Mumbai: He might have contemplated his thoughts and decisions prior to this story, but not anymore. Curry Nation Brand Conversations (CNBC) co-founder Nagessh Pannaswami (a first-generation entrepreneur, an ad veteran along with famous ad woman, Priti Nair) has now made a move to the brand side by launching SilverEdge. SilverEdge is the country’s first ever personal care and wellness brand to specifically target adults aged 40 and above (generally known as mature adults).
After working at agencies such as Clarion (now Bates Chi & Partners), Lowe Lintas (now part of the Mullenlowe Lintas Group), McCann Erickson (now McCann World Group), and BBDO, and spending a significant portion of his career managing FMCG and telecom businesses, Nagessh founded Curry Nation, which is now a creative powerhouse, having created brands from the ground up to make them formidable in the categories in which they operate.
Eventually, the brand entrepreneurial bug bit him, and he incorporated Really Useful Enterprise in December 2021. The brand SilverEdge was born in May 2022, with Nagessh’s innate need and desire to do something different. It was his personal experience of suitable products being unavailable that led him to give shape to an idea whose time had come. "Having built so many brands for clients, I wanted to give shape to a brand of my own. Today, D2C has opened up a lot of avenues. I wanted to utilise this opportunity and a latent need to plug the gap in the market," quipped SilverEdge CEO & founder Nagessh.
But why a name such as SilverEdge? The broad age group of 40 to 60 is called the "silver age," and the silver economy is a thing of the near immediate future. The current population of people aged 40 to 60 is 310 million, and it is expected to grow by 37 per cent to 426 million by 2040 (source: Statistica). It is growing faster than the youth segment, but no brand addresses their age-specific needs. "SilverEdge as a brand gives you the edge in your silver years. That's how the brand has been conceptualised," stated Nagessh.
Revenue, market size and competition
Talking about revenue numbers, SilverEdge is eyeing approximately Rs 25 million in the first year of the brand’s operations. Considering strategy, the brand wants to be the go-to 'destination' for mature adults in the wellness and personal care space. Eventually, the platform will provide them with tips across a spectrum of ageing solutions. Nagessh specified, "Our ultimate vision is to lead the pro-age solution in India by providing specially curated age-specific products for mature adults."
SilverEdge, the mother brand, has six variants: SilverEdge Beauty Elixir (age defence), SilverEdge Joint Care, SilverEdge Immuno Enhance, SilverEdge Energy Booster, SilverEdge She Power, and SilverEdge Lung Defence.
The Indian nutraceutical market will be an approximately Rs 18 billion market by 2025. There are a host of players in this industry, such as Wow Health, Bbetter, Prorganiq, Bionova, Bodywise—a slew of D2C brands, and also legacy brands like Himalaya.
Also, the Indian skin care market is estimated to be worth Rs 11 billion by 2025. SilverEdge will not lag behind—very soon it will be launching its skin care range for mature adults, and also a few more nutraceutical products by the turn of 2023. Accessories are also on the horizon, confirmed Nagessh.
The fact is, SilverEdge has embarked on a behaviour change mission. On one hand, there are no direct competitors to the brand since nobody is targeting the group that SilverEdge is talking to. But on the other hand, every brand in the wellness and personal care segment is a competition for it, said Nagessh.
Digital, influencer marketing and advertising
Digital has been the keyword for all brands starting in 2019. Considering that a person like my mum had a tough time handling and learning how to use a smartphone when it was launched, one tends to wonder how responsive this group of mature adults is to the digital medium. Nagessh revealed that SilverEdge’s website has been up and running for some time, and the response has been encouraging. The mature adults segment is active on social media, with Facebook being the lead medium, followed by WhatsApp and LinkedIn. Covid has advanced technology adoption across all population strata, and this segment isn't lagging behind either.
Like most brands adopting the influencer marketing route in a robust manner, SilverEdge is likely to follow suit. All the levers of digital marketing will be pushed at various points in time. Influencer marketing is an essential part of the brand’s marketing mix for specific targeting of the audience. SilverEdge is looking at influencers, but of a different sort. Aged 45 years and above, this is a whole new segment of influencers who are gaining traction in the social media space—they have a lower number of followers, but their bond with and traction from their followers is strong.
