Research by: Anjali Chopra, Aparna Pandey, Radha Iyer, & Sandeep Puri
Mamaearth, founded in 2016, started as a direct-to-consumer personal-care brand and carved a niche for itself as a trusted, toxin-free baby-care, skin-care, and hair-care brand in a competitive Indian personal-care market landscape that included established multinationals. In 2022, its parent company, Honasa Consumer Private Limited (HCL), raised $52 million in financing for a valuation of US $1.2 billion, becoming the first unicorn of 2022. HCL also acquired BBlunt, a hair-care and styling-products business in a ₹1.34 billion deal that was seen as a significant step toward meeting Mamaearth’s growth aspirations.
In a competitive personal-care market landscape, the leading companies had realized health-aware consumers’ need for natural and toxin-free products and were innovating and aggressively pushing chemical-free products. Mamaearth now faced a challenge in taking the next leap forward: it needed to grow its market, retain its sustainable positioning, determine its consumer segment, and build a communication strategy around these factors as a trusted, toxin-free skin-care and hair-care company.
This case can be used in undergraduate- and graduate-level entrepreneurship, marketing, and communication courses. It examines the beginning and rapid growth of a successful direct-to-consumer brand and outlines its connection with consumers, its move to over-the-counter sales, and its aggressive use of mergers and acquisitions of associated brands in the marketplace. It provides an opportunity to discuss and evaluate various aspects of the competitive market, the brand and its growth trajectory, its positioning, its products, and its communication strategies. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Analyze the beauty and personal-care market and the factors contributing to its growth.
- Explain how an entrepreneur identifies and responds to an unmet consumer need and an untapped market with huge potential.
- Describe Indian consumers’ lifestyles and their evolving buying patterns.
- Explain how to manage product portfolios and develop growth strategies.
- Evaluate the marketing strategy of a direct-to-consumer brand and its growth in a competitive
To cite this case: Chopra, A., Pandey, A., Iyer, R., & Puri, S. (2023). Mamaearth: Navigating growth beyond baby care. Ivey ID: W32647. London, Canada: Ivey Publishing.