Pooja Sahgal, Marketing Head, Kaya Limited

From beauty practices rooted in Ayurveda to those championing the ‘organic is the way forward’ rhetoric, the Indian cosmetics, and cosmeceutical market has been continuously evolving. However, when the country went into lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, beauty and wellness industry did suffer a profound impact. Though many players of different sizes in the market had to be inactive for a long time, professionals at the Kaya Clinic were a busy bunch of people. Kaya Clinic conducted a series for campaigns including free video consultation for those facing skin, hair and stress-related problems that cannot be put off until after the lockdown. At the helm of these activities was Pooja Sahgal, Marketing Head of Kaya Limited. “We did many activities during this lockdown time. We started free online consultations for all our members, conducted wellness weeks where we tied up with exercise classes, nutrition classes, face yoga and many more. We also did a digital series on video where our Dermatologists give advice on taking care of different types of skin and hair concerns,” explains Pooja.

Started in 2003  to deliver flawless skin to both men and women, Kaya has now expanded with a range of clinics across India and the Middle East. The services that one can redeem at Kaya Clinic include a range from personalized skincare and haircare consultation to unique customized solutions. For all skin and hair care needs  “The Indian beauty industry today is even more sought after than the global counterparts. Consumers are looking for authentic, expert products and services which deliver customized solutions for diverse Indian skin tones. Kaya is the only player in the industry that offers customized services and products which are dermatologically developed to deliver strong results for all types of Indian skin and hair,” shares Pooja.

With the acceleration of the brand in e-commerce channel strengthening its product portfolio, Kaya took a two-pronged approach. “We accelerated the brand in the eCommerce channels with a strong focus on products. Further, Kaya launched a vigorous campaign that assured consumers about how stiff and stringent their safety measures are when it comes to expert beauty. “We did a 360-degree campaign across digital, POS, and influencers. This has resulted in the service business slowly but surely gaining stability,” quips Pooja. During the pandemic, Kaya did a very effective campaign on safety, which further strengthened the superiority of Kaya in the beauty and wellness industry. Pooja adds, “We also strongly communicated on our Laser hair category by establishing superiority over solutions like parlours and shaving.   This  has led to strong recruitment in the category.”

A Marketer with Knack for Business

Before joining Kaya Limited in 2019, Pooja had a stint with Marico, where she gained a strong business understanding and drive for result-oriented behaviour. Between 2008 and 2019, Pooja worked with some interactional brands including Kellog and L’Oreal. “At my Loreal stint, I learnt a lot of best practices both in terms of product, digital marketing and channel marketing, which I can apply at the brands of Kaya now,” says Pooja. Trusting her people more, Pooja has been a leader who understood what challenges her employees are going through at this time. “I think everyone in the marketing team and the company at large have embraced today’s challenge and we put in 200% effort during this period,” quips Pooja.

A fitness enthusiast with love for sports, Pooja comes from a business family. Enjoying the eccentricities and challenges one faces in business, she has honed her instincts and understanding of drivers of business success. Working in an industry that is always hectic and fast-paced, Pooja has been able to keep her calm and handle any obstacles and pressures that came her way. She adds, “At Kaya work is very dynamic and, I usually need to deal with multiple objectives and stakeholder at any time. s. I have learned to step back and prioritize. While keeping the consumer needs at the heart of every decision   Also, I have a solid marketing team who do a great job in their sphere and ensure they execute to excellence.”

Firmly believing in not breaking what is working, Pooja has continued to focus on the key categories at Kaya services along with building the brand, differentiating Kaya from other dermatology chains. Accelerating the product journey with e-commerce as the go-to destination, Pooja has also focused a lot more on the ‘digital-first approach’ and explored all aspects of digital marketing, including videos, OTT, and increased their social and search presence. Drawing inspiration from Winston Churchill, Roger Federer, and Katherine Graham, Pooja feels that the leadership team she previously worked in at Kellogg’s has also been a strong influence for her. “They imbibed in me the right values of collaboration, embracing openness, diversity and drive for results”, adds Pooja.

Today, pinned across 26 cities with a total of + 74 clinics across India and 23 in the Middle East, Kaya Clinic is India’s largest pool of expert dermatologists in the country with over +120. “We are looking to make the brand more accessible through our strong product and customised services portfolio and drive relevance with the millennials by engaging them in a tone of voice and execution-style that engages and inspires them,” concludes Pooja.

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