The biggest benefit is that the consumers are paying for products that will give them healthy skin- Sargam Dhawan
Using chemical based products has always been harmful for the skin. With late realisation and less manufacturing of natural products some years back, the consumers were not able to indulge in safe beauty. But time has changed now and people have a lot more options to choose for attaining a natural glow. Ina conversation with Sargam Dhawan, CEO and Director, Paul Penders Botanicals India, we find out her reason for bringing in an American brand for Indian customers, the definition of Vegan Beauty and what all is trending in the Indian Beauty industry.
What is your brand, Paul Penders Botanicals, all about?
The brand, Paul Penders, was started 90 years ago by the grandfather of Paul Penders. They own the recipes of using 22 essential herbs in all their products. It is a vegan and botanical certified skincare and make up brand and we use no chemicals in any of our products. The products are absolutely chemical free and we have been also certified by PETA to be a cruelty free brand which is that we have never tested our products on animals.
Kindly share your entrepreneurial journey.
I’ve just done my graduation last year from University at Buffalo, New York. I came back to India and started working in my father’s pharmaceuticals company. While I was working there, I really wanted to bring a herbal cosmetic brand into India which is when we started talking to Paul Penders. Things worked out and we were able to be a part of Paul Penders and bring it to India. At the same time, I also look after Dafni, a brand that produces hair straightening brushes. I am also looking forward to introducing Style Pro which is a makeup cleaning brush from London.
According to you, what is the real meaning of Vegan Beauty?
The real meaning of vegan beauty is that is it organic but still more than organic as we do not use even dairy products in the making of those beauty products. A vegan brand by definition is a brand that is more than being "vegetarian". A vegetarian still drinks milk, yoghurt, eat eggs, wear silk and leather, eats honey and burns candles made from beeswax, or use carmine as red colour ingredient in food and cosmetics but a vegan product does not contain any of these products. A vegan brand can be organic and natural on top of being vegan, what in my opinion is the best of all worlds. The vegan products have a shelf life of almost four years without using any chemicals and that is what, according to me, real vegan is.
What do you think about the Indian Beauty Industry in relation to the organic sector?
I think the Indian beauty industry is quite ready for organic makeup now because India is a country which is very conscious about eating right and putting right things on their skin. The consumers here are very aware of the advantages and disadvantages of using certain kinds of products which is why I think that the Indian beauty industry is very ready for organic makeup. We all are paying for products that should be beneficial for our skin and not harm it in any way and organic makeup is completely safe and full of benefits.
What is trending in the organic products sector?
There are many products that are trending in the organic industry. From soaps, shampoos to makeup, every category in the organic industry is attracting prospective buyers. The current trending products in the organic sector are the facemasks which are being used by many people nowadays and as a result many brands have started manufacturing the same. From our brand’s side, we are into organic makeup, perfumes, skincare etc.
What all can the consumers expect from your range of beauty products?
The brand has everything in skincare, daily care needs and other products. We are also into men’s and kids grooming products with a range of shower gels, perfumes etc. All the products are completely natural and there are no chemicals in them. These products will not be harmful on the skin as we have used traditional methods but in a modern way. The biggest benefit is that the consumers are paying for products that will give them healthy skin.
How are organic brands today tapping the ever-changing consumer trends?
At Paul Penders, we have our own Research and Development centre where we carry out researches for our products. We tap the consumer trends as we are very active in coming up with the vegan version of the latest trending products in the market. We are very quick in responding to that and that is how we match pace with the trends. For example, when BB creams started trending, we came out with the products as soon as the trend started taking over the consumers and the market. We will be launching our range of face masks in January 2018.
What are the various market strategies that your brand has come up with?
We are looking forward to tapping in all the big chains in the beauty industry. We would also like to open our stores preferably in the Tier 1 areas. In terms of availability, we are available online and will also be doing shows all over year where we will try and buy different ideas. We also have our social media pages and we keep promoting our brands and products through them.
Any expansion plans for your brand?
As we have launched in India, we are also expanding ourselves abroad. We have various shows lined up all year round which will be taking place abroad. We are planning to PAN- India but at the same time we will also be expanding to other countries. We are planning to retail from Nykaa soon but will also expand our products to Sephora and in future, open our own stores.