In India’s fast-paced beauty and personal care market, where trends evolve, and consumer needs emerge, Nat Habit stands out as a beacon of authenticity and commitment to natural wellness. A pioneer in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space, Nat Habit, led by founder Swagatika Das, has carved out a niche for itself by championing 100 per cent natural beauty products. Das, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, with a background in engineering, embarked on a unique entrepre
trepreneurial journey, transitioning from technical expertise to consumer-centric businesses. After dedicating over five years to engineering and a stint with Apple, Das launched Nat Habit in 2019. Her passion for natural wellness, deeply rooted in her family’s medical and agricultural background, became the driving force behind the brand. A commitment to clean beauty Face packs, Henna paste, hair oils, cleansing balms and other products made with no chemical preservatives and all-natural ingredients are what distinguish Nat Habit in the evolving landscape of clean beauty and wellness. While other brands offer natural products, Nat Habit’s unique proposition, in-house scalable manufacturing, supply chain and strong unit economics put it on a different trajectory. “Our products champion sustainability and ethics, in both ingredients and packaging. Utilising 100 per cent fresh, high-quality natural elements – milk, fruits, and pulses – we cut energy use, curbing our carbon footprint,” she told Inside Retail. Packaging-wise, Das said the brand has shifted 40 per cent of 37 product lines to metal, glass, or paper, with plans to convert all PET bottles to recycled PET (already achieved for its Malai Lotions). The business also shifted to bubble wrap from honeycomb at the end of 2023. The evolution of personal care According to Das, consumers now prioritise organic and natural products free from chemicals and preservatives while also seeking transparency and authenticity from brands. “When we started, we took it on ourselves to identify and fill the market gap for genuine, chemical-free products. Our focus on Ayurveda, freshness, and sustainability aligns with the evolving preferences of consumers,” she stressed. She also said that Gen Z’s tech-savvy, eco-conscious approach profoundly influences Nat Habit. “Our products prioritise sustainability, cruelty-free formulations, and diverse marketing strategies. Engaging beyond transactions, we build a community through social platforms, fostering open dialogues. Nat Habit strives to be more than a brand – a lifestyle choice, resonating with Gen Z’s conscious preferences,” she elaborated. Recognising the growing health awareness among Indian consumers, the brand is committed to providing products formulated with safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly ingredients. “From avoiding harmful substances to embracing sustainability, Nat Habit’s journey in clean beauty reflects a profound understanding of changing consumer preferences. We aspire to lead in offering authentic, clean, and conscious choices for holistic wellness in this transformative trend,” she said. The big picture She estimates that 100 per cent natural products currently make up 10 per cent of India’s personal care market, whereas in the US and China, that number sits at 50 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively. “There’s a huge upside for us to cover. Recognising the consumer preference for authentic, Indigenous, and sustainable solutions, the bigger opportunity is building e-commerce and beauty penetration in India,” she revealed. The company received an infusion of $10.2 million from a Series B funding round, and Das thinks it is on the brink of an exciting phase of expansion and innovation. “One of our key focuses is to strengthen our R&D capabilities and venture into new product categories. We are committed to introducing offerings that align with our core values of freshness and authenticity,” she said. The expansion into categories like shampoo, conditioner, soap, serums, and 100 per cent natural hair colour reflects the brand’s dedication to providing a comprehensive range of natural and effective personal care solutions. Brick and mortar stores “Furthermore, our move into brick-and-mortar establishments by May 2024 is a pivotal step toward expanding our reach. This expansion into offline channels involves meticulous planning to maintain the essence of Nat Habit while providing a seamless in-store experience,” she explained. Das revealed that the company will implement efficient inventory management, potentially explore localised production, and uphold stringent quality assurance standards to ensure that its commitment to freshness remains intact. “Educational initiatives will play a crucial role in informing consumers about the benefits of our products. This move aims to cater to a wider audience that prefers physical stores while staying true to our brand values,” she added. In terms of brand awareness, the focus is on building a stronger community and establishing Nat Habit as the preferred brand for every Indian’s daily personal care essentials. Das plans to enhance brand visibility through mainline marketing strategies, leveraging various channels to reach a broader audience. In essence, the next two years for Nat Habit are about not only meeting ambitious revenue targets and expanding its product line but also about creating a seamless and consistent customer experience, whether online or offline. “We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to making Nat Habit a household name synonymous with natural, fresh, and authentic personal care, making natural living a habit – bit by bit,” she concluded.