Brillare was founded 13 years ago by pharmacist Jigar Patel as a salon-exclusive skin care brand that grew to supply over 500 salons across India.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline of the salon industry pushed the company to explore the direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Patel said the pivot to DTC e-commerce was an eye-opener for the company and the potential it had to become one of India’s top personal care brands.
On the other hand, it also showed Patel issues in the skin care industry, such as misleading claims and greenwashing.
“In the last year being in the DTC space, I realised that the consumer is in a confused state of mind. If you go into the market today looking for a natural, clean beauty brand, there are hundreds of options available. But are they really natural and clean? No. Being a formulator and product-driven company, we believe it’s our responsibility to declutter this space.” said Patel.
As part of this mission, the company has started its zero-dilution initiative, which promises its consumers products that do not contain water or synthetic ingredients.
“To make one face wash, I end up wasting 20 litres of water. There are multiple benefits to the consumer as well as the environment. So, we took a stance to create products that will not contain water.”
At the moment, around half of the brand’s product line-up does not contain water and the company intends to be a 100% water-free brand in the next year.
Additionally, the zero-dilution initiative aims to remove the synthetic ingredients, such as petrochemicals or mineral oil, so the products will only contain “chemistry that is created by nature itself,” said Patel.
“It’s a challenge to come up with a 100% natural product with no water, no preservatives and no synthetic chemicals. Very few companies have these formulation skills so its going to be a super interesting space for us where we don’t see a competitor.”
Big plans, bigger growth
Patel told us the company is currently expanding its offline retail footprint with exclusive brand outlets.
“We have to be across 30 to 35 big cities in India and all the major malls. We will be covering this in this financial year. The aspirational target is to have 50 outlets by the end of 2023.”
The company believes that this offline expansion is vital to the firm’s ambitions to build the brand into a top personal care company.
“We believe that no matter how much noise you make as a DTC brand in e-commerce, the offline presence of a brand adds a lot of awareness and a lot of credibility to the brand. If you go to the biggest mall and you see a brand’s outlet, the impression that is created at the back of the mind is very different from seeing an ad on Instagram,”
Furthermore, the company is expanding its business overseas and has entered the US, Canada and Brazil through Amazon. It also entered Singapore through a distributor.
With the new products and market expansion plans, Brillare is aiming to quintuple its growth in the next 12 months on the back of its new product line-up and its market expansion.
“This is quite a stiff task but looking at how we are prepared to invest in our exclusive brand outlets, the international markets, and we have a very interesting product pipeline up ahead. Five times business growth is definitely a possibility,” said Patel.
“And we expect this growth to happen across all business channels. We’re expecting 5 times growth for our DTC channel, our brand outlet channel as well as salon channels.”
If the company does achieve this, Patel estimated that the company would corner 3% of the total e-commerce personal care market share.
“If we get that 3%, we will easily be among the top 10 e-commerce beauty personal care brands in India. That’s still a very long way to fight with the traditional leading personal care brands.”