BW Businessworld

‘We Wish To Take Indian Perfumery To Next Level’

The deodorant market has become a huge industry and all the other high end brands are further moving up to higher value products starting from Rs 300 to Rs 700 and Rs 800

Mumbai based luxury brand Bombay Perfumery has created a range of perfumes that derive the essence of India. Manan Gandhi, Founder, Bombay Perfumery, in an interaction with BW Businessworld, talks about the brand that describes the scents of India.

He claims that no one in the country has touched upon the product and describes the journey of the brand in becoming India’s first contemporary luxury perfume fragrance marque.

What inspired you to start a perfume brand in India?

Bombay Perfumery is a luxury fragrance brand which launched in October 2016 and the work began in mid-2015. Essentially the idea was to bring a contemporary luxury perfume fragrance brand originating from India which no body in the industry thought of. The fashion and food industry of India have gained a worldwide presence and hence we thought we should come up with a range of perfumes originating from the same country.

A lot of consumers in the country are buying home grown brands as long as they are given a quality product. My family has been in the perfume industry for the last 35 years where we source and supply a lot of perfume ingredients to some of the biggest fragrance houses in India and around the world. I myself was staying in Grasse, France which is the perfume capital of the world for quite some time and I was supplying ingredients to fragrance houses over there and in Europe.

That is what eventually inspired me to start an independent perfume brand in India considering a lot of beautiful fragrances that come from the country like jasmine, tuberose and sandalwood. I wish to take Indian perfumery to the next level.

How much was the investment required to start the brand?

The entire operation was funded by my family without putting in external finances which we may use in the future. We have put in Rs 1.5 to 2 crore to start the brand and get the inventory in place and develop the product. Sales have been fairly good for us which is quite worthy for this 9 month old company. We are working on a new range of products where we will be putting another investments and avenues to push the marketing of the existing products and the new ones.

How would you describe the perfume industry of India?

Upper middle class consumers buy decent perfume brands which have originated from the US or Europe. Hence we felt that there was a big gap of a premium Indian brand and that’s the kind of market we want to tap into. The deodorant market has become a huge industry and all the other high end brands are further moving up to higher value products starting from Rs 300 to Rs 700 and Rs 800. At the higher end there aren’t any Indian brands at the moment but we feel that along with more and more disposable income and with demand of aspirational items we can have many high end products taping the market.

What are the processes Bombay Perfumery follows in order to create their fragrances?

We have launched eight fragrances under Bombay perfumery and after putting a lot of thought we sourced Indian ingredients. We have put modern spotlight on these ingredients by using contemporary techniques, cutting edge molecules to bring the fragrances in the market. These are the high end fragrances which we feel can compete with bigger brands in the industry.

What is the reason behind the rapid growth of Bombay Perfumery?

One of the reasons for our success is we have received a lot of encouragement from the customers who were looking for something homegrown in the and the word of mouth marketing has really helped us in acquiring these consumers.

We have also taken advantage of digital platforms and we have pushed the brand on social media. We have been lucky to get a good range of retail partners. One exclusive retail partner in each city helps us in delivering our products across the country.

What is your highest selling product?

We have a range of eight fragrances and the one that is selling the most is the fragrance called 1020 which is a unisex fragrance. It is suitable for the Indian weather and is light and has a fresh fragrance. We have a fragrance called Calicut which is built around Indian black pepper, Moray made from Indian tuberose and Madurai Talkies coming out from jasmine. These fragrances have been bought by a lot of our customers.

What is the most appealing quality of the perfumes under the Bombay Perfumery brand?

Our story is genuine and we are not trying to sell a product which we have no knowledge about. We have indulged very deeply in curating our fragrances and after being in the industry, we know about the high quality perfumes that are sold and what sells a good fragrance. We have tried to champion Indian ingredients as much as we can and we have put them in a contemporary light to bring justice to the products. As far as our communication goes, we are trying to build a community around the brand and we try to educate people about the ingredients and the brand. A lot of the key ingredients are from India and we have made them the central tenants of our fragrances.

Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

We have a retail partner in each city including Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Bengaluru and other metro cities. We are physically located here but we supply across India through our website and internationally which reduces expenses for the company and also provides us with local presence.

I hope in 5 years we have strong retail partners across the world, our brand is well known and we can launch many other variants of our fragrances. We are a luxury perfume brand and we want to take it very slowly but gradually progress and not dilute the brand positioning. As long as we work with the right people and the right partners we hope to have a household name in the luxury category.

Compared to other perfume brands, where do you see your brand?

We see ourselves in the niche category of this independent perfumery which are the fastest growing perfumes internationally. Moreover the mass and prestige brands have been stagnant over the years because consumers want something new. Hence we want to focus on this niche of fine fragrances.

Also after gaining 7-8 years of experience in this industry I personally know how to run our brand in the fragrance industry and the supply chain. We have delivered orders to Australia, USA, Japan and many parts of Europe. The reach has been mainly organic and, through our marketing and PR activities, we are planning to increase our physical presence, towards the end of the year, by tying up with some boutique partners in Europe and Dubai.

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