Prittle Prattle News in conversation with Bharat Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Nirmalaya
Nirmalaya specializes in a 100% charcoal-free wide range of aromatic incense sticks, cones, backflow idols, essential oils, diffusers, and havan cups made from recycled flowers and natural ingredients popular with woke consumers. In addition to ittars, we also launched organic gulls for Holi and essential aroma oils.
Could you describe more about your range of products/ services? What is unique about your business?
Our attractive and standardized pricing point, high quality, and wide range of choices make us more desirable to customers. We have zero-waste, biodegradable incense sticks that are charcoal free and have less than 3% carbon emissions compared to normal incense sticks that release around 80%. Our fragrance sets us apart even further from our competitors; it’s unbeatable and lasts longer.
Evolution in the past few years in the industry.
The market is growing many folds, primarily because of growth in the wellness category. People are becoming increasingly conscious of wellness, the environment, and sustainability and want to contribute to the environment somehow. There is a rapid increase in the consumer’s disposable income, which in turn allows them to buy high-quality products suitable for brands like ours.
4 Business-to-Customer Success Factors
Nirmalaya is based on the circular economy model, where we have derived value from floral waste. Compared with our competitors, we offer a beautiful and standardized price point, superior quality, and a wide variety. This makes the customer lean towards our product. We ensure quality by standardization of our recipe and manufacturing process. Our continuous research on improving our existing product and regular quality checks helps us keep our quality consistent.
Four major Business-to-customer success factors
Understanding the need of the market, creating products that directly resonate with the customer, ensuring top-quality products, and marketing your product well within your target audience.
How did the company raise funding, or are you looking forward to the same?
We are in conversation to raise a Pre-series A round of funding. We have raised $800,000 in a Seed funding round led by Artha Venture Fund and key investors, including The DotIn Network, Shiprocket, Huddle Accelerator, Flawless Company Family office, and other marquee angels.
We plan to allocate the funds to expand the business in a big way and get a corporate structure and process for the Nirmalaya Ecosystem. A significant portion of the funds will go toward branding and marketing. A decent portion of the funds would go towards hiring the right staff to drive the brand and sales forward / expand retail presence and develop solid online delivery processes and systems. We will proceed with our next fundraiser in a month, focusing more on brand building and exports.
Explain B2C Outlook: Post Covid-19 Scenario by 2030.
The Covid-19 epidemic has created a paradigm shift in consumer behavior in the incense industry, not just in the domestic market but also in the global market. India is the biggest manufacturer and exporter of incense in the world, exporting incense to over 150 countries. The total market size of incense is over 11000 crores, with the increasing demand for premium products due to increased disposable income and awareness of healthy and sustainable products. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the changing consumer inclination from conventional brick-and-mortar distribution channels towards online retail platforms for purchasing incense sticks. The Indian incense sticks market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.8% by 2028.
Why did you choose this industry over any other space?
This industry is very niche and needs a more comprehensive option for consumers. The market is growing many folds, mainly because people are becoming increasingly conscious about mental wellness, the environment, and sustainability. They want to contribute to the environment in some way or another. There is growth in the disposable income of the customer, in turn allowing him to buy good quality products irrespective of price, which is a positive point for a brand like us. Also, having sustainable alternatives for daily-use products is the need of the hour. The quality of our product is something that can change the market and benefit the consumer.
Could you elaborate on the challenges you encountered while establishing and retaining?
It is not easy, but we are focusing on the core story of Nirmalaya, which is aimed at pure fragrances keeping sustainability in mind, enabling more and more customers to get attracted to the brand. We are also considering building a robust distribution network to increase our footprint. Our main motive is to educate the customer that they can also contribute to reducing pollution/wastage and contribute to society – with all these factors playing an important part, our entry with established players would be better rather than competing on price directly with them.
Inspiring quote for aspiring youth.
Get started; the business does not happen on Excel sheets. Be realistic in your approach; hard work and perseverance pay off. Survival is crucial. It is too early for me to share tips, but I advise young entrepreneurs to work hard, do all their work before they start acting, and take calculated risks.Bharat Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Nirmalaya