India’s Botnal sets foot in physical retail amid rising demand for functional skin care

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Botnal recently launched a range of products containing functional ingredients. ©Botnal
Botnal recently launched a range of products containing functional ingredients. ©Botnal

Related tags India Skin care functional beauty retail

India-based cosmetics brand Botnal is making its debut in brick-and-mortar stores via a partnership with a local pharmacy retail chain, following the recent launch of its functional skin care range.

Having experienced rapid growth after entering e-commerce platform Nykaa​ earlier this year, Botnal is now ready to venture into the physical retail sector, said the brand’s founder and CEO, Hemangi Dhir.  

Botnal is partnering with Tata 1mg to stock at 20 of the latter’s retail stores in New Delhi by end October. The pilot launch will run for six months.

“People anywhere in the world would be a little wary when trying a new brand, especially for skin care as the products are used on their faces. They may be sceptical if a brand is only sold on its website and not any other e-commerce sites.

“It definitely helps build brand credibility to be listed on these platforms — consumers feel more assured knowing that the brand has been vetted. Now, by entering the retail space, consumers can even try and buy our products directly in stores,” ​Dhir told us.

This expansion comes on the back of Botnal’s recent rebranding to encapsulate the term “biocompatible” and the release of three functional ingredients-containing products.

The new range includes two cleansers, namely Velvet Rinse, a creme face wash infused with probiotics, colloidal oats and papaya extract for enhanced hydration, softness, and rejuvenation; and Clean Rinse, a gel face wash formulated with probiotics, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and other skin barrier-strengthening ingredients, as well as biodegradable papaya beads for gentle exfoliation.

In addition, the Daily Spread + Mineral SPF 30 lightweight moisturiser claims to have antioxidant and calming effects through ingredients such as butterfly ginger root and niacinamide, and protects against sun damage with the help of actives like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

“We are seeing bigger demand not just for natural and clean ingredients, but also those that are more biocompatible. The use of natural materials is still a core pillar of our brand, but we also wanted to incorporate ingredients that complement each other to raise product efficacy.

“For example, if one ingredient in a formulation is highly potent, the addition of a soothing agent, such as niacinamide, will prevent skin irritation.”

According to Dhir, this demand is most prominent in larger cities like Bangalore and Mumbai.

“Consumers in these areas are more open and adaptable to new brands that offer different types of products, and they are usually the ones who first create the demand. We expect to see rising demand across the whole of India within the next 12 to 18 months.”

Delving deeper

With eyes also on the B2B sector, Botnal is working on products specially catered for salons.

At the same time, it is looking to focus on a more holistic approach for its skin care product development.

“We aim to tackle skin problems caused by lifestyle-related factors, such as stress. People may know that they have dry skin, but they don’t know that the dryness could be due to an underlying lifestyle-related issue. Instead of offering consumers a typical ingredient to fix the dryness, we are developing products that solve the root of the problem.

“If offline retail does well, we see ourselves launching in all of Tata 1mg locations across India. We also plan to provide a lot more value to our customers with new ingredients that are not tapped into yet. While it takes us 12 to 24 months to introduce new products, we are always working on something new at any given time,” ​Dhir shared.

Botnal’s products are currently available on its website, as well as e-commerce platforms Nykaa, Amazon, Flipkart, and Trell.

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