How Forest Essentials Grew to Success
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Forest Essentials is a luxury, ayurvedic, personal products brand that caters to a growing customer base, both in India and internationally. A small startup by entrepreneur Mira Kulkarni, which began in New Delhi in the year 2000 selling natural handmade soaps and candles, this company later branched into various other pure, organic skincare and haircare products.
Genuine love for one's product is an essential element of starting any business, and Forest Essentials started with a passion for clean and pure personal care products made with natural ingredients found in India. They found their customer’s pain point and created its vision around a need for nature-inspired self care, a concept that was beginning to catch on at the turn of the century in the urban Indian markets, where there was a growing consciousness of the chemicals in personal products.
Forest Essentials took inspiration from the old Indian principles of Ayurveda, using naturally sourced plant, tree and herbal ingredients from the Himalayas in the preparation of their skincare, haircare, cosmetics and perfumes to achieve this goal. Their brand messaging is ‘Luxury of Purity. Pure. Fresh. Seasonal. Natural’, a message that is clear, simple and remains true even to this day.
Every small business needs a big hand, and by the end of two years in operation, Forest Essentials had their first big customer, The Hyatt in Delhi, introducing its product as a part of their room amenities. Striking a partnership early in its journey with global cosmetics giant Estee Lauder was another strategic way to eventually move into the international retail space. Today, their products are available in 120 stores around the world.
While the company’s core target demographic remains younger women, they can easily capture the attention of secondary target markets like older women and younger men, with product lines geared toward their self care needs.
Pricing is another challenge for most companies when they start out, and it’s important to have a clear idea of the pricing niche you hope to fill. In the case of Forest Essentials, the pricing strategy is in the tagline of it’s company ‘Luxury Ayurveda’ which points to a higher price tag that is well worth paying for a luxurious experience.
Forest Essentials has opened 70 stores in India and 120 internationally, while also selling their products online; something that is especially relevant post COVID-19 to retain the attention of their loyal customer base. With their local clientele in place, and their international presence continuing to rise with Estee Lauder increasing their stake in the company, Forest Essentials seems to have a headstart in a highly competitive race.
Clear, consistent vision towards self care and Ayurveda, brand messaging that is on-point with it’s target market are the main winners for Forest Essentials. This company effectively practices the old business wisdom of ‘start local, go global’, proving once again that customers are willing to pay the price if they perceive consistent value in a product.
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