New Delhi, June 15, 2018: Meet Madhurima Ramakrishna and Ramakrishna Gopal from Bangalore, who are busy in providing natural solutions for skin and hair care. Their products are a combination of Aromatherapy and Botanical Extracts.
The seed was planted around the year 2000. Even prior to that Madhurima was making simple products for skin care –using ingredients from the kitchen and ayurvedic herbs. Armed with a degree / diploma in Cosmetology and Aesthetics, she set out to make homemade cosmetics and skin products to treat her own acne condition.
The positive results led her to start researching about solutions for skin and hair conditions for the womenfolk at large. As a homemaker, she used to spend a lot of time reading up on the internet and experimenting with various blends and recipes. She initially started offering her products free of charge to her close network of friends and family, who used these and were satisfied with the results. She also got constructive feedback that helped her to improve upon the quality and efficacy of her recipes. She also had a good network of dermatologists, who used to discuss with her about their patients’ skin conditions and she used to take those up as new assignments and develop solutions for them.
Ramakrishna Gopal her husband supported her by converting her hobby and passion into a business venture and today they successfully run Aroma Essentials, a brand dedicated to natural skincare that also provides customized-solutions, which are customer-centric.
“Every product is meticulously created by hand, using the best quality ingredients”, says Ramakrishna Gopal.
He further adds “Though the company makes products that could cater to folks at large, we ensure that we talk to prospective and existing customers and understand their exact requirements, consider any pre-existing health and other conditions etc. before suggesting the best products for them. In many cases, we also make customised products for people with specific conditions, which don’t necessarily form part of our published Catalogue.”
Challenges faced since inception
Madhurima speaks about work-life balance, “Balancing family and work is one of the bigger challenges that I have faced. It is a jugglery of sorts – making products, researching on newer ingredients and products, ensuring that family is not neglected and at the same time being able to attend to social functions and discharging my familial and social obligations and duties.”
She adds, “Another challenge was the opposition from extended family members who were not in favour of me doing this work, initial lack of trust shown by users. It is not easy to get someone to use a new skin product, especially when they have been used to multinational and Indian brands from a very young age and this was a huge challenge for us as a home-based brand.”
But she is a fighter and this has helped her in growing her thought-process, “My response might seem clichéd but every new day and every new customer is a challenge. But thankfully to the divine presence and blessings, we are able to thrive on these challenges and emerging victorious.”
“However, it is never easy to cater to each and every person’s requirement due to the sheer diversity of nature’s creations. To be able to cater to such a plethora of requirements, is the biggest challenge” she further reiterates.
USP Factor of Aroma Essentials –
Madhurima personally believes that while it is good to have certain products that are staple and help in sustenance of the brand, they also need to address customers’ specific skin and hair conditions and make relevant products.
While Ramakrishna Gopal says that, “We ensure that we talk to our prospective and existing customers and understand their exact requirements, consider any pre-existing conditions etc. before suggesting the best products for them. In many cases, we also make customised products for people with specific conditions, which don’t necessarily form part of our published Catalogue. Our family (clients) believes that this is our USP and what clearly distinguishes us from the others.”
Journey as husband and wife duo
Madhu has founded this brand and had been working single-handedly till the year 2015 when Ram quit his job as VP of a global Consulting company and joined her. Since she is the expert in product making, she does everything from listing out the Raw materials required, doing the necessary research to address customers skin and hair conditions, actual preparation of the products and consultation.
Whereas Ramakrishna Gopal being a Chartered Accountant, he manages the entire gamut of finance, taxation and accounting. He also looks after the procurement, inventory management, despatches and follow-ups.
In the initial days, they used to do the orders packing by themselves but they now have a team of 3 to take care of the same.
Future of Organic skincare business, Considering the market is widespread –
There are a few businesses that they believe would never go out of vogue and Skincare is one of them. “The awareness regarding natural or organic ingredients and products is ever increasing and there is an increased acceptance for such products. Also the benefits that accrue to the individuals as well as to the environment is a very critical aspect that adds to the demand for such products”.
CMadhurima firmly believes, “Profitability for me is not just in terms of money made, but also in terms of being able to increase the network of people using our products and deriving satisfaction from using them. It also is about making a difference to people’s lives.”
Ramakrishna opines, “We personally feel that there is an enough room in the market for brands that want to create a niche and at the same time, make relevant, effective and affordable products.”
Future Plans on expansion
Essentially, all the products are hand-made and as such there is an inherent limit on the scale of operations. However, they are trying to address this through a combination of measures like succession planning, automating certain aspects of product preparation and packing, launching a website, opening of experience stores where folks can walk-in, sample their products and buy them off the counter etc.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)