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It started with a wedding celebration and ended in a startup venture. Dhruv Bhasin supplied his homemade hair gel to his friend Dhruv Madhok as the latter prepared for his wedding. While Madhok was worried about chemical-laden hair gels, as it turned out the product that Bhasin had given him was a formulation solely made of natural ingredients. So it was Bhasin’s mother’s recipe, which paved the path for Arata.
Changing the consumer mindset is a key challenge for brands like Arata. It currently offers 26 SKUs across three-four main categories and is looking to do some more. Arata has a customer base of 5 Lakh and has sold more than 7 Lakh products since its launch. From a 50:50 sales split between its native website and marketplaces in 2019, today it sees 70% sales through marketplaces (Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart, BigBasket).
The D2C brand procures its ingredients globally and locally from certified organic farms. All its products are developed after extensive R&D, and each undergoes rigorous testing at a French lab in India before hitting the market. Its PETA-certified crueltyfree vegan products are certified by Safe Cosmetics Australia and EWG. Arata also offers full disclosure of the ingredients it uses to ensure zero-chemical, toxic-free personal care products and only uses recycled plastic for packaging to stay close to the sustainability promise.
Prior to launching Arata, the founders researched the market and found that nearly all personal care products contain chemicals and ingredients that may affect hair health or skin. Some of them are carcinogenic chemicals that have been banned in North America and Europe. Instead, Arata used botanical ingredients such as organic flaxseed, olive oil and coconut oil for its hairstyling and hair care product lines featuring hair gels, hair creams, shampoos and conditioners. It has also forayed into the skincare space and launched fluoride-free cinnamon and chamomile toothpaste for oral care as well.
Growing the product portfolio is the short-term goal. The next lineup will consist of more dental and oral care items, soaps, shampoos and deodorants, basically taking over the entire bathroom experience.