May 18: Skincare is a saturated market and as a VC you have more information on this. Yet what prompted you to start a skincare company?
Foxtale was born out of my trysts with the beauty industry both as an observer and a consumer. Growing up, everyone I knew drew their idea of beauty from the beauty ads they consumed. This bothered me as these definitions were far away from what we could relate to.
As a VC, I evaluated more than 150 brands in the skincare/beauty space and observed a disconnection between consumers’ needs and the measures brands took to solve for them. That pretty much chalked out my intention with Foxtale- I had to create a brand that understood the modern Indian woman- not just their skin types but also their lifestyles, their relationship with skincare and what challenges they were looking for to solve through skincare routines. Most importantly I wanted to create a safe space for women to discuss not only skincare but their dreams, ambitions, and the little things that keep them going.
What sets Foxtale products apart from the competition?
Our community approach to creation. Our products go through extensive research and trials both inside the lab and in our community before they are launched in the market. We were the first skincare brand in India to conduct a Pan India Consumer Trial before the launch of our first range and this is a practice we will continue for all our launches.
Literally, the ‘tale’ in Foxtale comes from the skin stories of the 3000 women I spoke to even before the first product was launched. Their stories taught me so much more than all my research ever could. Most importantly, a good skincare routine is as much about simplicity as it is about efficacy. From then to now, this community has only been growing.
Each of our products is conceptualized after interviewing over 500 women both within and outside our community to understand their skin type, their routines, the skincare issues they wish to solve, the time, money, and effort they can spend on skincare and eventually the takeaway or impact they expect out of each skincare product.
This consumer study is then used by our formulation team to create products that solve each of the issues raised in the most efficacious and affordable manner. But that’s not all. Other than necessary certifications, we also conduct focus group consumer trials and lab trials which see the participation of more than 500 women. Only after 95% of participants of these trials agree to add the products to their daily routines we launch them on the market.
How has the shift been for you from a venture capitalist to an entrepreneur?
People often think that because I have been a Venture Capitalist in the past, I’m well equipped to tackle the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur. But the truth is nothing prepares you for this journey. When you have no boss, the consumer is your boss, and they are the strictest of them all.
What helped me though was my interest in understanding a brand from the point of view of a consumer. As a VC I would use this as a key metric for evaluating portfolio companies. As an entrepreneur, I have carried out this practice of analyzing every activity at Foxtale.
One piece of advice you would like to give all women who are striving to nail their Startups.
I started Foxtale because I wanted to create a new wave of brands in India. Brands that created safe spaces for real conversations around beauty, self-care, and growth. If I can, so can you. Start something today big or small and if you are an entrepreneur please remember three things never shy away from taking charge of things, never doubt your ability to surprise yourself and everyone around you, and never think someone else can run your business better than you!
Link to the website https://foxtale.in/