Pureplay Skin Sciences ups top level hiring

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 24, 2021

Personal care start-up Plum’s parent is looking at fundraise before March

Beauty and personal care start-up Plum, owned by Pureplay Skin Sciences, is strengthening its top management as the company looks at expanding its omni-channel presence and consolidating D2C (direct-to-customer) offerings.

Also on cards is another round of fund-raising to the tune of $25-30 million that is likely to be closed by March-end. Funds will be used for growth, strengthening R&D and top leadership and for marketing.

According to Shankar Prasad, CEO and Founder, Pureplay Skin Sciences — which owns the PETA certified vegan brands Plum, Phy and Plum Bodylovin — the company is also exploring a foray into the baby care vertical while haircare, make-up and bodycare offerings are being strengthened with new extensions.

Management rejig

In the last two months, Pureplay Skin Sciences has made three big ticket hirings — Shivani Behl as its Chief Marketing Officer (with previous leadership roles in Lakme Lever & Shoppers Stop), Gaurav Sarda from Marico as CFO, and Abhishek Agrawal from ITC as Chief Business Officer, Digital.

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“The management team rejig will help us gain better insights and focus on business expansion plans, We intend to deepen the omni-channel presence, work on R&D and strengthen our D2C connect. Accordingly, we have brought in people with expertise in such segments. There could be some strengthening of top management on the tech side and expansion in R&D too,” Prasad told BusinessLine.

Offline expansion

Offline expansion will see addition of at least 50-odd exclusive brand outlets planned at a total cost of ₹15-20 crore over the next two years. The company will also tap into premium chemist stores, make-up stores and smaller retail shops.

Pureplay Skin Sciences already has a presence in 225 cities across 10,000 unassisted outlets (places where products are available) and 850 assisted ones (where its own salespersons are present).

Focus on haircare and baby care

Founded in 2013, Pureplay Skin Sciences has raised funds from Unilever Ventures, Trifecta Capital and Faering Capital. Its last fund raising, Series B, to the tune of ₹110 crore, was in 2020.

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“There is a lot of consolidation happening in the industry. So we may also explore complementary acquisitions. We were approached by some, but we did not see the fit. Moreover, we are now planning to ramp up in hair care segments and perhaps enter baby care. So these are going to take priority, even after we close the next round of funding before March,” Prasad added.

‘Still at investment stage’

Pureplay Skin Sciences is at an annualised revenue run-rate of ₹225 crore. Post pandemic, the company has seen a 4x growth with nearly 65 per cent of its turnover coming from online channels and the remaining 35 per cent from offline. It closed FY21 with ₹90 crore-odd revenue.

“In terms of EBITDA loss or profit, we intend to be in -5 to +5 per cent range. We are putting back earnings into our offline retail expansion and towards R&D as we expand the product range. So technically, we are still at the investment stages,” he said.

Published on November 24, 2021

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