metros, she added.
The expansion strategy for the brand is very clearly pegged towards the Tier 2, Tier 3, markets because the beauty quotient there is extremely high, reasoned Iyer. “They have a deep understanding and appreciation of the entire tenets of beauty. Their exposure to everything is equal or maybe far better than metros,” she added.
“The need to rapidly expand in Tier 2 and 3 cities is higher now than it ever was. The advent of digital marketing has opened up everything for everyone equally. The market has evolved, consumers have evolved,” she explained.
Kaya closed FY 2022 with a net loss of Rs.70 cr with revenue growth of 18pc at Rs.323 crore, indicating a recovery post Covid but below its 2018-’19 turnover of over Rs.420 cr.
In the company’s annual report, Chairman and MD Harsh Mariwala noted that the brand registered its highest ever sales in India in December 2021, a trend that continued into the Jan-March quarter of 2022 enabling Kaya to return to pre-Covid sales numbers.
Speaking on pandemic Iyer said, “Kaya too got impacted as the entire retail industry did, as everything came to a standstill. We follow more than 50-plus USFDA-approved safety norms. The dermats are MD-qualified doctors, for them hygiene and safety comes as paramount. Patient safety comes before anything else. We have always been extremely consumer-centric and have continued following the (safety) norms even after the pandemic.”
In November 2018, the chain rebranded dropping ‘Skin’ from its name to underline that it offers a wholesome range of products for body, hair and skin. When it turned 18, the brand born in 2003 shifted its stance again.
“They thought it’s a great time for the world to know Kaya’s purpose and what it stands for. It is a purpose-led narrative that stands very clearly and strongly for inclusive beauty. We ensured that the entire campaign was built around different types of Indians, different types of skin tones. There was so much of inclusivity in every single brand narrative that went out even after that,” explained Iyer.
A bridal campaign went live in October in line with ‘Inclusive beauty’ and ‘Beautiful is you’. It was shot with real brides and themed ‘Real brides of Kaya’. Webisodes are to be launched next week as part of the campaign.
The brand engaged model and actor Dr. Aditi Govitrikar in its early years. Now Kaya engages influencers, informed Iyer, underlining that the brand needs to have authentic voices carrying the narrative forward.
“We work with people who believe, love and use the brand. Tomorrow if we get a brand ambassador, it would be someone who is a Kaya client,” she added.
The company, founded in 2003, saw its product range contributing 20pc to revenue as of end-2018 as per media reports. In FY2019, it discontinued company-owned stores where only its products were sold, while establishing its presence at over 400 general and modern trade touchpoints. In FY ‘22, its 60-plus products contributed 23 pc of Kaya’s India revenue.
“We have an entire gamut of products meant for sensitive skin, for men, for specific skin types, problem areas etc. We also have travel kits which are for regular everyday use. We sell within all of our 72-plus clinics across the country. It is also retailed on our own D2C that we launched last year, called shop.kaya.in and we are also present on a lot of e-commerce platforms like Nykaa, Amazon, Myntra etc,” added Iyer.
The brand has launched an AI tool embedded on its D2C platform that allows self-assessment of skin and provides the right product recommendation. AI tools embedded on tabs are also used by dermatologists at the brand’s clinics.
There is a product launch planned in a month as part of an ‘innovation calendar’. Last year, the brand launched ‘Cool sculpting’ that helps lose inches by freezing one’s fat. It was launched in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai and has been received ‘extremely well’ according to Iyer.
Among recent launches is a preventive range of acne products that use a French ingredient, colloidal silver – a first in India, noted the marketing head.
1.42 lakh customers of Kaya Smiles, the brand’s loyalty programme, accounted for 80pc of revenue, as per the last annual financial report.
“The database of Kaya Smiles, the loyalty programme, has always been high and it’s been growing year on year because the business of the brand or love for it runs very heavily on word of mouth and referral,” explained Iyer.
Focused partnerships are in place to grow the base. For its bridal offering, Kaya has a partnership with Bharat Matrimony. For younger customers who do not want to pay upfront for clinical treatment, Kaya has a tie-up with Bajaj Finance to offer an EMI scheme.
“There are a lot of strategic alliances and partnerships even at a local level or a Pan-India level that helps in bringing new clients. Another way is a lot of digital interventions like CRM campaigns, performance marketing, social media, social commerce… a lot of those interventions ensure there is always a steady flow of loyal customers coming back to us,” she surmised.