New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI/BusinessWire India): With COVID-19 giving a significant boost to the demand to the already growing cleaning category, new-age brands are getting launched to fill both the quantitative and qualitative gaps in the supply.
Koparo Clean was one such brand launched in 2020. Founded by Simran Khara, who has worked at McKinsey & Co, Star TV, and more recently as CEO of digital media startup Juggernaut Books, Koparo is offering a natural alternative to the regular cleaning products available in the market.
Their first round of offerings–dishwashing liquid, floor cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, and hand wash have sold more than 25,000 units in their first six months of operations.
The inception of the idea
As a mother to a five-year-old girl who is constantly touching every surface, crawling into spaces that haven’t been cleaned for a while, sneakily eating a piece of chocolate from the floor, Simran wondered: how clean was her house?
But the real eye-opening thing for her was reading about the chemicals present in the cleaning products and the negative implications that they have on our health.
With the lack of options for safer alternatives, the founder decided to take the plunge and start-up to plug this gap in the market.
“We were baffled by the irony that cleaning products leave more chemicals and toxins on surfaces after their use. Koparo is our journey to change that. We have questioned the presence of every chemical & synthetic addition to come up with cleaning products that harness the power of nature’s cleaning ingredients,” said Simran, talking about her philosophy.
Koparo believes in minimal formulations and hence using only those ingredients which are essential for the functioning and efficacy of the cleaning products. Most of the ingredients are sourced from plants or natural sources and they completely avoid certain potentially toxic chemicals such as Parabens, Triclosan, Ammonia, Phosphate, EDTA, Phthalates, and Chlorine. The products are clear liquids as they don’t use synthetic dyes or any artificial colour.
She adds, “Brightly-coloured cleaners or bright yellow dishwashing liquids surely don’t get the colouring due to ‘the power of 1,000 lemons,’ however, the colour can remain on the dishes even after washing. They do not add to your cleaning, fragrance, or serve any other purpose,” she explains, adding that Koparo strictly does not use synthetic dye in their products.
Starting up in a pandemic
The ride hasn’t been easy for Koparo at all. Launching during a global pandemic has meant that they had to face several constraints with the lockdown being imposed just as they were going into manufacturing. That pushed their deadline on almost everything further with basic tasks taking thrice as long and with unexpected disruptions in the raw material supplies, packaging, labels and warehousing.
The pandemic also meant that all their hiring has been entirely remote.
But their motto in the early days has been to let no crisis go waste. Talking about how they have persevered through the challenges, Simran remarks, “We have as a team learned so much from these times. As we sit back and reflect, the silver linings for us are:
* We have built a very lean company and not let any overheads build up.
* We have questioned every aspect of the product and supply chain to make it resilient for future crises. Something a startup would never have the luxury to do till a much later stage.
* We are now a small team that has triumphed in the face of several challenges. This has bonded us in unimaginable and very special ways.
* Early days, but we are growing steadily and it has been heartening to see a great response from our early adopters.”
Koparo has made some great progress over the last 6 months. They have shipped to more than 80 cities across India and have an Average Order Value of ~ INR 800. There has been some excitement on social media as well where they have managed to build a 10k+ strong community.
But Simran believes that the biggest satisfaction for them has been the customer love that they have been receiving. It reflects in how their subscriber base (people who have opted for the products to be delivered to them every month) is growing and how they are witnessing more and more repeats with time. A strong NPS of 75 shows the customer base’s satisfaction with the products.
Koparo was selected to be a part of the Founder Stack program by Accel where they received mentorship from the VC firm for 3 months to help them build and scale a consumer startup for today’s times.
Their story has been covered by Tweak, Yourstory & Inc 42 since their recent launch.
The road ahead
The second wave of the pandemic disrupting operations once again, but Koparo has big plans ahead. These include the launch of five new products and refill packs and a bottle takeback program to reduce plastic waste.
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