New Delhi: Women's wellness brand Nua is "investing deeply" in technology to make wellness uncomplicated as well as more accessible. "We are working towards a one-stop platform encompassing content, community and commerce," says company Co-founder and CEO Ravi Ramachandran.
“A lot about women’s wellness is still unknown,” Ramachandran told PTI. And the company, which offers a portfolio including period care products and an acne control range, is hoping to change all that with its vision of holistic, science-backed offerings in the wellness space.
"The idea is to enrich Nua’s bouquet of solutions not just from a product perspective but also build awareness on intimate and uncomfortable topics through informational content," Ramachandran said.
The real need of the hour, in his view, is not just giving a product solution but also equipping every single woman with the right knowledge regarding her body and wellbeing.
The Mumbai-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) FemTech brand uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for most of its infrastructure needs and Ramachandran said the cloud provider's offerings have helped Nua scale quickly to cater to fast-growing business needs.
Excerpts from the interview: Q: As a direct-to-consumer women’s wellness brand, what are your key priorities, and what strategy is Nua putting in place to meet these goals? A: At the core of it, Nua’s vision is to provide holistic, science-backed wellness in the form of products, content, community and services. A lot about women’s wellness is still unknown and the industry is getting the much-deserved spotlight only now.
The real need of the hour is giving both a product solution and also equipping every single woman with the right knowledge regarding her wellbeing. To facilitate this, we are expanding into new distribution channels, enhancing our product portfolio, strengthening our brand marketing and community building efforts while investing deeply in technology that can make wellness uncomplicated and easily accessible.
Q: Could you elaborate on Nua's digital journey so far. To what extent did the pandemic accelerate digital sales momentum for your products? A: Our journey so far has been quite exciting. Building a D2C brand comes with its own set of learnings and challenges, especially at different stages of growth. Over the last five years, we have learnt a lot and we are still learning, be it launching our first product when we were completely bootstrapped to fundraising at a time when FemTech was still an unearthed space in the country. We have had our setbacks as well as milestones.
The pandemic has surely helped the sector and us. People realised the convenience of remote healthcare leading to a flurry of FemTech startups mushrooming all over the country and following a similar approach.
A strong digital presence is another important strength of ours. Nua products are available on our website nuawoman.com <http://nuawoman.com/> along with e-commerce and quick commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Nykaa, Swiggy Instamart, Dunzo, Zepto and more. Currently, our products are sold via digital channels only.
Q: How are you harnessing technology and digital advances to drive your offerings across products range such as sanitary pads, cramp comfort, intimate wash as well as acne-control products? A: The D2C business model in itself allows us to a great extent to connect directly with our customers, drive our offerings, maintain control over product development, marketing and distribution. However, what is unique to Nua is that we have successfully introduced and sustained a fully customisable auto-repeat subscription plan for our consumers which leads to over 50 per cent of customer retention beyond a period of 12 months.
This goes on to reinforce the need for a subscription model in this category and high customer satisfaction levels with our period care products. Moreover, to offer a bouquet of solutions not just from a product perspective but also informational content, we employ diverse approaches such as social media campaigns and initiatives, community advocacy, personalised engagement, period guides, and expert-led blogs on our website, newsletters and much more.
The same is done with the help of in-house content strategists, copywriters and designers and #NuaExperts that comprise gynaecologists, dermatologists, sexual health experts, psychologists and nutritionists. Technology-led applications and digital platforms also help in breaking barriers and overcoming prevalent taboos as it can provide an open, safe and judgment-free space where women can learn about their bodies and take care of their wellness concerns.
Q: Can you explain the major technologies powering your infrastructure needs? A: Cloud technologies have emerged as key contributors to the infrastructure setup in the technology space over the last few years, especially for high-growth D2C startups which need the flexibility to scale quickly. We use AWS for most of our infrastructure needs. Features such as managed Auto-Scaling of EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances in AWS helps us to quickly scale our operations according to our requirements.
Q: What trends are you seeing in the market, in terms of consumer buying, and how are these changes shaping your digital strategy? A: One of the biggest trends this year is to offer personalised services beyond products, which Nua as a brand has been following since day one. We will be working on offering personalisation at scale and expanding our community of half a million women using the power of digital media.
Q: What’s next in your digitisation journey? Could you outline the key strategic digital initiatives planned over the next two years? A: We have succeeded in establishing a very strong brand in the menstrual wellness space and our endeavour now is to take that forward. We will advance deeper and solve more consumer problems within women’s wellness, while managing personalisation at scale. Over time, we will also invest in technology to build a one-stop platform that encompasses content, community and commerce.
Q: How has cloud technology and AWS enabled you to do better? What are the key business benefits you have derived from this association? A: AWS services have definitely helped scale up our infrastructure faster and we have been able to cater seamlessly to our ever-growing demand.
Offerings such as Amazon Aurora, Amazon ElastiCache and AWS Auto-Scaling have helped us execute campaigns without much worry of any downtime. We have been using AWS Glue which has helped in quickly setting up and expanding our Data Lake infrastructure. AWS Step-functions have helped us scale and streamline our operations as well.
Amazon CloudWatch has helped us with monitoring our Application Infrastructure further helping improve reliability. We have also been able to improve our overall security posture through services such as AWS Web Application Firewall and Amazon Kinesis which has helped us thwart security and DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks on our application.