SilverEdge is obviously targeting the followers of these influencers, so that there is less wastage of advertising money and more traction for the brand.
The spectrum of marketplaces is another opportunity that the brand has leveraged. SilverEdge is listed on many and will soon be available at various touch points where its customers exist in the digital purchase journey.
Nagessh stated that they would go brand first when describing SilverEdge's advertising and marketing strategy. They would focus solely on brand building and behaviour change communication. These are the two pillars of the brand’s communication strategy. "We understand the need to create a lighthouse brand and be the beacon of change in this category," he said.
Targeting mature adults – a decision
India has the world's largest youth population, with nearly 66 per cent of the total (more than 808 million) under the age of 35, and nearly 40 per cent between the ages of 13 and 35. Despite the fact that targeting this age group would have been more profitable, Nagesh stuck to his decision to target mature adults. He emphasised, "There isn’t a single brand that speaks to the desires and aspirations of mature adults. Can you beat that? It's almost as if this age cohort doesn't exist for the marketeers! The mature adult segment in India is a neglected and underrepresented market from a product and services perspective."
Mature adults, by the time they turn 40, are well settled in life. A large chunk of their worldly responsibilities are almost taken care of (EMI's, children's basic education, stability in their jobs). They have all the time in the world to pursue their passion and do things that they would have probably sacrificed in their youth to pursue career stability.
"With the cultural changes happening around us, men and women are now responding to ageing with a drive to improve aspects of their lives that they've been unhappy about over the years. Some are even willing to uproot their lives for betterment. They are also looking for specific curated products and services that cater to their aspirations. All this led us to walk on a path where no one had ventured in the past and guided the launch of SilverEdge," pointed out Nagessh.
Backed by research
A lot of research, data collection, testing, checking responses, etc., was involved in bringing out the final product. The team at SilverEdge did a lot of consumer listening and ethnographic studies. It was how, on their probing, most of the consumers comprehended that there were no brands targeting them. The latter also realised that they had been using the same legacy products for a long time and that they may no longer be serving their purpose.
One of SilverEdge’s most essential and obvious findings was that India is undergoing a cultural change. Mature adults are no longer resigned to living a life of seclusion or minimalism. More and more mature adults are picking up passion projects, whether it's singing, travelling, adventure sports, etc. The retirement corpus, which was stashed away for some unforeseen event and as an inheritance for the younger generation, is now being used for self-fulfilment and self-gratification.
Additionally, children are egging their parents to live a fuller life. Now, as people are ageing, they realise that they don't want to turn back the body clock or hinder the natural progression of ageing. However, they want to ensure that they remain healthy for the long run. Today, more and more mature adults are taking their health into their own hands. Nagessh calls them the 'proactive healthy agers.' And that is the audience SilverEdge is singling out and catering to through the range of its products.
"Doesn't this audience of mature adults have aspirations? desires? need to be fulfilled? Why should they be using the same set of products that they have been using for years? It's a proven fact that as people age, their nutrition and skin care needs change. They need age-specific solutions, and that’s where SilverEdge steps in," explained Nagessh.
Trends and innovations
Noting the recent trends, increasingly in nutraceuticals, consumers are taking health into their own hands. They want to prolong their good health and keep illnesses and niggles away. They are willing to pick these products off the shelf. These are the proactive health-seekers. They believe in the power of preventive health management.
In personal care, consumers are looking for targeted solutions. Consumers today are content with their appearance and their skin. In fact, most don’t want to cycle through the natural process of ageing. They know that the biological clock is ticking. And they won't get the same youthful look back ever again. But what they really want to do is to extend their good skin health a few more years to retain their natural radiance. Any product willing to do this is welcome in their kitty.
Speaking about the innovations that one can look forward to in the beauty, wellness, and personal care market, which caters to mature adults, Nagessh signed off, "There will be ingredient-led and claim-led innovations."