Interview: Kanikka Dewanii, founder of Mintree, Premium Skincare Startup

Kanikka Dewanii, founder of Mintree

An interview with Kanikka Dewanii, founder of Mintree, organic multi-category beauty products

Welcome to an insightful interview with Kanikka Dewanii, the visionary founder of Mintree, a premium skincare startup. With a passion for skincare and a commitment to quality, Kanikka embarked on a journey to revolutionize the beauty industry.

Her innovative approach and dedication to natural, effective ingredients have garnered attention and admiration. Today, we delve into her inspiring story, exploring the inception of Mintree and the driving force behind its success.

Can you share with us your journey and how you decided to start Mintree?

Kanikka Dewanii: I had a corporate career for about 9 years, working in fashion and beauty for half of that time. Eventually, I realized that beauty was my true passion, and I decided to focus solely on it. Waking up every day to a job where I can make people look pretty and feel confident is simply fulfilling. The idea of contributing to making the world a more beautiful place resonates deeply with me.

Coming from a family with entrepreneurial parents, I always wanted to follow in their footsteps. I made the decision to move back to Nagpur to live with them and start something of my own. My parents encouraged me to trust myself and give entrepreneurship a chance. They were willing to take the risk and support me every step of the way. That’s how the journey of Mintree began.

What inspired you to start the Mintree brand, particularly focusing on affordable products?

Kanikka Dewanii: We’re not aiming to be just affordable; we strive for premium quality and authenticity. In India, there’s historically been a focus on mass-produced, price-driven products due to the large economy and volume-centric approach.

Few brands dared to delve into the luxury segment, as India had a perception that luxury equated to imports. However, times are changing, and people are increasingly valuing products made in India, willing to pay a premium for quality.

As Indians, we’re capable of producing high-quality goods, so I wanted to create a unique proposition: premium, high-quality products made in India, formulated with scientific knowledge and expertise from both India and the US.

Our approach involved importing some products while manufacturing others locally, resulting in a fusion of Indian and US expertise to produce exceptionally high-quality products. This fusion, backed by extensive research and development, represents our commitment to quality and innovation, combining the best of both worlds.

Could you describe Mintree’s unique selling proposition (USP) in the market of beauty products?

Kanikka Dewanii: At Mintree, we pride ourselves on crafting products that offer a truly unique sensory experience. Our products are certified organic, clean, and simple, designed to be effortlessly incorporated into any skincare routine without the need for specific regimens. They are ethically packaged and formulated to address specific skincare concerns based on consumer insights.

For instance, our ‘Strengthening Nail Armstrong’ product is designed to fortify nails, while our upcoming pedicure line focuses on combating fatigue, a common reason for seeking pedicure treatments. Additionally, we offer solutions for dry skin, such as our body wash, which moisturizes the skin without the need for additional lotion.

At Mintree, we are driven by consumer insights, ensuring that our products not only meet but exceed the needs and expectations of our customers.

In what ways do you stay updated with the latest trends and developments in the beauty industry to ensure the brand remains competitive?

Kanikka Dewanii: I attend trade shows every year, including CosmoProf India, where we participate annually. Additionally, we visit the CosmoProf Bologna and Hong Kong shows each year, as well as various US shows.

We actively engage with the right bloggers, follow industry trends, and read industry magazines to stay informed. Our approach includes reading, attending trade shows, following relevant influencers, and, of course, networking.

How do you approach product development and innovation at Mintree to meet the evolving needs of consumers?

Kanikka Dewanii: Product development and innovation are my sole responsibilities. As an avid traveler and self-proclaimed beauty enthusiast, I extensively explore skincare products, identifying gaps and opportunities.

I frequently engage in discussions about beauty with friends, family, influencers, salon professionals, and industry experts. Through these conversations, we pinpoint specific needs and develop products to address them.

Once we identify potential products, we conduct thorough testing. We import ingredients if necessary or manufacture them locally, ensuring the highest quality. Our process involves rigorous testing and refinement to ensure that the final product meets the needs of our target audience.

Before launching, we conduct consumer panels with at least 500 participants across different geographic locations and climates in the country to gather feedback.

Only after this comprehensive process do we introduce our products to the market.

Can you discuss any challenges you’ve faced in marketing and selling products, and how you’ve overcome them?

Kanikka Dewanii: Establishing a luxury brand in India was initially met with skepticism, as many believed that at that price point, they could opt for European or American products instead. The concept of a luxury brand originating from India presented its own set of challenges.

However, perceptions are gradually shifting, and people are beginning to understand and appreciate the value of Indian luxury brands.

Despite this progress, the beauty industry remains highly competitive, with steep costs of competition making profitability a significant challenge. The retail environment in India, including costs associated with rents and employee salaries, adds to the financial burden. Thus, building a brand and achieving profitability in such an environment is exceptionally challenging.

How does Mintree prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in its manufacturing and sourcing processes?

Kanikka Dewanii: We are certified organic, sourcing our products from certified organic vendors. Our commitment to sustainability extends to our packaging materials, where we opt for sustainable wood options sourced from Panjim, Tadoba, and Tana forests.

Additionally, we prioritize minimizing our use of plastic, ensuring that any plastic utilised is recyclable. Conscious of our carbon footprint, we actively work to reduce it wherever possible

Future vision and expansion plans of Mintree?

Kanikka Dewanii: Our goal is to reach every fifth consumer in India within the next 5 years, and ultimately, to be on the shelves of every fifth consumer worldwide. To achieve this, we are employing various strategies, from participating in trade shows to expanding our network of distributors. We are dedicated to securing business from all corners of the globe

What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Kanikka Dewanii: To succeed, you must possess an unwavering fighting spirit. Never give up; instead, push yourself harder each day, setting new benchmarks and giving your all. If you’re giving 100% today, be prepared to give 200% tomorrow, and even more the following day.

Additionally, never lose hope; it’s what keeps us going. Develop thick skin, as criticism and failure are inevitable. Gather yourself, show up, and keep moving forward. Dream big—dream incredibly big—and you’ll achieve remarkable heights. Aim for the moon, and even if you fall short, you’ll still reach the stars.

In conclusion, Kanikka Dewanii’s journey as the founder of Mintree exemplifies the power of passion, innovation, and perseverance in entrepreneurship. Through her unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability, she has not only created a successful skincare brand but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace natural beauty solutions.

As Mintree continues to thrive and evolve, Kanikka’s vision remains a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere.

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