LEADERS

Alanna: India's First Specialized Lip Care Brand

Rashi Bahel Mehra
Founder

For Rashi Bahel Mehra, beauty had always been an area of prime interest since her early childhood days. As a passionate interest, Rashi would always read, learn and experiment a lot, even when she was engaged in her professional career. Rashi had a professional career that spanned over eight years in the Corporate Sector, where she would go on to work for top brands, including Tata, Lenovo and Samsung. It was during these endeavors where she would nurture well-rounded expertise in new product development, as well as retail marketing. Combining the Corporate knowledge with the passion and interest that Rashi always had towards beauty led her to experiment on product formulation in the skincare segment back in 2015.  She would display her products on open exhibitions and social media posts initially, which garnered overwhelming support from friends, relatives and everyone else. Backed by newfound confidence, Rashi would venture into the online segment with her products back in 2017. At this juncture, Rashi's husband Ankesh Mehra is also an important part of her business and their attention would get caught by the fact that lips are a largely ignored body part when it comes to taking care. Lips are one area of the body where the skin lining is different, and one cannot apply the usual skincare products used for the rest of the body. This insight alone led Rashi to establish her new endeavor Alanna ­ A brand dedicated explicitly to lip care.

Recently, WE Magazine got a glorious opportunity to get in touch with Rashi Bahel Mehra. In the interaction that followed, the lip care specialist would talk us through her initial journey of addressing this niche and largely ignored lip care segment and would go on to brief us about the unique line of lip care products being developed at Alanna. Excerpts from the exclusive interview:

What Are Some Of The Major Facets And Features About Your Brand That Makes It Stand Apart In The Indian Market?
I founded the brand in 2015, and back then, we were majorly into the natural skincare segment. At that time, Indian consumers had just started to become aware of the harmful impact chemicals can have on the skin. We wanted to give quality and organic options to the Indian market.

Eventually, Our Lip Scrubs went on to become the number one bestseller on Amazon. That's when we realized that Lip Scrubs were something that we created that was very new to the market. We were the first ones to have launched it. 

“Our entire focus is on efficacy and quality. We import a lot of oils from outside India, which includes Thailand. We import the butter straight from Africa”

Our entire focus is on efficacy and quality. We import a lot of oils from outside India, which includes Thailand. We import the butter straight from Africa. Recently, we have launched a new Lip Butter Mask. Now, the Butter Mask is something that we trademark as a brand. We launched a Butter Mask because it's not just an ordinary lip balm, as most often, lip balm contains a lot of high wax content in them. We wanted to give something that is more nourishing and longer-lasting, having deeper hydration. Butter has a melting point same as our body. When it come in contact with our body, butter starts melting. As a result, they go much deeper into the skin, nourishing the skin more deeply. It gives a lot of enhanced experience and a lot of efficacy when it comes to your lips.

Also, for the first time, we have launched a day Lip Mask. As of now, any other Lip Mask that you see out in the market are night Lip Masks or Sleeping Masks. We also have a day Lip Mask` that has a beautiful tint, and you don't need an additional lipstick on top of it. The best part is that the tint comes from certified and organic colour pigments. Broadly, we have three categories. For now, we have Lip Scrubs, Lip Balms, and Lip Butter Masks.

With So Many New Products Coming In The Indian Beauty Product Segment Especially With Direct Online Contact Brands Are Having With Consumers, What Opportunities Do You See For Niche Brands Such As Yourself?
I think it's an overgrowing market and that the Indian consumer is becoming more and more aware of the brands and the level of quality they expect. Earlier, the consumers had the notion that the better the brand name, the better the quality, but that's not the case anymore. That has only come with the growing awareness in the consumer mindset. If the consumers demand, brands have to deliver to that quality. It keeps us at Alanna on our feet and helps us always strive for perfection. The change in the consumer mindset enables us to compete with some of the biggest brands in the world.

Apart from that, the market is immense. There are more than one and a half billion population that can be captured. It has a lot of potential as people are getting aware even in tier two and three cities now. Due to the boom in the online market space, now brands have a much deeper reach. A brand as small as Alanna could reach tier two cities through e-commerce partners and online markets.  There's also a lot of emotional connection that we have today between the brands and the consumers. The market has definitely expanded even further in terms of the acceptability of new brands.

Tell Us A Little Bit About The Brand Story And The Brand Philosophy That You Have Developed For Alanna, And Also Where Does This Name Originate? If You Could Please Enlighten Us A Little Regarding This.
When I started it, I wanted to name it something relating to beauty. `Alanna' in Greek means innocent child, and it also means beautiful at the same time. It's one word that describes both. The word captures the pure essence an innocent child carries, which in itself is very beautiful. We wanted to give consumers something that is purely coming from the heart.

What Is The Next Step For You In Terms Of Growing Your Brand? Are You Looking Forward To Launch Any New Products?
This is just the beginning; we have just launched this particular niche in the lip care segment. We have big plans in terms of the product line that we want to. We will be launching new products aggressively that would be specifically in the lip care segment going forward, and we are already selling in India and the US markets.

We have our in-house R&D facility. We constantly work on innovating our products and trying to come up with new lip care solutions. We intend to launch a lot of new products, including three new categories under lip care.

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