I initially contacted Varun Alagh at Honasa, Mamaearth’s parent firm, in 2016. That’s when our relationship started. Even though Honasa had just been founded for a month, the company’s dedication to use data and technology to revolutionize the FMCG industry wowed us from the moment we met.
On November 7, almost four years after we joined with Varun and Ghazal Alagh, Honasa will go public on the stock exchanges in India. We have opted not to sell any of our shares during the IPO and remain its largest institutional stakeholder.
We think that these unique founders are creating a firm that will last for generations and has the ability to overtake all other beauty and personal care companies in India.
Sequoia India had been investing in consumer brands for well than ten years when I first met Varun in 2016, but we thought there was still a lot of room for product innovation in the market. The founders of Honasa had no intention of starting another FMCG business. Rather, they envisioned a data-driven, digital-first business that could change to meet the demands of a changing customer base.
Our faith in the founding team is aptly reflected in this passage from the investment note from Honasa’s early days: “The more time we spend with Varun and Ghazal, the more confident we are that we are backing extremely ambitious and thoughtful founders in a high-quality neighbourhood.” They devote all of their time and resources to making Mamaearth a powerful brand, working nonstop to achieve this goal.”
In less than three years, Honasa’s initial brand, Mamaearth, achieved a sales run rate of Rs 100 crore, an incredible accomplishment for a new company. That being said, Varun and Ghazal’s fascination with products is what has led to their financial achievements. Mamaearth started off as a necessity-driven baby care company. Varun and Ghazal realized the market needed items free of pollutants and dangerous chemicals after becoming parents to a newborn. They thus made the decision to produce these goods themselves.