Online beauty and personal care retailer, Purplle.com, claims that its sales in the new normal are 80 per cent higher than its pre-COVID sales and bulk of the growth has come from tier 2-3 markets, especially the eastern parts of the country. "Around 30 per cent of our sales have come from places like Guwahati, Shillong and Durgapur. Tier 2-3 cities such as Lucknow and other places in the Hindi belt are also doing well," says Manish Taneja, Co-Founder and CEO, Purplle.com. Taneja believes that the reverse migration from the cities to the smaller towns has greatly contributed to its tier 2-3 growth. "Eastern India and even the Hindi belt exports a lot of people to the metros, as they don't have too many employment opportunities there. All these people have now gone back to their respective homes."
In order to meet the surge in demand from the eastern parts of the country, Purplle has set up fulfilment centres in Kolkata and Guwahati as well as in Hyderabad. It already has fulfilment centres in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore. The delivery time in the tier 2-3 markets with the opening of new fulfilment centres has got crunched to two-and-half days compared three-and-half days in the pre-COVID era. "COVID has taught us the importance of being closer to the consumer so that we can deliver faster," points out Taneja.
Purplle, says Taneja, has seen huge growth over the last three years. From Rs 67 crore revenue in FY2018, Taneja says that it will close FY21 at Rs 450 crore. The company has also hired senior level talent from FMCG major, Hindustan Unilever and other large companies. While its chief marketing officer is from Hotstar, its CFO, supply chain head and head of private brands, are from HUL.
Close to 40 per cent of Purplle's revenue comes from private brands and 66 per cent of its new customer acquisitions also happen through the same. Taneja is particularly proud of his personal care brand, Good Vibes, which he says is already a Rs 150 crore brand within three years of launch. Its newly launched make-up brand, NY Bae, is already a Rs 25 crore brand. "Good Vibes is a modern natural care brand with new age ingredients such as rose and charcoal. We haven't used commonly used ingredients such as neem," says Taneja, explaining how his brand is different from the ones available in the market. Private brands give Purplle much higher margins and the endeavour would be to heighten its label play by offering good products at competitive prices.