The Rise of D2C: Key Factors Driving India's Phenomenal Success & Future Growth

By: Naiyya Saggi, Group Co-Founder, Good Glamm Group

Naiyya is a visionary entrepreneur and tech leader in India. She founded platforms for simplified parenting and ventured into the beauty industry. Her contributions and mentoring of women entrepreneurs have earned her recognition as one of India's top emerging leaders and women in tech.

In a recent conversation with Women Entrepreneurs Review Magazine, Naiyya discussed the driving factors behind the growth of the D2C space and highlighted the evolving requirements of Indian consumers. Additionally, she emphasized the unique contributions of women in the Indian business landscape and the importance of amplifying their voices and experiences within organizations.

Over the past couple of years, India has witnessed a meteoric rise of D2C and insurgent brands. In your opinion, what are the key factors driving the growth and success of this space?

Over the past couple of years, the meteoric rise of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) and insurgent brands in India has been driven by factors such as the rapid expansion of e-commerce, changing consumer preferences, digital marketing prowess, supply chain control, and enhanced customer experiences. At the Good Glamm Group, we have harnessed these trends effectively. Our 'Good Community' initiative connects consumers seamlessly, while our portfolio brands like MyGlamm, The Moms Co, BabyChakra, Sirona, Organic Harvest & St Botanica offer high-quality, clean and innovative products. Strategic partnerships with WhatsApp and have enhanced our digital marketing efforts, ensuring we migrate our 12 million customers onto WhatsApp & App Communities. By being a D2C first platform, we ensure agility and quality. Leveraging personalized data-driven insights, we continuously innovate to meet consumer needs. This core customer centric approach, combined with real time insights on customer needs and preferences, keeps us at the forefront of the dynamic D2C market in India.

Insights by KPMG suggest that the Indian D2C market will surpass the market value of its American counterpart by 2027. How have average Indian consumer’s requirements evolved to power the Indian D2C growth wave?

By 2025, we expect the Indian D2C market to reach a staggering $100 billion. This remarkable growth is a testament to how rapidly consumer requirements in India are evolving. What’s driving this surge is the shift in consumer priorities towards convenience, authenticity, and personalized experiences. Today’s Indian consumers, whether in urban centers or rural areas, have direct access to a vast array of products thanks to the rapid expansion of e-commerce and widespread smartphone penetration. They’re not just looking for products; they’re seeking unique, high-quality offerings that resonate with their specific lifestyle needs and preferences.

There is also a burgeoning pride and appreciation for Indian brands that understand Indian needs best. This growing demand for niche and innovative brands is what’s powering the D2C growth wave. Witnessing this transformation firsthand with the Good Glamm Group, I see how these evolving consumer expectations are shaping a dynamic and robust market, paving the way for unprecedented growth and success for D2C brands in India.

As a business leader in the D2C space, how do you see the intersection between technology and consumer-centric strategies shaping the future of businesses, especially in traditionally entrenched sectors?

At the Good Glamm Group a fusion of technology and consumer-centric strategies is a cornerstone of our business evolution and the broader D2C landscape. Through strategic initiatives such as establishing the fastest-growing omnichannel brand communities of consumers and experts in alliance with WhatsApp and integrating them across all GoodGlamm DTC touchpoints, we are at the forefront of this transformation.

Our Good Community, catering to diverse aspects of women's lives including beauty, parenting, sexual & intimate health, wellness, and sustainability, has swiftly garnered traction. In less than 8 months since its launch, the community has accelerated to comprise over 1 million monthly users out of a potential membership of 20 million, driving a significant 15% of revenues for the group. This robust engagement underscores the power of technology-enabled consumer-centric strategies to forge deeper connections, drive revenue growth, and shape the future of businesses, particularly in traditionally entrenched sectors. By leveraging technology to understand and cater to the evolving needs of our consumers, we are not only staying ahead of the curve but also setting new benchmarks for innovation and success in the D2C space.

Over the years you've navigated through various roles in different sectors, from management consulting to angel investing. How does your diverse background empower you to build and scale businesses successfully?

The principles of building businesses don’t change across sectors. It all boils down to rapid execution, excited and skilled team members and leaders and a can do attitude coupled with structured problem solving. Across my journey as a law student, a management consultant and investor/ entrepreneur, I personally constantly keep my team’s and my own eyes on the goals we are out to solve for and the customer needs we are building our business on.  The other aspect that a holistic set of experiences has given me is also an appreciation of how entrepreneurship in India today has the capacity to impact our communities and society at scale. Which is why we really focus in our own businesses as well as those I personally invest in on what is the environment, social and governance impact that the team and entrepreneurs are creating.

As an ambassador for initiatives supporting mom entrepreneurs, what unique contributions do you see women making to the Indian business landscape? How can their voices and experiences be amplified within organizations?

Mom entrepreneurs bring a fresh perspective to the table, often leveraging their personal experiences as mothers to identify unmet needs in the market and develop innovative solutions. With our initiative, The Mompreneurs Show, a platform inspiring women entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams where 1 Lakh incredible mothers, 15000 business ideas from around 250 cities featuring 10 amazing women, we witnessed the profound impact that women make on the Indian business landscape. Their empathetic approach to business not only fosters stronger connections with customers but also drives meaningful social impact. At the Good Glamm Group, we are providing a plug-and-play unique ecosystem at scale for mom entrepreneurs to build off through our parenting assets which are amongst the largest in South Asia, access to capital and reach with relevant customers, communities and audiences.

With your experience in scaling businesses and navigating various industries, what advice would you give to young entrepreneurs looking to build successful ventures in the D2C space?

Firstly, it's imperative to thoroughly understand your target audience - their needs, preferences, and pain points - to tailor your products and marketing strategies effectively. Secondly, differentiation is key; finding a unique angle or niche amidst the competition will set your brand apart. Utilize digital marketing channels to establish a robust online presence and authentically engage with your audience. Prioritize seamless customer experiences and continuously incorporate feedback for refinement. Streamline operations for efficiency and scalability, and forge strategic partnerships to expand your reach. Flexibility and adaptability to market dynamics are crucial for sustained success. Furthermore, embracing the mantra of 'Go slow to go fast' is invaluable. Building trust, nurturing relationships, and fostering a strong company culture are foundational elements.