Plum is a leading, 100% vegan, cruelty-free & non-toxic beauty brand with a strong portfolio in skincare, hair care, personal care, and makeup. The brand is driven by a strong leadership & investor team focused on building value for – People, the Planet, and Profit-sharing participants. With over 150 SKUs, Plum has steadily built its customer base on both online and offline platforms. In addition to being among the top new-age beauty brands online, the brand also now reaches over 225 towns and cities in India, through 850+ assisted outlets, and over 10,000 unassisted outlets – growing month-on-month. The newest addition to the Plum family is a range of clean, fun bath & body products under the Plum Bodylovin’ range.
In conversation with Shankar Prasad, Founder & CEO, Plum on the brand, the emerging Indian market, and much more…
Plum was launched in 2013, what were the challenges to introducing a vegan Brand?
Challenges have varied, right from sourcing the right ingredients to introducing the concept of vegan beauty, to developing the right products for Indian conditions, and now to scaling the business and team to new levels altogether. Thankfully, India is naturally open to vegan as a concept and it did not take too long for us to build our credentials in that area.
It has been 8+ years, what has been the growth trajectory and how have you sustained yourself in this cluttered market?
We’ve scaled to an annualized run rate of 200cr+ currently, and for the last few years have been doubling turnover year on year. Focus on strong, market-driven innovation, an authentic, dependable brand in a trust-deficit world, and a great team that believes in what we’re building.
As an online brand, how was the experience and what has made you now want to diversify by opening an outlet on the ground?
Online is a great way to beta-test products, propositions, and to fine-tune the overall customer experience and is clearly a fast-growing channel. However, 90% of the beauty and personal care market is still offline, and we’ve been growing in the offline space since 2017. Opening an exclusive outlet is a way for us to make the brand come alive in its full variety in front of the consumer in a way that no small retail outlet or even our own website can.
What are some of your innovative marketing strategies for the brand?
We believe in running authentic communication backed by facts, we have a #PlumPreviews panel of customers that reviews products before their launch and gives us suggestions, and our content-driven approach to marketing pre-dates the brand – our blog was life before our brand was born!
Today more and more people have become conscious about their skincare products, what is the trend you are noticing?
People are looking for believable evidence in the form of ingredients, clinical tests, and customer reviews. Also, they prefer more specialist products as opposed to generic ones.
As the frontrunner on D2C what are the latest trends, why are D2C brands now looking at Media i.e. Television/Print for advertising their brands?
Online has become increasingly crowded and difficult to build differentiation on. Secondly as brands scale offline, we realize that the sheer localized reach of TV & print cannot yet be matched by online. So most brands will go for a hybrid strategy to build awareness.
Where do you see yourself in the next 2 years?
We are looking to continue the 2x y-o-y growth over the next 2 years at least.