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Mompreneur At Mamaearth

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Ghazal Alagh, 

Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth
age: 33
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Ghazal Alagh is least surprised that Mamaearth, the company she founded in 2016, is already a leading unicorn valued at $1.2 billion. Sure, Mamaearth was never her ‘plan A’ — the near six-year-old D2C (direct-to-consumer) venture that started out as a baby care brand before spreading its wings was born out of the dire need to cater to Alagh’s elder son Agastya who had been battling a skin disease at the time of birth — but Alagh always had the knack and the hunger to build something on her own. “The dream I had when I was studying was to be successful, independent, make money, and I knew that eventually, I will grow into a position of power where I will take critical decisions... Before me, no female member of either my mother’s, or father’s family had taken up a job or built something,” says Alagh, who was also an investor on Shark Tank India, the reality TV series that helped entrepreneurs scale up businesses.
For Alagh, the ability to attach importance to the value of money — a quality she inherited from her father — gaining consumer trust and giving back to investors are the most important things. “The biggest pressure on me is to have happy consumers on board who trust us, believe in what we are doing. If I am able to live up to their expectations, everything else will get sorted,” she says.
Sure enough, Alagh has been able to do justice to the co-founder’s chair —Mamaearth already belongs to the rare breed of profitable unicorns. Latest financials sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler show the firm reversed losses of ₹5.9 crore posted in FY20 to log in profits of ₹24.6 crore in FY21. Revenue from operations shot up to ₹461 crore on a standalone basis from ₹110 crore. The start-up has stitched up a house-of-brands play to take on increasing competition in the D2C space. The strategy rests upon a mix of build and buy, wherein the company develops in-house brands as well as resorts to acquisitions. It bought premium hair care, hair colour and styling products brand BBLUNT from GCPL in February, followed by the acquisition of a majority stake in skincare brand Dr. Sheth’s in May. The firm has built three other brands — two-year-old The Derma Co., and the relatively younger Aqualogica and Ayuga. “The Derma Co. reached an ARR (annual revenue run rate) of ₹100 crore in a time lesser than Mamaearth,” says Alagh.
Alagh wants to build on the firm’s omni-channel play from here on. “The space we are in, the natural way to grow would be an omni-channel play. While digitally we have been able to acquire 10 million consumers, the next goal is to be equally available offline.”
It is the brand’s purpose that separates it from the pack, says Alagh. The environmentally conscious Mamaearth has pledged to become plastic positive. Over the past year, it has recycled upwards of 200 metric tonnes of plastic every month for the last six months.
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to not let anybody and anything stop them from doing what they want. “Do what you want and everything else will get figured out.”