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Published on: Feb. 22, 2021, 10:17 a.m.
Korikart wants to be a Mecca for Korean products
  • Korikart lures Indian customers with visual demonstration of products through various videos

By Suman Tarafdar

The lure of looking youthful gets its seekers to search far and wide for what they perceive to be best anti-ageing solutions. A growing trend is the use of Korean cosmetics. According to a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight, about 39 per cent of Indian women respondents stated that their skincare routine included 25 per cent K-beauty products.

“About 3 per cent of surveyed women in India said that all their skincare products were from Korean brands, which is great because that gives us the motivation to look for more good quality Korean brands that have also have the potential to grow,” Seo Young-doo, founder & CEO, Korikart, an Indian online, multi-brand store for Korean products.

Korikart, which deals specifically in Korean products, was launched in December 2018. “I came up with the idea of giving a new dimension to the e-commerce industry by amalgamating it with visual experience,” explains Seo. “Our USP is not only that we are a Korean multi-brand store, but also that we are among those rare e-commerce platforms that provide visual demonstration of the products through various videos.”

Interestingly, while cosmetics and skincare remains a dominant section, the site now also retails other product categories such as packaged food (noodles are particularly popular), Korean home and kitchen, personal care and lifestyle. “We are dealing in more than 80 brands and have over 400 articles on our website,” points out Seo. “We are planning to introduce electronics as well sometime in future.” Of course, most Indians are familiar with Korean automobile and electronic brands such as Samsung, Hyundai/Kia and LG among others.  

Desi K-craze

The global K-Pop influence has been impactful, touching Indians too. While Seo says that the expat Korean community contributes to almost 50 per cent of the daily revenue, “as the Korean Wave makes its way across India, we are gradually becoming aware of our other target audiences such people from North East India, South India and Maharashtra are quite impressed with Korean products. With growing awareness through social media, we have witnessed orders coming in from Punjab and Rajasthan, which is a great step to expand our footprint across India.”

Seo says the pandemic did put an impact on almost every system last year, but “Korikart managed to do a business of Rs4 crore and we’ve grown three times in the last year”. He points out that Korikart has seen a visible spike in sales of 40-50 per cent in the last two to four months as the lockdown led to a surge of a lot of products, mainly instant noodles and skincare products.

The site is trying out a couple of interesting innovations. Korikart TV has videos so that the “Audience can get better awareness of the Korean products and what sets them apart from other products” says Seo. “Korikart Shop in Shop helps retailers set their small shops across the country and make them aware of our platform and in a way help SMB (small and midsize business) retailers to grow by offering them a great business proposition.”

Seo sees considerable potential for growth. “We are working relentlessly to introduce more articles that will suit the needs of Indian customers hence our goals are clear, that we want to grow with quality. The idea is to be the Mecca for Korean products so that anytime someone thinks Korean products, they automatically think Korikart.” Lofty aims, indeed.

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