Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
As per Nitin Passi, the brothers are the third generation in the same industry and happen to be the second generation in the company, Lotus Herbals, which their father started. As per them, the beauty DNA runs in their blood. Growing up, both the brothers listened to all the chatter, which used to happen at dinner tables. The way Indian kids pick up the nuances of a family business is part of family conversations. Their vacations meant visiting the manufacturing plant which made them witness where all the action used to be. As per Dipin Passi, “We used to see all the manufacturing, processing, the filling, packing, and also sit through some of the marketing meetings and sit through some of the design meetings. In those days, the office and the manufacturing facility were combined together.” As mere spectators, the kids could observe the nitty-gritty of the business.
While Nitin remembers drafting some of the letters for business correspondence and helping his father with the Internet as exports were an important part of the beauty brand.
After finishing his graduation, Nitin went to the US to complete his MBA and went on to work as a Consultant with Deloitte there. Nitin mentions, “When I was going for my higher education I was made to have a contract with my family that I will come back to India, and contribute here. I also wanted to come back because I enjoyed being an entrepreneur and a business person myself, and I’d seen my father and my grandfather before me. So I knew that I have to come back and work.” In 2003, Nitin joined the family business.
Dipin first joined the business in 1999 but went on to finish his MBA in the US and rejoined in 2001. Dipin went on to look after international operations.
When both of them joined the business wasn’t highly structured and process-oriented. In this way, both brothers figured out their own way in the family business. They had to deal with the resistance to change from the old timers and try to convince them of the new way of working. AS Nitin says, “A lot of people didn’t take us very seriously because they think that you are the offspring of the founder. But then you have to be extremely careful as the risk is very high for failure.” Eventually, once they saw over a period of time that they have the right skill set and capability to execute they start taking the brothers seriously. Dipin adds, “In the initial trade market visits, we got a lot of support from across the trade. When you are a newcomer and especially when you belong to the promoter family, they all respect you, but you know, that, that respect is for a certain reason. You need to prove, so the onus of proving yourself is even more.”
When Nitin joined the business, it was reporting a Rs 7.8 crore domestic turnover. They closed last financial year with ₹552.42 crores. As per Nitin, one thing which we kept and still try to maintain is the culture, so there’s a huge advantage of being a privately held company owned by a few owners because there are definitely some positives of this culture of family-owned businesses. While Covid introduced all traditional businesses to unravel the power of online, the company is now harnessing the power of Metaverse and AI. As a beauty company, their data analysis, and manpower training will all be unraveled via new-age technologies. Every year, they train close to 25,000 beauticians for their professional skincare brand, and they are keen to explore opportunities in education. In the offline world, their presence spreads across 150,000+ outlets and 15,000+ spas and beauty salons.
After building its own Covid gave the brother time to think through newer brands via partnership and acquisition. The company ventured into the Luxury Ayurvedic holistic beauty and wellness category by acquiring SoulTree in September 2020. In October 2021, Lotus Herbals announced an acquisition of a 32% strategic stake in Fixderma India Pvt. Ltd., owners of the Fixderma and FCL brands of Dermaceuticals. In January 2022, Lotus Herbals acquired a 25% stake in Conscious Chemist, the new-age clean beauty, Direct to Consumer brand. Talking about future acquisitions, Nitin says, “Currently we’re looking at about five different opportunities at various stages. So we are actively looking at both organic and inorganic growth for us as we are very clear that we need to participate in growth opportunities outside the company where we keep on looking at these startups in India, as well as internationally.”
- Lotus Professional currently serves 200 cities through 300+ distributors
- Network of 150,000+ outlets and 15,000+ spas and beauty salons
- Present across 16 countries