Learning and evolving is the key to start-up success: Vipul Gupta, Re'equil India
Adgully has been turning the spotlight on the entrepreneurs who fought against all odds to bring their dreams to fruition in our special series – START-UP STARS. We at Adgully wholeheartedly support the ‘Vocal for Local’ movement and have been featuring numerous local/ homegrown businesses, brands, and Apps in the country launched in the last few years.
Re’equil was born in 2018 as India’s first online direct-to-consumer cosmeceutical brand. Built with brand values of honesty, integrity, and efficacy at its core, Founder Vipul Gupta’s struggle with hair loss and his dissatisfaction with the inefficiency of the available solutions led to him founding Re’equil. The brand strives to be more than just skin and hair and wants people to embrace how they look, feel, and build back their confidence. Re’equil’s products are dermatologically tested with clinically proven ingredients offering an alternative to the prevailing natural skincare brands. The start-up engages with 5 lakh customers and clocked 100% YoY growth in FY21.
In conversation with Adgully, Vipul Gupta, Founder and Director, Re'equil India, shares his journey as an entrepreneur and the Re’equil ecosystem. He also shares his key insights and takes on the upcoming trends for 2023 and how the company became the top-notch brand in the industry of Skin and Body Care Products.
Please take us through your journey as an entrepreneur. What motivated you to establish Re'equil?
Re’equil as a brand is formed on the ideology of offering effective formulations. Experiencing hair loss at the very young age of 19 made me look for a solution that could resolve my concern. Every product whether over the counter or prescribed depicted how a bald head would turn into a head full of hair in a short span of time. Therefore, I invested time, money, and a lot of heart believing that the said solutions will work. Product after product the expectations never matched the results and ultimately, I had to undergo a hair transplant which is an expensive surgical procedure. This learning led to the formation of Re’equil’s foundational pillar of offering efficacy-driven formulations that customers can trust and know what to expect from.
An acronym for Restoring Equilibrium, Re’equil restores the lost equilibrium of skin, hair, expectations, and results and instills a belief in the customers that they are more than their skin and hair.
What was the need for Re'equil via a consumer’s perspective? What is the core business proposition?
Our consumers are our biggest ambassadors and advocates. Our focus is to make sure that our consumers spread the joy and experience of using Re’equil with everyone. Understanding the consumers better leads to a closer communication with them. We understand our consumers’ expectations, which, in turn, helps us become better.
A brand should grow organically more than anything else. Credibility comes through trust. We want to be the most trusted personal care brand and we invest in resources to sharpen these. Our formulations are developed employing the highest levels of safety and are dermatologically tested to deliver effectiveness. We believe in being transparent in our communication so that our users know what they are getting right at the outset. The ultimate goal is to garner the trust of our consumers.
What were your key learnings so far? How do you see the Re’equil ecosystem progressing in 2023?
As we enter our fifth year, our primary objective is to deepen our connections with our existing customers. Our presence on digital platforms and the influence of digital platforms on the consumption pattern of our customers have helped us connect better and faster with our consumers. The information garnered has helped us develop specific solutions for their concerns.
Digital mediums have helped us build a personal care brand that is consultative, engaging, and effective. We’ll continue to leverage the power of technology while exploring traditional mediums that will enable us to connect more meaningfully with our consumers.
Going forward, we will be tapping into different geographies to make our products accessible to more and more people. Learning and evolving is a key to success, and we thrive on learning every day, be it on an organizational or personal level.
What were the challenges that you faced in your start-up journey and how did you overcome them?
I don’t come from a retail or cosmeceutical background. Prior to starting Re’equil in 2018, I worked in commodities and trading. My core reason to come up with Re’equil was to make sure that our customers get effective products that are setting the right expectations.
The Indian self-care industry is growing at a progressive rate because people are more aware of themselves and are deeply invested in seeking effective solutions for their skin and hair. Keeping efficacy, honesty, and transparency at its core, we want to cater to more and more individuals.
We want to set the right expectations and provide solutions that are effective and trustworthy. 2023 will be a year in which we will focus on expanding our geographical presence in tier 1 and tier 2 markets across the country. My journey till now has been beautiful. It’s a journey we all live for. Every day is a challenge and I learn something new every day.
What would be your message for budding entrepreneurs?
Learning is the key, and it should never stop. It’s crucial to embrace your mistakes and progress toward perfection. Keep learning every day, keep pushing yourself, take risks and be courageous but most importantly stay true to what you believe in. Surround yourself with a team that’s just as professional, hard-working, committed, and driven as you. Understand your target audience and communicate clearly and set the right expectations for your product and the result it yields. Market research will help you identify the wants, needs, behaviours, and attitudes of your target audience and how your product or service will serve them best.