Pink Woolf goes 'vocal for local' to make deeper inroads into men’s grooming market
Pink Woolf, an Indian premium grooming products brand, is looking to cash in on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to go 'vocal for local'. Amid the Covid-19 disruptions, the brand has reinvented its approach and shifted completely to ‘Made in India’ packaging.
As the men’s grooming category undergoes a transformation, with sales in the domestic market disrupted due to the pandemic induced lockdowns and the resultant economic chaos, Pink Woolf has cut down on its imports from international countries and started using Indian products. Pink Woolf is riding on this fast-growing trend of vocal for local and plans to offer a wider grooming portfolio, premium packaging, and innovative products going forward.
Subodh Sharma, co-founder of Pink Woolf, talks to FashionNetwork.com about the impact of Covid-19, and how the brand has gone vocal for local to boost sales amid the pandemic.
Fashionnetwork.com: What is the impact of Covid-19 on Pink Woolf? How are you managing the situation and when do you expect the business to normalise?
Subodh Sharma: There has been a disruption, for sure. In many cases, we've had to reinvent the wheel as our suppliers are facing a labor shortage. This meant that we had to start afresh with our suppliers. Form packaging, supply of raw material - including support items like corrugated boxes, and packages. We have scrambled and hustled to ensure that the customer does not get affected. In many cases, we did not have the outer covers so we used bubble wrap to ensure the customer gets our product in a pristine condition. Where possible, we have gone out of the way to keep the customer in the loop, informing them about any changes in packaging and more importantly, delays in receiving the product.
We expect everything to stabilise very soon. Just like us, our suppliers have been innovative as well and are working overtime to ensure everything comes back to normal. They have been incredibly supportive in the current situation.
We have shifted completely to Made in India packaging - the supply disruption due to the current China situation was the perfect incentive for us to explore new and local options. We are happy that we have made good progress on this front. And we will continue making improvements to our packaging as we progress.
FNW: How has the brand adapted to the evolving situation amid the Covid-19 pandemic?
SS: The biggest change we made is in packaging for our pre-shave oils and aftershave lotions. We have totally gone #GoVocal4Local with the packaging as opposed to imported options. This is a difficult time for all of us and we believe more than aesthetics it is important to get the product quality, our loyalty and focus in the right area. Some of our customers have given us the feedback that the earlier packaging was better, however, we feel it is a transition period and we will keep looking at it as better packaging becomes available to us.
FNW: A lot of personal care brands have started producing essentials like sanitisers, and masks, among other essentials. Any product launches or plans to expand your product portfolio to add such categories?
SS: We will get into this area, albeit a little later. We believe in adding value to our customers’ lives, so we have started the research and development efforts and will come out with a unique product very soon.
FNW: Many Indian brands are riding high on the 'vocal for local' and 'self-reliant India' call by the Prime Minister to revive sales. What’s your view on this call and how do you see it helping your brand in the near future?
SS: We are totally in favour of it. Earlier, apart from the imported packaging, we also imported safety blades from Turkey. However, since the call, we have started supplying Made in India blades to our customers that they have appreciated. Our new packaging says 'Proudly Made in India' and asks customers to follow #GoVocal4Local. We believe this is the single most important initiative that India has taken that will propel and inspire people to improve quality, improve the supply chain, and make us self-reliant. We totally support it.
Adversity always comes with opportunity. We are experiencing it every day in our brand’s journey. The speed with which we were able to recalibrate our supply ecosystem, work with our vendor partners and find optimal solutions, helped us find confidence in ourselves. The journey ahead might look a bit daunting but we are sure it will be rewarding and exciting. Both for us and our customers.
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