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“Our product is the hero”: Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest

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At the time when knowledge about organic personal care product is limited, Organic Harvest is not just making consumers aware about it, but also emerging as a leader in limited market space. The organic personal care brand is currently available in 6,000 outlets and plans to increase the presence to 15,000 in India within a span of one year (2018-19). The company has effortlessly captured the Indian market and plans to grow at a rapid pace internationally as well.  Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest, in conversation with Pitch, talks about the market challenges and his expansion plans.

What’s your business model? How do you market your product?

We started with one to one interaction with the consumer. So the idea of organic was very new for the Indian consumers. For them, everything was GREEN. Green includes herbal, natural, organic, ayurvedic, etc. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the green products, because organic is way ahead of other green products

We started with one on one interaction with the consumers. We placed our beauty advisors in high football outlets. She would explain the difference between organic and rest of the green product to the consumer and then introduce Organic Harvest product to them. That’s how we started talking to the consumers. Then gradually, we took the help of online media. We took the help of influencers, bloggers, other digital marketing tools, social media, etc. That’s how we communicated to consumer how organic is different from the rest of the green products.

What are your views about Influencer marketing, do you indulge in it often?

Yes. We believe that is the current trend. Millennials believe in the influencer, more than mainstream celebrity. The influencers are approachable to the audience, and therefore more believable. Therefore, we believe that social media or influencer marketing really works well, especially for brands like ours, who have lots of things to talk about.

What are your media  mix like?

We have a vision to become a digital first brand. When we say digital first, it means that we will do the active communication with the consumers on digital medium first, and the traditional medium will follow.

Within digital medium, there are a lot of platforms that we can use, like, social media, influencers, affiliates, artificial intelligence, and other digital marketing automation tools. We are in the process of making an app, which will read the customer’s face and identify the real problems with their skin. It will then suggest the products accordingly. This AI tool will help us in taking our count of interaction with the consumers from 2 million to 20 million.

Apart from the app and the facial recognition tool, we have also invested in Chatbot. We offer free beauty consultancy to all our consumers. It is done manually as of now. We are planning to automate it. Anybody who wants the beauty consultation can just come to our website and chat with the bot.

What is your target audience?

The top six metros, the tier one cities, are our target markets. The rest will come few years down the line. We want to do with organic what Himalaya did with herbal. Himalaya took the concept of herbal to the masses.

We are not planning to go to the masses immediately. We want to remain in the middle of a pyramid where, for some time, wherein we target the substantial masses. We believe that if we are able to cater to the top six metros, other top 16-20 cities and top 10 towns; that will be more than enough for us to really sustain ourselves. Then, as we move along and the awareness about organic increases, we will expand our market accordingly.

We are aware that it will take some time. We are ready to move slowly, as long as we are moving. In the first year of our operations, we reached out to only 100 thousand consumers, now we reach out to more than 2 million consumers. That’s the way we have progressed and in next three years, we want to reach out to more than 10 million consumers. As we move and enguage more and more consumers, it will all trickle down to the rural market as well. Not immediately, but in another maybe 10 years 15 years down the line it will, definitely.


*The full interview is available in the Pitch Magazine, August edition.

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Sanstuti Nath

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