Gaurav Raj, Co-Founder, Morning Owl

Gaurav ventured into an entrepreneurial journey by setting up Morning Owl in 2019. The reason being, he wanted to create a brand that ensures one gets a healthy sleep and is accessible and affordable for all. India is now beginning to wake up to the importance of healthy sleep aided by natural products for a healthy lifestyle. However, the market lacks genuine and natural products. Even if it is available, it will be 2-3 times more expensive than what you will find with Morning Owl. What many sell as latex online is not 100% pure. Through Morning Owl, Gaurav wishes to solve this by offering premium yet affordable natural products backed by a strong supply chain to deliver it from the factory to customer’s doorstep at a click of their button, so they can wake up to a beautiful morning. Before starting his own venture Gaurav Raj, has been a seasoned sales professional and is an alumnus of the prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) B school. He has over 6 years of corporate experience where his last stint was managing sales in the North region for FMCD products at Casio.

 

Retail sector in India is projected to surpass $1.7 Tn by 2025 and become one of the major markets in the world. India is witnessing the rise of D2C brands across categories and it is estimated to become a $ 100 Bn addressable market by 2025. The Internet democratized the resources needed to launch and grow a business. COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated online adoption amidst the temporary closure of physical stores and the growing reluctance of customers to shop offline. On the other hand, the digital ecosystem and evolving consumer needs have made new business models viable.
These days, digitally native brands have grown to surpass the handful legacy brands that have dominated each industry Worldwide online retails sales is expected to hit 23% of total retail sales by 2023. Why is this happening? Two primary causes: Customers want to know more and want to know directly from source; Customers want to save more and not pay the middle men margins. The key part to note is that DTC brands own the relationship with their customers.
D2C brands are characterized by their agile DNA, innovative marketing, efficient operational processes and effective use of technology. D2C brands leverage consumption insights, work on a feedback- led model to rapidly develop products to ensure that the evolving customer needs are addressed.
The first key point to note is they are designed to have 2-3 unique features that help them stand out. We wanted to sell 100% pure latex which is designed to offer optimum support to the spine and give a great night’s sleep, while making luxury affordable. Hence, we started Morning Owl.

Now, how you reach your consumer becomes important. Digital content consumption has shot up by 2x in the post pandemic world.D2C players have understood the need to leverage & invest in this. Key question to note is where is the consumer discovering products? Instagram, and Quora could be some of the avenues. Customers today want to know more and want to know directly from the source. D2C players design website and marketing strategy to inform the customer about the product and the space they are in and thereby boost online sales

They are focussed on providing a great customer experience by providing a seamless experience. They have started investing a significant portion of their opex in good customer support. They are more customer backward than the legacy brands which has helped them gain market share

Covid has also made consumers more health conscious and shaped the need to take care of themselves. Consumers now want to invest in a healthy lifestyle and buy healthy natural products. This has led to an increase in players in the healthy segment. This has been a boon to Morning Owl. Most of what is available in the market – memory foam or PU foam – are all synthetic & carcinogen/ chemical infused. We offer chemical free and completely safe mattresses and pillows to customers. We provide Natural, certified, 100% Pure Latex Mattress & Pillows. We have been seeing 35% month on month growth. We are now seeing demand from Tier 2 towns and farthest corners of the country

Globally Thrasio (thrasio.com), a US based startup valued at US$1bn has emerged to be a dominant player in the D2C segment with acquisition entrepreneurship. In India also investors have started making inroads into the D2C space. With funding flowing in, this segment is only going to get bigger.

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