Recently, we interacted with Kanika Talwar & Angad Talwar – Founders CosIQ, which are the first skincare brand in India to perform independent clinical trials and develop products based on it.
Here are the interview highlights:
1.CosIQ is now a significant player in the skincare market. What is your scope for further expansion?
A- Indeed, we have achieved our targets till now and are witnessing huge demand for our products. Considering our continuously increasing consumer base, we are planning to go offline and open stores. Simultaneously, we are working on expanding our product portfolio. Soon, we will be offering haircare and body care products to solve consumers’ problems. We also plan to start global operations and cater to consumers’ demand in different countries.
2.What are the biggest risks as a company and industry right now?
A- The biggest challenge is standing against increasing competition in the segment. New brands are entering the market every year. We see a game of heavy discounts which is detrimental to the business. Consumers are looking for such discounts which are difficult for brands that maintain quality, such as ours. At the same time, legacy brands are reshaping their business strategies that will raise the competition levels in the segment.
3.CosIQ recently raised funding from crowdfunding. How you are planning to use it in the expansion?
A- We will primarily be using it for marketing to expand the consumer base. The emphasis will be on online marketing and we would try to harness the potential of this medium. Simultaneously, we will also work on other marketing strategies.
4.What sets you apart from the competition?
A- Our products are manufactured after extensive research on demand, skin type, ingredients and perfect formulation. Secondly, we are the first and only molecular skincare brand in the country. And most importantly, our marketing strategies are transparent. We give the right information to consumers about the ingredients on our packets.
5.How are you building your customer base?
A- Till now, we have not spent much on marketing. Instead, we focused on developing robust quality products. The consumer trust we won has transformed into word-of-mouth that added new consumers every day. Also, we reached out to our targets through WhatsApp, email, and performance marketing strategies.
6. Are you planning to raise more capital? If so, how much and for what purpose?
A- We are currently working on utilizing the capital raised through different methods and are not planning to go for funding in the near future. However, we will make decisions as per the needs and requirements of our expansion strategy.
7.What is next for CosIQ? Will you be expanding into international geographies or will you be bringing a new product to the market?
A- Product has always been at the centre of our business strategy. We will continue focusing on quality. Next, we will work on tapping opportunities available offline while adding new consumers who are not tech-savvy. It is also the time to enter the international market where our products can leave indelible footprints due to their robustness.
8. What is your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
A- Primarily, it was the desire to alleviate the skincare concerns of people who look for quality products but don’t find them. We had that unique idea and wanted to implement it. So, we started our journey. We are happy to see that our products have become the best skincare aid. This is our satisfaction and encouragement for the next step.
9. What are some strategies you use to keep your team motivated?
A- We strongly believe that a good and motivated team can do wonders. We have created a conducive environment where we work as a bunch of friends that keeps us motivated. We offer guidance, provide growth opportunities and take care of our employees. We ensure that they enjoy working with us which encourages them to give their best.
10. How many hours a day do you work on average?
A. I would say, round the clock. I dream about CosIQ when I sleep, I am designing our new packaging when I brush my teeth and I’m gathering market info when I’m out with friends. It is on my mind for 24 hours.
11. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A- I’ll say getting validation from Sharks was the one. We also have small joys every day when a customer makes an effort to write back to us about our products and how they are impacting their lives. Every moment we satisfy our consumers is a satisfying moment for us as well.
12. Tips for young entrepreneurs.
A- Always keep consumers at the center of every planning. Try to solve their problem at the lowest costs possible. Take to consumers, do market research and create the best products and solutions. And most importantly, never give up.