‘Clear trend towards everything Korean’: DTC brand Pilgrim bringing K-beauty trends to India

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

 Pilgrim brings K-beauty trends to India. [Pilgrim]
Pilgrim brings K-beauty trends to India. [Pilgrim]

Related tags India K-Beauty

India-based beauty brand Pilgrim is riding the rising K-wave by tapping into Korean beauty trends and making them accessible to the domestic market.

The direct-to-consumer beauty and personal care brand launched in 2020 that aims to bring beauty trends from overseas to India.

“Everyone wants to travel and visit different countries to experience different cultures. We wanted to bring the sense of exploration to life in the context of beauty by bringing native beauty ingredients and traditions to our consumers,” ​said Anurag Kedia, co-founder of Pilgrim.

The brand’s first range of products was inspired by Korean beauty trends and ingredients. The Secret of Jeju collection used ingredients like volcanic lava ash, white lotus, and camellia.

The collection launched with nine products and now consists of around 25 products, which speaks to the popularity of K-beauty in India, said Kedia.

“The fascination with Korean culture – and I mean food, music, drama and beauty – is picking up well and is continuing to grow in India. Of course, Korean beauty is big globally, however in India, these brands were either not accessible or not affordable previously.

“There is a clear trend towards everything Korean. Today we are at a much higher level of awareness and interest in terms than what it was two years back. Now there are a few brands, which is why we feel there’s an opportunity there.”

Aside from products, K-beauty has also changed beauty routines for some consumers in India.

“The skin care routine in India used to be very limited but that is changing. While we are nowhere close to a 10-step routine, many consumers have started talking about five step routines just for the morning. So, the number of products an Indian consumer is using is definitely increasing because of the Korean beauty influence,” ​said Kedia.

Expanding hair care range

From now till March next year, the company is planning to launch 40 to 50 new products spread across skin care and hair care.

“Currently, 80% of our portfolio is on the skin care side, and our hair care portfolio is limited. But we are moving on our hair care portfolio. In 2022, more specifically targeted products will be launched for the hair care side,” ​Kedia.

He added that there while the local skin care market has expanded greatly in recent years, the same has not happened for hair care.

“The hair care market largely revolves around two or three product categories but there are more innovative product formats like hair serums and hair masks that can delivery great benefits as well.”

The company is turning to the Korean hair care market for product and trend inspirations, which it believes will trickle down quickly into the local market.

“If you look at Korean beauty, there are hair and scalp products are different… in the Indian market that segregation has not happened yet. I think there’s a very small movement that has just started happening. Some consumer education will be required on hair, the roots, and the scalp. This is where the trend of hair serums will be helpful to meet the specific hair needs of consumers,” ​said Kedia.

Recently, the brand raised INR13Cr (U$1.76m) as part of its Series A fund raise led by Fireside Venture and Rukam Capital.

Kedia told CosmeticsDesign-Asia it will use the funds to enhance its research and development (R&D) capabilities, expand its team and brand building.

Aside from its Korean beauty range, the company has also launched a French beauty range, Secrets Of Vinotherapie, inspired by the Bordeaux region, which has also been expanding due to its popularity.

While the company plans to tap into the growing interest in both collections, it will also be introducing new one exploring different beauty ingredients and rituals of other cultures.

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